Er mere tid med familien løsningen? Hvad siger børn?

  • Pia H. Christensen


Pia Haudrup Christensen: Children’s perception of time spent with the family This paper examines time spent with the family from children’s point of view. Since the 1960s notions of “quality time“ versus “quantity time“ have been employed to capture the everyday reality of working parents and their children. Some researchers have argued that parents should spend “more time“ together with their children and less time working, while others have suggested that it is important to examine how parents and children spend their time together. These discussions of what is “good“ for today’s children tend to neglect children’s perspectives. This paper draws on extensive ethnographic studies among 10-11 year old children about their understandings and use of time in an urban and a rural area of the North of England and in a district of Copenhagen, Denmark. The paper argues that the quality/quantity conundrum needs to be replaced by fuller and more representative accounts that include dimensions of family time that matter for children. The paper examines the six qualities of time that children value: “ordinary everyday family routines“, the notion of “hygge“ or coziness in Danish, “someone being there for you“, to “have one’s own time“, time for “peace and quiet“, and to be able “to plan own time“. It argues that children’s view of time spent with their families cannot be seen in isolation from the time they spend with friends, time at school and on their own. It concludes that children’s time needs to be situated in the everyday processes of balancing family, school and work life which both children and parents engage in.