Turns out there\u2019s something else I\u2019m doing wrong as a parent \u2014 and you probably are, too. Last week, the Washington Post\u2019s Brigid Schulte reported on a new study that suggests children may not benefit from more time spent with their parents. "In fact, it appears the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out," Schulte writes, "and a minimal effect on adolescents, according to the first large-scale longitudinal study of parent time to be published in April in the Journal of Marriage and Family. \u201cThat\u2019s not to say that parent time isn\u2019t important. Plenty of studies have shown links between quality parent time \u2014 such as reading to a child, sharing meals, talking with them or otherwise engaging with them one-on-one \u2014 and positive outcomes for kids,\u201d she writes. \u201cThe same is true for parents\u2019 warmth and sensitivity toward their children. It\u2019s just that the quantity of time doesn\u2019t appear to matter.\u201d Well then. What am I supposed to do now? Apparently, I\u2019m supposed to back off a little, give my kid some room for independent play and follow it up with some togetherness and reading \u201cwhen possible.\u201d For mothers, that\u2019s about 14 hours a week; for fathers, it\u2019s about 7. So here\u2019s a great time to dole out that time-honored, motherly adage, \u201cDo as I say, not as I do.\u201d Don\u2019t quit your day job to spend more time with your kids, at least according to one study. And speaking of that job you\u2019re going to keep, it could have a larger impact on your quality time with your kids than you might imagine. In March, researchers at Michigan State University found \u201cPeople whose family life regularly interferes with their job (or vice versa) are more likely to become emotionally exhausted and, in turn, verbally abusive to coworkers and loved ones.\u201d The key to avoiding these conflicts, they found, was having a boss who is good at helping you maintain a work-life balance. That means accommodating employees who need to leave work early for the occasional family function, and not sending them urgent emails during dinner hours, for example. The researchers in the study Schulte covered also tapped into this idea, but from the perspective of the child of the stressed parent, saying mothers\u2019 distress is related to poor outcomes for their children, including behavioral and emotional problems and lower math scores. The takeaways: Don\u2019t worry about spending a lot of time with your children, as long as you can spend some quality (read: unstressed, engaged) time with them throughout the week. Give your kids some space. As for me? I think this probably is all spot on, and my own personal research backs it up. We\u2019re starting to discuss preschool these days, and the idea has really sparked Olivia\u2019s curiosity. As we were taking one of our nightly walks this week, Olivia said to me, \u201cMom, can I go school?\u201d \u201cYou wanna go to school this fall?\u201d I replied. \u201cYes, please!\u201d she shouted. \u201cI go school now?\u201d I\u2019ll take that as a sign.