You may have read the title of this post and laughed especially if you are a mother of young children. What ‘Quiet time’??
I always describe my two as Mini tornadoes and that is the absolute truth particularly in the late afternoon they are little tornadoes circling throughout the house. My children don’t nap so it is vital that we have quiet time for my sanity, for the day to run smoothly but also for their benefit. It is the independent time I crave and need otherwise the entire house will turn into a Zoo with a exhausted Mama to a preschooler and a toddler who just wants to sleep!
Most afternoons in our home are self-directed, the children have learnt to entertain themselves, it gives them the unstructured free time they need and keeps our home running smoothly. In reality ‘Quiet time’ with young children may not be entirely ‘quiet’ but it is a learned skill. It will ‘look’ completely different to each family your children may play beside you, in the room or choose to be in a completely different room. Whatever meets their needs. Needless to say it isn’t always harmonious and blissful but that’s expected with young children!
In the society we live in being constantly busy is looked at positively, rushing from one thing to another there is an obsession with keeping busy. Children are rushed from one activity to another, and constantly stimulated. Children aren’t given the opportunity to be bored. Children need free, unstructured time they need time to do ‘nothing’. We need to honour the importance of unscheduled time. Too many scheduled activities may limit a childs ability to direct themselves and to fill their own time.
Boredom is a gift. Let your kids be bored, let them be. We live in a world where the word ‘boredom’ no longer exists and people compete to see who’s busier! Children need time to themselves to switch off, to daydream, pursue their own thoughts and occupations and discover personal interests and gifts.
‘Quiet time’ increases their focus, attention, resets their little minds, and helps avoid periods of overwhelm. This allows young children to recharge and gives them valuable time to be alone with their thoughts. (Something most adults still struggle with) Children need to recharge to allow their minds to rest, and it is beneficial for their growing bodies.
In a fast paced society we live in children need to be able to sit with their thoughts and feelings. It helps build confidence, enables them to learn they can do things alone and that they are capable. It also increases creativity, builds independence and allows rest for Mama, a rested Mama is a happy Mama.
Quiet time gives us a break from each other and allows us to feel refreshed for the rest of the evening. It also allows me as a homeschooling mother time to think, recharge, pursue my interests, read, study or just to make a cup of tea and drink it whilst it’s still semi-warm!
Here’s to making downtime a priority of childhood again.
Do you practice ‘Quiet time’ in your home? What does it look like? We would love to hear from you!