I would say that for the most part I am a pretty relaxed mom. Even when the kids were little and other moms were fretting over dirty pacifiers, unexplained rashes, and strict schedules, I was the mom without the packed diaper bag, sipping her coffee and wondering when the kids ate last. I couldn’t maintain a routine if my life depended on it.
Now that the kids are older, I think it’s pretty much the same. I am still showing up places unprepared, and scrambling to make dinner. And that rash? It will eventually go away right? There is one thing in our home though, that I have always enforced, and am kind of a stickler about:
I don’t care if you are two or fourteen. If you live in my home, you will most certainly incorporate either a nap or a quiet time into your day. No exceptions.
Because a quiet time is so good. It encourages rest, which growing bodies need. It encourages room to think, reflect and process. It encourages my children to discover their likes and dislikes. It allows my little introverts a break from their extroverted siblings to recharge. And it is great for this Mama to get a little bit of breathing room in the middle of the day!
So what does a quiet time look like for us?
Almost every day, usually mid-afternoon, I announce that it is quiet time. Each kid willingly heads to their respected rooms or designated spaces. My girls share their room so usually one will head there, and the other will take residence in the family room.
People are always surprised that my kids don’t put up a fight over quiet time. But they have learned to like the time by themselves. It’s not a punishment, but a time set aside for them to do the things that they want to. They genuinely enjoy it.
I always give them a time frame. Most days all they need is 20-30 minutes to recoup and re-energize. If we are having a particularly difficult or tiring day, I may up it to 60 minutes but never longer than that. I have learned that in order for them to embrace the quiet time, they need to know how long it will be, and I need to be good at sticking with whatever time I originally set. Most days they extend the quiet time on their own or invite their sibling into their space to continue with whatever they are doing.
There are only two rules in quiet time:
1. They have to be quiet.
2. No electronics. This rule is an easy one since electronics are already banned from their bedrooms.
They are welcome to read, draw, create, play, or sleep.
When they were really little they almost always slept. Nowadays they usually opt to create. I LOVE this. The quiet seems to give them permission to be creative and tap into their artistic sides.
There was a brief time this summer that I allowed quiet time to kind of disappear. I got a bit lazy about it but was finding my kids to be more antsy with each other and very grumpy. It was as if they were desiring space, but couldn’t articulate their needs.
Easy Fix? Quiet Times.
They enjoyed the time to breathe and just be, and the conflicts lessened.
So, I want to know. Do you do quiet times? What are you a stickler about in your home?