Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Importance of Quiet Time

I just woke up from a big, fat nap (one that could've been fatter). 
And no I don't make it a habit of napping (only on Sundays).

As soon as I was out of my room the kids started in on their chores.
Thank God for the kids were quiet while I napped.  I am fighting a cold.
Anyway, my mind was drawn to the need of quiet time.
The need of teaching our kids to be quiet and enjoy quiet time.
While I am no expert on child rearing, I have been a parent for over a decade.

From I very early age we have taught our kids to be quiet, to learn to do quiet things.
We didn't set out on doing this.  It didn't even dawn on that we were even doing this until years later when I read about it on a blog.  It just happened, maybe because I tend to be more of a quiet person.  Maybe because my parents knew how to be quiet. 

This concept was again sparked by a conversation I had in WalMart (the offical meeting place in our town) with a dear homeschooling friend.  We talked for like two hours!  (Both of us needing time away!)  Ugh the stares we got for blocking people's way!  I digress, we got on the topic of "hyper" kids.  We both have known kids how would or do fall under the catergory of ADHD, at times my own.  My thoughts ran quickly to classmates our kids had, etc.  I thought these kids just don't know how to be still and quiet.  (Please understand I am speaking in generalizations here, your child may be totally different.)

I don't really have a step-by-step/how-to guide but I do know that it does start when they are really young.
Here's what we did:
We always read to them.  Of course the younger they were the shorter the book and brighter the pages.  One of the highlights of our day is me reading to the kids to this day.
We took them outside.  I remember the walks we took.  Alot of walks while they were in the stroller.  We'd stop and talk to neighbor sometimes. 
I also would pick flowers with them, pick up a pile of leaves and watch them fall. 
We would sit watch birds.
My hubby and I each had our own quiet thing we did, in front of the kids.
I even do quiet things now even if there's laundry or dirty dishes.  Sometimes I need to sit and be quiet (read or blog) before tackling the house work.

We haven't overbooked our kids.  They have plenty of time to explore on their own.  For our daughter that has been coloring, writing, reading, and now music.  For son, it is playing outside (he has just spent almost two days on the roof), legos, drawing, reading (he will take the encyclopedias to bed).
We made them sit still in church.
I took them to story time for YEARS at the library.  I was sad when they didn't want to go anymore!
They don't have cell phones or tvs.
They do listen to music and/or stories.
We listen to stories on the radio as a family, like the old days.

Like I said "quiet time" was never an official time or thing in our house more of a learned behavior. 
To me it has given them a balance in our fast paced life. 
It has given them a chance to get a better sense of who they are. 
When you're quiet you have to focus, which can be hard in this media drenched world. 
You have to be alone with who you are. 
You also learn self-control and respect for others' space and time.
Everyone needs to unwind, if you can't be quiet and or have some quiet what will you do.

I hope this helps you.  I also, know you can start this with older kids.  The older they are the harder it may be, but well worth it.  Just don't tell them you're doing it. 

Again, thanks for reading!  You guys are great!  P.S. all photos from the internet.


Haynay said...

Thanks for sharing! I totally thought this yesterday while trying to nap, but instead I noticed all the "sounds" of my house!?!? It was quite nice! And then today, I have just needed quiet...No tv on today. I've decided to do the housework to just music, and not turned up loud. Sometimes, our souls need peace and quiet!?!?

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Man-- I'm just trying to think on how I can implement this in my home. 3 out of 4 of my kids can be very calm. But one specific child. . .whoo. He just gives me a run for my money. He doesn't have ADHD or anything, although people might think he does. I think I just need to treat him differently, work differently with him, but I'm not sure how. Hmm.

alamama said...

Mandi, ask God for wisdom. He will give it. Our kids are opposites and one really gave us a run for our money when younger.

Ami said...

Powerful insight- thanks for sharing!