Parenting How-To: Establishing Family Quiet Time
If four months of quarantine and social distancing has taught us anything, it's that finding moments of quiet time to yourself are rare--if not--impossible to achieve. But with more months of lockdown potentially in our future, it's essential to carve out quiet time, not just for yourself but for the whole family. Quiet time is also good for the kiddos. Some screen-free time will benefit everyone involved. Finding time to reset and decompress, even if it's just half an hour out of the day, will make you better equipped to deal with the chaos of multitasking childcare with work, meal prep, house cleaning and all of the other roles and responsibilities you're taking on during this time.
Some major benefits of family quiet time are:
- It's boredom that leads to creativity. Quiet time gives kids a chance to let their imaginations run wild.
- Without any digital distractions, this time will help increase their focus and attention.
- Constant activity and background noise could interfere with the brain's ability to process emotions.
- This is your chance to take a breather too and allow for some downtime.
(Photo courtesy of @my.life.with.triplets)
Designate family quiet time
Gather the family around for a meeting and explain to the kids that each day at 4pm (or whatever time you choose) will be designated for quiet time. Lay down some ground rules as to what that means and what activities are allowed at this time.
Quiet time guidelines:
Here are some ways to help parents find moments of stillness when the whole family is always around.
- Make sure kids are fed, any diapers are changed and potty breaks have been taken before you start quiet time.
- Designate this as a "no asking for help" time. Maybe, just maybe, your little one will figure out that she can tie her shoe on her own.
- Use your quiet time wisely. Whether that means a yoga session, a bath, a long walk, answering emails or even taking a nap, this is your time to refresh or knock some things off your to-do list.
- Set a timer. This way the kids won't ask the dreaded: "Is it time yet?"
- Rely on your DockATot to provide a comfy and safe resting spot during quiet time. It's portability means you can even have quiet time outside in the shade.
If things don't go perfectly during your new designated family quiet time, don't give up on it. Be persistent with your kids and keep trying. Once you have an official time during the day when everyone is able to recharge and refresh.