If you've got kids, you already know that finding time to yourself can be an enormous challenge. As your children grow up, the demands on your time may change, but won't ease up all that much. The constant daily pressure you're under isn't healthy for you or your children, and you'll need a strategy to let everyone relax and learn to work together to achieve some peace.
One great way to make your day a little more manageable is to create a "quiet hour" for yourself and your children. By creating a routine that the whole family can follow, everyone will benefit from a daily break that'll help them stay on track. Here are 5 reasons to hold a "quiet hour" in your home, and how to make it happen:
No Man (Or Woman Or Child) is an Island
While it's true that nobody's ever truly alone, sometimes we all need time to ourselves to refocus our thoughts and keep ourselves sharp and productive. This is true of your children, too. By defining a quiet hour at home, you'll help your children learn how to handle being alone, and teach them to develop their own interests. You can get your children on board with a quiet hour by letting them know that they're free (kids love not being told what to do) to spend the time as they choose, as long as it's a quiet activity. They can draw, read, or play with their favorite toy. They're only limited by their imagination. Letting them have self-directed time will teach them to be independent while giving you a much-needed break.
Getting Along Without Nap Time
As your children get older, they typically stop taking regular naps (like my 2 year old decided to do already:(). They don't however, lose the tendency to get cranky when they're kept busy all day. A quiet hour will take the place of a nap by giving the whole family time to rest and relax. Taking breaks help us work more efficiently and think more clearly, and that's a positive for everyone.
Asking Kids to do Nothing is Still Something
Surprisingly, establishing a routine that includes a quiet hour helps kids adjust to following a schedule. You'll find that they'll come to enjoy and look forward to having time to themselves. Since quiet time is a "house rule", they'll start to understand that not all rules need breaking. This simple realization will help your kids to complete whatever tasks that are required of them with less fuss and pushback.
Quiet Time as a Bridge to Bedtime
If you have a schedule that doesn't lend itself well to a quiet hour during the day, it's still an excellent practice to start before bedtime. These days, kids (and adults) spend large parts of their days looking into the screens of computers, smartphones, and tablets. The trouble is, it turns out that it's disruptive to our sleep patterns. If your quiet hour includes a prohibition of electronics, having it right before bedtime will help your children to unwind and get ready to have a proper night of restful sleep.
Parents Have Needs Too
You already know all of the ways that a quiet hour can benefit your children, but what about you? Keeping up with all of your responsibilities can be impossible when you're busy chasing kids around. Having a defined hour each day when you'll be able to catch up can make a huge difference in your life. You'd be surprised how relaxing and therapeutic cleaning, laundry, and cooking can be when you are able to do them at your leisure. Quiet hour is also a great time to put your feet up, have a cup of tea and read all of the great books you've never quite gotten around to. Once you get into the quiet hour habit, you'll never look back.