How To Create Quiet Time Into A Busy Family Life
The biggest challenge that every busy family has with young children or teenagers is creating more downtime, more quiet time and more deeper connection time.
Quiet Time is a simple way for everyone in the family to experience more calm less chaos, more fun less fighting in their daily or weekly routine. I have witnessed huge benefits in many of the families I have taught Quiet Time to. The parents and children feel much more relaxed, more confident and content.
Quiet Time can be many things but even a few minutes of meditation at Quiet Time can help everyone feel so much more relaxed, calm, peaceful , happier and healthier. This time is for everyone and should be a time for listening and sharing. Each person should get a set time where they share how they are feeling and what happened in their day, everyone should really listen without judgement and then move on to the next family member and so on…It is ideal just before or after dinner, a saturday or sunday afternoon before activities.
Most parents and families have found the quality time they have gained from applying Quiet the Time strategies invaluable in their relationships with their kids and as a simple way to reduce family stress and conflict.
After a few months parents comment on how more happy, confident everyone seems to be and how they seems to experience more calm time in their day.
When we are caught up in the anxiety and stress cycle, our fear brain takes over with unhealthy distorted thoughts that increase emotional outburst, anger and frustration.
When we spend more time relaxing our calm brain recognises there is enough time for all that is important. We become more focused and effective with each tasks and we spend less time distracting ourselves with things that are not as healthy or important for our needs.
So many of us don’t recognise overly stimulated kids and teenagers. This leads to seriously increased anxiety and stress levels, a lot of confusion and fear which leads to various unhealthy behaviours some destructive, self- sabotaging and sadly in very severe cases self harm. This is a particular challenge for highly sensitive kids and teenagers with autism or aspergers tendencies.
3 Important Guidelines for Quiet Time
- Quiet Routine: It is so much easier to incorporate family quiet time when you have a set a daily or weekly routine for it, that everyone knows about. Structure helps create healthy routine and boundaries. Set a daily or at least weekly time when you all agree to unwind and slow down. This is a time where you simply be, rather than do. This is a great time for everyone to take their time, to share how they are feeling and their stories of their day or week.The No1 Rule is each person gets a time to speak, everyone else has to listen without disturbing them. It encourages healthier listening skills, awareness, healthier communication and family bonding.
- Quality Time: Choose a time that will cause the least resistance e.g. before or after meals, just before bedtime, a Saturday or Sunday when no one has commitments, no special activities e.g. football games, parties and those time your teenager is more likely to be home… Quiet Time doesn’t have to be at home, around the table, it can be achieved going for a calm quiet walk, even going out for dinner can introduce some quiet time as everyone gets a chance to speak and be listened to for example before your meal arrives..
- Switch OFF: It is important during Quiet Time that everyone switches off all mobile phones and other technological devices such as computers, laptops, i-pads, game devices…These devices over stimulate the mind and make it difficult for us to relax, rest and experience a healthy calm especially in kids and teenagers who are more sensitive to stimuli and addictive habits. It is important to have everyone’s undivided attention.