Establishing a quiet time routine for your children can be quite helpful to their development. Our fast-paced society is very stimulating. This can be especially true for children since they are constantly exposed to new information. However, in order to make sense of the information, children need to process what they are learning. They do this best in an environment with little to no additional stimulation. In fact, daily quiet time provides a number of benefits for children.
What Is Quiet Time
Quiet time refers to a scheduled period of time during the day for your child to engage in independent activities with little external stimulation. During this time, electronic devices should be limited. Your child should be encouraged to entertain themselves in a safe area. Often, quiet time can take place in a child’s bedroom. Young children might benefit from a timer that goes off when quiet time ends. If you have children that are close in age, you will want to make sure they each have a separate area to use for quiet time. Once your children give up their naps, quiet time is appropriate for all ages. Quiet time usually lasts for at least 30 minutes, and sometimes up to an hour or longer, depending on the needs of your child. While it might seem like a break for you, quiet time also provides important benefits for your child.
How To Establish Quiet Time
Young children often benefit from a schedule. When there is a consistent routine, kids can feel more secure. It is helpful to incorporate quiet time into your child’s schedule every day. This is a good idea for children of all ages, from two to eighteen. For teenagers, you can call it mindfulness, or meditation time. It will even be beneficial for you to try. Wherever you decide to have your child engage in quiet time, make sure there are safe things for them to use creatively. Establish some rules around the use of electronics so your children will get the most out of their time alone. You may want to let your child know what is and is not appropriate during their quiet time. Such as leaving the area before the timer goes off, damaging things, or being too loud. Your child will benefit in many ways by having a scheduled daily quiet time.
It Helps Them Process
Children are constantly learning. They are often bombarded by new information, or old information being used in a new way throughout the day. Receiving information is only a part of the learning process. Kids also need to make sense of this information by processing it. Quiet time gives children a chance to process, organize, and synthesize new information. This helps deepen their learning. Time resting, but awake, helps kids solidify the things they’ve learned throughout the day. Quiet time provides an opportunity for this solidification to occur.
Scheduled quiet time enables children to engage their imagination. Imagination and quiet time help creativity flourish. When kids engage in quiet time, their attention, focus, and creativity increase. They learn how to manage boredom and turn it into an opportunity to problem-solve. Your brain doesn’t shut down during quiet time. In fact, it is busy actively evaluating and internalizing information. Without a lot of external stimulation, children are able to tap into their innate creativity. Since quiet time is unstructured, kids are able to become very creative as they let their imagination take charge.
It Helps Them Recharge
Engaging in quiet time each day gives kids an opportunity to recharge. When they have time away from stimulation, kids can become more tolerant of others, and more patient in general. A little time reflecting on their experiences helps them gear up for the new things to come. Providing a scheduled quiet time for your children can also decrease their tantrums as they feel more refreshed and recharged afterwards. When your child is recharged, it’s a lot more relaxing spending time with them.
Feelings Are Better Understood
Kids are able to understand, tolerate, and even regulate their emotions more effectively when they have quiet time every day. It can be hard for a lot of people to sit with their thoughts and understand their feelings. When children have scheduled quiet time, they have time to sit with their feelings and let them be felt. This enables them to acknowledge what they are feeling, differentiate their feelings, and process their feelings. Good mental health habits can be established, and symptoms of anxiety and depression can decrease, when kids have time to sit with their feelings.
It Helps Them Self-Soothe
While your children will naturally turn to you for comfort, self-soothing is an important skill for kids to learn. Quiet time provides an opportunity for your child to learn to manage boredom and comfort themselves. This way, they can learn to calm down and better regulate their emotional responses. When a child is able to self-soothe when they feel distressed, they are often more willing to try new things. This can help them build their self-confidence and can increase their self-esteem.
Mindfulness, being fully present in the moment without judging what is happening, is a great skill for children to practice. Quiet time provides an opportunity for kids to be mindful. Practicing mindfulness helps improve emotional well-being and provides a sense of inner calm. While young kids are naturally good at mindfulness, practicing mindfulness can be especially helpful for teenagers. Mindfulness activities such as meditation and yoga can help children feel more grounded and more self-aware.
These are some of the benefits that your child will experience when they participate in quiet time. When children are able to find calm in the midst of chaos, the benefits will be long lasting. By establishing a daily quiet time, you give your children the gift of peaceful solitude that they can utilize throughout their life.