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The Importance of Quiet

My husband used to tease me about arriving to work 30 minutes before my contracted time. As an elementary teacher, my days were filled with questions, noisy play, repeating myself, and constant demands for my attention. It wasn't until he pointed it out to me that I realize why I wanted to get to work early... it was for the quiet time in my classroom before starting my day.

Research has proven that taking time to experience silence provides multiple physical and mental benefits (such as lower blood pressure, relax muscle tension, and improve concentration and focus). Even if you do not always practice this as adults, most of us know we need to. But did you know that children *also* need quiet time?



Why is Quiet Time Important?

We tend to see children as being driven by a motor; they go and go until they finally crash. This is exactly what we want to avoid, because it teaches our children that over-stimulation is the normal and socially desired state. This leads to lower abilities to regulate emotions and contributes to our societal value of overworking. When the brain is constantly being over-stimulated, it goes into the "fight or flight" mode. This makes it difficult to use logic and regulate yourself. Quiet time is like a reset button!


By encouraging your child to engage in quiet time, you will build skills such as independence, emotional intelligence. self-regulation, and increase focus and processing abilities.


Tip:

Quiet time will look different for different children and different ages. Make sure to set appropriate expectations depending on the unique personalities and needs of your child.




What it Looks Like for Kids:


Elementary Aged:

  1. Playing independently alone in a room

  2. Reading a book or looking at pictures

  3. Making an independent art/craft project or coloring

  4. Laying outside and watching the clouds

  5. Going for a drive in the car or riding their bike independently

Older Children:

  1. Reading a book or magazine

  2. Sitting outside at a coffee shop or bakery

  3. Making an independent art/craft project or coloring

  4. Sitting alone in their room

  5. Hanging out by the pool

  6. Meditation or mindfulness apps or activities


It is important to note that screen time is *not* considered quiet time. Our brains become very stimulated from screen time, especially video games. Try to avoid these if your goal is relaxation.