Special Quiet Time
Quote of the Week
““Spending time with your children
is one thing you’ll never regret.”” ~ Nurturing Life
SPECIAL QUIET TIME
“Look at me!” “Mom are you watching? are you watching? are you watching?” “Play with me.” “Let me see.” “I want to see.” “Up. Up. Up! UP!!!”
From the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning to the time the kids go to bed this was me. Mostly from my daughter. My son’s pretty good at self play. My daughter needed undivided attention all the time.
I started Positive Parenting Solutions just about a month ago. And there are many tools that I’m using. My favorite right now, is “When-Then”, but that’s for another day.
Today, I’d like to talk about what Amy calls, Mind, Body, Soul Time. It’s where you spend 15 minutes with one child at a time. They get to chose whatever it is they want to do (within reason) and you spend the 15 minutes doing that one thing with them, completely putting your Mind, Body, and Soul into it.
This is important because they know at a specific time each day they’re going to get your undivided attention and that’s enough for them to find other engagement throughout the day and to use less negative tactics to get your attention - like fighting with a sibling or doing something they’re not supposed to.
This apparently works for teens too. Helps you connect on things that they’re interested in and keeps the line of communication open without them feeling like your prying. Play a video game of their choice. Watch their latest YouTube videos they’re really into. Have a music listening party.
In my case, it really works! My daughter spends her day playing pretty much on her own. She asks for help for dress up or having something fixed, otherwise she dances around the house asking Alexa to play “Let it go” over and over again. Or she sits quietly in her room reading to her stuffies. Or she plays nicely with her brother.
I cook, get dishes done, fold laundry, shower (really excited about that last one).
Both my children play a bit nicer together. Less fighting. More sharing. They don’t use negative tactics to get my attention so overall there’s less tantrums. I’ve also been less reactive and more calm so that probably helps too.
For those nights where I’m super tired and I don’t have the energy to dance, build lego, or run cars around the living room, I grab one of these 5 Minute Snuggle Books. Three of these stories and we’re good to go! And we have so many of these books and each book has so many stories I don’t find myself stuck in a loop on the same one: Daniel Tiger, Avengers, Cars, Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, and the list goes on!
It’s a commitment. For it work I found you really have to be consistent. For us, it’s every night after dinner, before our bedtime routine. The kids are like clockwork. At 7PM, they are asking me to do our “Special Quiet Time.” Once you start, find a time that works for you, and don’t miss it.
I found it really hard to keep one child away while I try and play with the other. Amy says it’s really important for it to be individual. I found that the other child can participate. The child’s who turn it is gets to say what we do and I devote my attention to the child’s who turn it is. I also set alarms so they know when one ends and the other begins.
I also found that I could only play “Nutcracker” so much. Every night my daughter would say, “We change our names. I’m Clara and you’re the mother.” Then she asks Alexa to play The Nutcracker and we act the whole beginning of the ballet out. Lately she’s switched to playing out Frozen, so that’s something :-) I try and make suggestions, but that’s not really what this about. It’s about her interests and what she wants to do. Like I said up top, sometimes I can squeak through a night with a book, but I use that tactic sparingly because this isn’t about what I want to do.
FIND YOUR HAPPY MEDIUM
Like most of Positive Parenting Solution’s tools, there isn’t one silver bullet that makes everything better. This is just one of many and when you start to put the tools together change takes place. When trying Special Quiet Time/Mind Body Soul Time, like most new tactics, give it a real go - a whole week at least - before you decide it doesn’t help.
Before you even decide to try it decide if you need it. Apparently EVERYONE should be doing it according to Amy, but I really think it depends on your needs. If my son was my only child, and I naturally spent time with him throughout the day because there’s just one, I’m not sure I would need this. I have plenty of friends who have one kid that they spend time with easily each day. I have two kids who are the same age, and my time during the day between meals, working, and housework is super limited so carving out special time with each of them has really helped our individual relationships.
But that’s me.
You do you.
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