There’s nothing wrong with being active and involved. In fact, participating in team activities and programs designed to improve academic performance, like Bricks 4 Kidz® After-School Classes, builds self-confidence and teaches kids to work with others. But with busy schedules, it becomes even more important for everyone in the family to have some time to themselves. Since time alone is essential for mental and emotional health for both children and adults, try some of these ideas to help every member of your family find some alone time.
1. Set time for quiet time. Sometimes just putting something on the calendar or to-do list makes it more likely to happen. So schedule in 15-30 minutes a day for each family member to do their own thing. This could be a chance to read a new comic book for the kids, the chance to listen to some music for the teens, and maybe time to listen to absolutely nothing for Mom and Dad.
2. Have designated quiet time spaces. We tend to think of sending kids to their room as a form of punishment, but sending everyone to their room can be the perfect place to be alone. If you have kids sharing a room, then you might have them alternate who gets the room for quiet time and who gets to curl up in a reading nook or other quiet spot in the house. (For young ones, build a simple fort out of a card table and a sheet. Add a flashlight and maybe a snack, and they’ll be all set!)
3. Have quiet time rules. Sometimes, emergencies or other things that can’t be put off do come up. Make sure your kids understand the rules of quiet time. They can’t disturb you or someone else with a random question. They can disturb you if they get hurt or sick.
4. Take it outdoors. And quiet time doesn’t have to be spend indoors. Head outside to soak up some vitamin D while you relax. Or maybe alone time really isn’t practical for your family. Maybe you have young children who can’t be left alone. Have the entire family head out for a walk around the neighborhood. Or just head to the backyard to let the kids chase fireflies while you relax in a lawn chair or hammock.
5. Turn off the electronics. Finally, to take full advantage of the benefits of alone time, have your kids unplug for a little while. And it’s important for Mom and Dad to set a good example and do the same thing. Answering those work emails can wait for half an hour. If it’s important, the person calling will leave a message. If necessary, set up an electronics box where family members can deposit phones and other devices until quiet time is over.