I seem to feel an increasing trend that “wearing out” our kids is going to help their sleep, attention and sense of stillness. The irony; run them ragged, and young kids, especially boys (supposedly), will mellow to a degree. I must admit, I have been one of those mums.
Come 9am, the need to get out of the house becomes an increasing pressure. By 9:30 if we are not out of the house, the tantrums, the bickering, the upsets and the whining seem to somehow escalate a notch. Having then been to the park or a ride on our bikes, come 11:30 am, the kids energy and exuberance seems to have mellowed a little. Hey, they have literally been “running wild”.
But the pressure and expectation to always be out in the mornings and run wild has been getting to me lately. I realise that “running wild” and “wearing the kids out” is actually sometimes not working in my favour and creating even more energetic, exuberant and vibrant children. Because the reality is, they are not learning to just be still.
You know that feeling of stillness – the one where children, homes, soulful energy just seem to flow and there is a feeling of relaxation with an essence of silence. The kids can entertain themselves, even at times play harmoniously together. No arguments. That is the stillness I am talking about. Everyone seems to just be “chilled”.
And I just recently experienced it. Nine am, they were playing nicely outside. One was in the sandpit, the other on the trampoline. Occasionally they would come together to check what the other was doing, and then return to their little activity accordingly at their own pace. They sat together, they snacked together, while I stood back and put my presence in when needed. It wasn’t that often. They were still in their own little environment.
I realised then and there that children need down time, still time and time to just be at home. Just being at home. Nothing else. Because sometimes being at home, appreciating the surroundings and learning to be still is more important then “running wild”. Their energy is in fact being burnt in other ways.
So what can you do to create stillness in your home:
1. Set a morning or afternoon aside each week where you are at home. No one comes over, nothing overly exciting happens. It is just being at home.
2. Create activities that allow children to concentrate, think and be in the moment. Threading beads, playing with sand, building sand castles.
3. Have a game of outdoor cricket. Because although you might be running the kids wild, everyone is involved in healthy outdoor activity of yelling, family interaction, running and concentration.
So have a think about how bring stillness into your home? What does stillness mean to you?
Do you have down days at home?