There are two types of people. Those who enjoy quiet time and those who try and fill up their quiet time with ‘noise’.
My sister, my cousin Shanti (whose name means peace), my mom.. we are all in the former category. We relish our quiet time. We joke we could spend an hour just staring at the wall. Without the internet or telephone or even a book or newspaper. We have no real desire to fill up our quiet time with conversation or entertainment. People often mistake this as being distant, aloof, depressed or arrogant. This is far from the truth. If we are in a situation where we do have to talk then we enjoy it very much, so we are not crazy social recluses or anything (if you have met me, then you would not say I was a quiet person).
So, as you can imagine, people who are the opposite of us, we find quite fascinating. In some ways we admire their capacity to fill up their lives with ‘noise’, their joie de vivre, their almost manic enthusiasm.
Do you enjoy your quiet time? Or do you fill it up with phone calls, baking or whatever else suits your fancy?
What about children then? I do believe that children need quiet time. Not to be confused with nap time. Quiet time is where they spend time, by themselves, reading or playing quietly. I think quiet time is the best way to allay boredom . I have run into kids who are constantly bored. They have all the toys and electronics and gizmos but they are still bored. And I see their parents try to remedy their boredom by filling up their time with an activity. I say do the opposite. If your child is bored, let them get really bored. Don’t buy them another toy… take away one of the toys they have. Give them a notebook, a pencil and an hour to themselves. Let them spend some quiet time in their rooms. Or if their rooms are too filled with distracting stuff, then let them spend quiet time in your room.
I think being quiet and enjoying spending time with yourself is a great life skill! It is a skill that will serve them well in the future. They will learn to enjoy a ride in the bus or train or car, be able to sit in a park and look at the clouds or just simply watch other people. All without the assistance of a Nintendo or iPhone or iPad or whatever gadget it is that they need to keep from getting bored. As they get older, they will be able to sit with their thoughts, think things out, analyze situations and just be.
But they have to practice first. And practice a lot while they are young.
Do your children get quiet time? What do you think? Is it important?