Keep The Kids Busy

IMG_6146One thing I’ve learned with my children is that they behave better when they’re kept busy. When there’s been an excess of bickering, fighting and mischief, it’s usually due to my being preoccupied with something other than my children (Facebook, anyone?). While they wander unmonitored, trouble brews.

One way to keep the kids busy is to come up with activities for specific blocks of time. This takes planning and strategizing, but it will be seeds for a more peaceful home.

In our house we have School Time, Pick Up Toys Time, Lunch Time, Play Time, Writing Practice Time, Reading Time, Drawing/Coloring Time, Puzzle Time, Clean Up Kitchen Time, Chore Time, Movie Time, etc.  Giving the kids a sense of structure and organization reigns in their behavior and attention.

Even if I enter my day unplanned, I can still turn it around by announcing, “Okay everyone, it’s Lego Time!” Get everyone focused on the same activity. Then plan out the next few hours, and do your best to stay a couple of steps ahead of your children. Approach each new activity with excitement, expecting each little person to participate. This will promote unity, and discourage complaining if they know they all have to do it together.

Another way to keep your kids busy is to have them work with you. Teach them to participate in the chores you do. If they complain about having to work, be even more adamant about them completing their chores until it’s so common they expect work to be a normal part of their day.  Not only will they stay out of trouble, but they’ll get a head start on developing a good work ethic!

She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

Six Benefits Of Quiet Time

IMG_8463I once heard a mother of 8 talk about how surprised we’d all be at how quiet her house is. Every day they had a quiet time where everyone went to their rooms and were to read and be quiet for a specific amount of time. Once my kids were growing out of the dependency of infancy, I started to enforce a quiet time, too. The more kids I had, the more vital Quiet Time became! We have Quiet Time virtually every day. After a playtime in the afternoon, all the children go to their beds. The littlest ones will nap, while the older ones will read or play quietly. And now, I thank Jesus for Quiet Time, because it’s such a refreshing time of the day!

  1. RESTED MAMA.It gives you a chance to rest! As as a stay-at-home mom, you are on-call 24/7. Any other on-call job will pay you double, while letting you rest until they need you. Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap in the afternoon to get energized. It may take that edge off and allow you to wake up with a little more patience.
  2. SILENCE. It gives you a moment to catch your breath. Drink in that quiet! Even if you’re working during quiet time, you will feel refreshed by that wonderful, giving silence.
  3. TACKLE A PROJECT. It gives you a chance to do that one thing that just can’t be done around the little guys. Do you need to take chemicals out to finish a project or clean the bathroom? Maybe you need to have your thoughts to yourself to read a book, do your devo’s, or write an email.
  4. RESTED CHILDREN. It encourages your tired children to sleep. Everyone knows that tired children are cranky children. Some preschool age children may be phasing out of nap time. If they have quiet time, they have an opportunity to rest or fall asleep if they need to. This usually results in happy, rejuvenated children before dinnertime!
  5. READING. It encourages reading! We all know that reading is a “smart” hobby to form. After all, readers are leaders. I give my preschool and kindergarten-aged children a stack of books and tell them they need to read for the first hour of quiet time. After that, they may draw, color, or play with a couple toys for the remainder of the time.
  6. EXERCISED IMAGINATIONS. It encourages quiet self-entertaining play. For the second hour of quiet time, I usually let my children play with a toy, color, or draw in bed. Whatever it is, they need to be quiet about it. I usually steer away from any sort of media/electronics during this time since I’m aiming to help them exercise their imagination, and increase their ability to self-entertain.