These gorgeous carrot cake cookies on the blog: Deliciously Ella contain no nasty fats and are sweetened with date syrup. They’re easy and lovely, what more could you want?
How would you cope without any alone time all day? Can you imagine being at work all day, surrounded by people, asking questions, demanding of you. Then travelling home with friends, chatting away, getting through the door and your husband, house mate or mother immediately engages you in conversation. You don’t stop interacting all evening and then at bedtime you brush your teeth, while your spouse regales you with the events of their day and then you get into bed, turn out the light and try to go to sleep.
Now imagine doing that every day for the next year. When do you get time to just potter around, lost in your own thoughts? Get your head into a project undisturbed. Or to just soak up the nature out of the window, whilst washing up?
The website ‘Psychology today’ discusses this topic:
“Modern parents are almost obsessed with filling up their children’s time. There are after-school classes, team sports, camps, lessons. What’s often missing from the schedule is time spent alone. Alone time is not time spent unsupervised, necessarily. Depending on the age of your child, that may or may not be appropriate. Instead, alone time is time a son or daughter uses to learn how to entertain themselves or just relax, without help or input from parents, siblings, friends, or babysitters. It is a crucial aspect of the development of independence. In fact, studies show that children who know how to fill their time alone rarely feel isolated or lonely. Instead, they learn to be content with whatever situation is at hand and truly have fun being creative in the moment.”
Our children are seven years old now and when they were around five we decided to introduce some pre-bedtime alone time for them. Fifteen minutes before lights out when they are in their own bedroom doing something of their choice. They have come to love and rely on this time, often in the late afternoon if they have been doing an activity like drawing or making a card for someone and they have to stop for whatever reason, they will say “Can I do it in my fifteen minutes?” To which we smile inside and say, “of course!”
We agree at the end of their bedtime story the time that they will stop and get into bed, they each have a clock on their wall (it’s really helped them learn to tell the time too!), and we praise them for doing what we’ve agreed. It gives them that much needed alone time, with nobody demanding anything of them.
Tonight in their fifteen minutes Pip chose to build his Brio wooden train track and Flo was pottering around her room tidying it up, organising all her little bits and bobs, both happy and content in their own company.
My children love to draw but I have found that sometimes they just need a little inspiration to get going. I found a series of clips on YouTube of an artist and father who does art tutorials together with his own kids. My children loved them and proceeded to draw all afternoon, have a look, this one is a minecraft wolf…
An inspiring book, so much more than de-cluttering…it’s permeated our whole life, for the better. I came across it before Christmas when I was doing some thinking about what Christmas means to me. I came across his blog first: http://www.becomingminimalist.com which is a great blog with lots of inspiring information and fab links. I particularly liked the following post about non-consumer/material gifts for your children: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/35-gifts-your-children-will-never-forget/.
His book’s theme is about taking a good, honest look at what you own, thinking about whether you actually need it, learning from past unnecessary purchases and then being intentional about your future purchases. Realising that it’s about what we buy and why we buy rather than just organising how we store it. Life changing – for the better.
Before Christmas, it was bothering me that my children Pip and Flo (7yrs) were going to open their pressies from Father Christmas and – once they were all unwrapped – be slightly (if not very) disappinted, no matter how many they got! So I decided to do some research and try to move towards encouraging my children to find something more in Christmas than just getting stuff! I will share more about this towards (dare I say?!) next Christmas, but I did find some lovely ideas…