Carving Out Personal Space

My kids love people. They are fiercely loyal to their friends and will do anything for them. Family is a huge priority for both of them. My kids spend a lot of their time planning time with family and friends or writing them letters and drawing them pictures. That said, they are both sort of introverts. I find that once they have spent some time out socializing, they both need alone time. Carving out a bit of personal space for my kids every day is essential to their well-being, which we discovered at a very early age and they are now quite vocal about. Down time is a very real necessity to each of them- just like it is for Josh and I. Even school is a lot for them. I try to keep their schedule flexible and only put in one play-date a week during the school year, if that, because they need their time after school to regroup.

We have found a couple of things that benefit their introvert nature.

  1. I put down time as a part of their chore schedule. It is written right on there that one of their “chores” is 20 minutes of alone time to play quietly, read or draw. They seem to need the permission to take that time for themselves. They aren’t allowed screen time until they have taken that time- including television, video games or the like- because we are “those parents”, haha. My son usually plays quietly with his Lego or Duplo but sometimes he will draw. My daughter usually reads a novel but sometimes she will write a story or letter. I love how creative they choose to be in their alone time. Sometimes they are super crabby and “peopled out” but won’t admit it to themselves. On those days, I sort of have to impose alone time on them.
  2. I designated a reading corner. You can find tons of ideas on Pinterest. My son, who is five years old, prefers to sprawl out on the floor with a pillow or a blanket to look through his books, so I went to (evil) Walmart and bought hgirl reading aloneim an extra large fuzzy pillow. My daughter, who is eight years old and now reads chapter books, prefers to be in a fort or enclosed space to read. I made a fort for her out of old curtains and an embroidery ring but I need to tweak it because she says she wants to lay down without tearing it down….so we will work on it. Many similar ideas exist on Pinterest if you search “reading nook”. Isabella’s is so cozy I kind of want one for myself!
  3. We started to meditate. Last year, my kids were both really into it for awhile and then we stopped because we got too busy. This year, we picked it up again to help the kids focus in school and to give their over-peopled brains some downtime. They are NOT into it. I am still searching for a guided meditation app that the kids don’t hate. So far the winner is the Stop, Breathe and Think app or their GoNoodle relaxation exercises. I really need to encourage them to meditate a bit more often. I am going to use the suggestions for “meditations that don’t feel like meditating for kids” suggestions that I have found on the internet. What did we do before the internet?? My childhood was an internet free zone and I am not sure how we did it!

So that’s what I am thinking about today.

Do you have introverted kids?

What does your family do for down-time?

Have you ever set up a reading nook or reading corner?

Feel free to leave comments below!

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