Silence is golden—even for kids

Children older than about 4 benefit from learning how to be silent (for little ones it is next to impossible). We learn to be comfortable with ourselves; we give others a break from our chatter; we may even hear the voice of God. Some ideas:

• Send kids to their rooms, not as a punishment but as a place to go. They may do anything they want for a half hour—but no TV, computer, or iPod. Make sure there are art supplies, writing supplies, or building materials.

• No talking until the next stoplight. When arguments flare in the car, declare a moratorium on talking until a certain landmark.

• Take kids to Eucharistic Adoration; stop into an empty church for 10 minutes. Sit, kneel, or walk around the church in silence.

by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Here’s a sample issue.

One Response

  1. With five years as a childcare teacher plus other work with children, and a degree in child development, I have learned and practiced ways to get children four and younger to “unwind.” Of course, the practice of bedtime story is very beneficial ~ a book, not a video. Actually, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no videos or TV for children before age 3. Practical reality does not always accommodate the ideal, so if the young child is wound up after dinner, an “imagination vacation” might work. The concept is based on how meditation works for adults, but the adult leads in this case. I’ve used this for great success: lay flat on the floor, and have child(ren) do so as well. Say something like: “Close your eyes ~ pretend you are laying on a cloud ~ what do you see? A bird?” etc. Let your imagination take you to a gentle place of relaxation. This exercise does wonders on many levels, including calming the hyper-energy that can take a young child where they don’t need to go. Can also be used in many various ways to help children “see” an experience of Bible stories.

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