I took my sacred bath and my kids were screaming and not respecting my quiet time for 20 minutes. They are 7 years old and 5 years old but at this point they can do quiet activities for a period of time like an hour, when they want to. Usually they attain this silence when they are promised a reward. But there are times when our son Noble goes into the bottom of his bunk bed with the curtains we put on there and reads in his fort. He says he likes, ‘his relaxing quiet time’ when he chooses it. It is more challenging when myself or another adult is asking for it and it isn’t his idea. It’s a matter of his mood and boundary setting which I guess is a normal struggle at that age.
Still, my sacred bathing is my only ‘me time’ and developmentally I would like them both to practice quietly entertaining themselves for 20 mins. I figure it is potentially a win-win situation—self-mastery for them and me-time for me—as long as they are safe of course.
Normally they do pretty well with this but at times they don’t care and choose to run around and yell. I decided to be strict around this daily activity and to put them in their rooms in time-out if they could not do it in the living room together.
I smiled at the pun that my time-out (positive) is their ‘time-out’ (a more negative association). But, I also started musing how little our culture (especially in NYC) values quiet time. One study proved that people would rather electrically shock themselves than be left alone with their thoughts. This is rather frightening. Sometimes I think that other than sleep the library is the only place we are expected to be quiet. I think that’s a mistake. What better, safer place to be than with yourself! We need to practice and relearn this.
So, while I do this daily in my sacred bath my kids practice in the living room, drawing or reading. I suggest that you practice time out regularly too…in your sacred bath.
Buy my book, The Book of Sacred Baths’ and you will get 52 bath rituals that you can do, one for every week of the year. Even better, do them for 20 minutes daily like me!
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