I encouraged my children to spend some quiet time each day when they were young. Well, that’s not exactly true…I required them to spend quiet time every day. It was on the to-do list that had to be completed before they were free to play. It was mandatory. With five kids, one may think I just needed some peace in order to keep my sanity. That was a nice benefit, but I actually have a strong belief that kids need to practice being quiet! And I don’t mean using ear phones to listen to music or play video games so no one else will be bothered. I mean real, true silence.
When the weather was nice, I sent all the kids outside. Each one found a private spot to be alone in the quiet. Sometimes they took journals or sketch pads and climbed into the branches of a tree or settled in a shady spot next to the shed. It really didn’t matter as long as the children were cut off from the craziness of the world, for just a bit. I wanted them to have the chance to hear their own thoughts and form their own ideas, and to pray. It’s really hard to pray in a high tech world. I set a timer then called them in when the buzzer sounded. They always seemed happy and energized upon returning. I never asked what they thought about or wrote about in their journals. I knew it was time well-spent.
As parents, we do our best to plant seeds in our young children. Then we pray the seeds take root. As my children grow into young ladies and men, I hope this is one of my plantings that truly stays with them. I hope they always remember the importance of being quiet.