The Magic of Quiet Hour
When time together needs a time-out, this strategy can work wonders.
A good friend of mine has home-schooled her children for years - long before the pandemic suddenly placed so many families in the same boat. Although she loves her children dearly, both she and the children struggled with too much togetherness. Switching back and forth from wearing her "mommy hat" to her "teacher hat" all while managing the household and activities of her three children became very stressful. Then she happened upon a golden idea: Quiet Hour.
Quiet Hour is a sacred hour of time each and every day when each family member spends time alone. No one is to interrupt another unless it is a real emergency. In my friend's house appropriate activities for her children were reading for pleasure, coloring and drawing, journaling, or napping. My friend built it into their day with the announcement that from now on they would have Quiet Hour at a certain time. To her surprise, no one argued or complained. The children settled into it and actually reported enjoying it. It was a respite from the constant noise of other voices, of lessons, of chores and other obligations. It was a time to hear themselves think and do exactly as they wished - within the parameters their mother delineated.
For my friend it was - magic! Suddenly, she had time to take a bath! Sometimes, she herself took a nap. When the hour was up, she felt refreshed and much better equipped to deal with the rest of her to-dos. She also found that the siblings got along together better. The alone time blunted the sharp edges constant togetherness can create. A calm emanated from that hour onward and softened the remainder of their day.
If you are interested in adapting a Quiet Hour into your routine, you might find the insights from this blog to be illuminating: learningmama.com