Today’s communication blog discusses one of the most important, often overlooked aspects related to communication: personal time. Many people realize good communication takes practice to execute properly. Relationships must be fostered to encourage good communication. We need time to evaluate our own communication skills when putting new strategies in play. However, realize that taking some personal time to use communication effectively and thoughtfully changes the game completely. It can reset a bad mood, turn around an unpleasant situation, and calm fires.
Today I would like to emphasize the importance of taking time for yourself, as well as some ways people fit personal time into their very busy lives. As mentioned above, taking time for yourself allows you to evaluate your communication skills as well as rest your body and mind. I am not saying that you need to spend hours dissecting a conversation, analyzing every word or gesture, but it is important to think about meaningful conversations from your life and learn from them. I think it is fair to say that parents want to give their families the best they have to offer. People require time to recharge, refuel, and rest so we can perform optimally.
The Value of Adult Personal Time
Personal time provides an opportunity to be by yourself or away from your family and kids. You may choose to take advantage of this time in many ways. It may allow you to:
- Evaluate a situation
- Practice better communication skills
- Spend time in silence, without any stimulation, especially noise
- Physically rest your mind and body
- Catch up on other relationships
- Write, sing, read, or other cathartic activities
- Pamper yourself
- Relieve emotional strain that you would not otherwise show your kids
- Be physically active, like working out
- Take part in hobbies
The Value of Personal Time for Children
Personal time for kids is time away from parents (and sometimes siblings). It is very natural for kids (toddlers and older) to go into their room or play area and close the door. This is their way of telling you that they want to be alone. Respect their wishes and leave them alone for a period of time. This time is an opportunity for them to:
- Physically and mentally rest
- Practice words, phrases, and sounds
- Stop negative behavior, or evaluate a negative situation, e.g. time out
- Spend time alone and away from parents and siblings
- Play with toys of their choosing, without sharing
- Experience silence and a stimulation-free time
It is very hard to fit in alone time when you have a family. The needs of the group often come before the needs of any individual. As I said earlier, it is extremely important to recharge your batteries to give your family and partner your best. I know a mom that loves taking her kids to sports in the afternoon because it means an hour to sit and read alone. I also know parents who wake up early to get in a workout or a cup of coffee before the rest of the family wakes up. Girls’ night out, football games with the guys, and date nights are all ways to pamper yourself and get some time in with your friends. I like to clean up after dinner alone. Even after a huge party, when everyone wants to help, I keep them out of my kitchen. A friend of mine goes into work early to read the paper. He doesn’t do work or clock in, just sits and enjoys some quiet time.
A great gift for your partner is some alone time. A night to themselves or a weekend day to do whatever is always appreciated, and hopefully they will reciprocate the gift! It gives them a chance to unwind while you get an opportunity to spend some one on one time with your kids. The next time you find yourself alone think about how great it is for you and how great it will be for your family.
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