How 7 Parents Give Their Kids Unstructured Time

Aug 8, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Mother with child and baby
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1 /7: Allow Boredom

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Image: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

1/7 :Allow Boredom

2 /7: Send Kids to Their Room — To Play

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2/7 :Send Kids to Their Room — To Play

3 /7: Put It on Their Chore List

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3/7 :Put It on Their Chore List

4 /7: Instill It From an Early Age

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4/7 :Instill It From an Early Age

5 /7: Make It a Daily Ritual

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5/7 :Make It a Daily Ritual

6 /7: Read Their Cues

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6/7 :Read Their Cues

“My 7-year-old granddaughter lives with us, and as she’s gotten older, we’ve encouraged her to talk about her feelings and needs. She’s told us she needs time to center herself when she gets home. Since she innately knows she needs this space, we honor it rather than forcing our own agenda and timetable. For example, she came home the other day, excitedly said hello to everyone and then politely said she wanted us to just let her be by herself for a while. Us honoring her desire to be ‘set apart,’ as she puts it, has enabled her to develop the ability to notice and take appropriate action to regain a sense of control when she needs it.” —Debi, 60

7 /7: Avoid Overscheduling

Number 7 on a colorful background
Image: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

7/7 :Avoid Overscheduling