Saturday 4 August 2018

Finding the balance between our different personalities over the holidays

The long summer holidays are always a big adjustment. At other times of the year we often go away for a week or two, but we tend to avoid travel over the summer and so for most of the time it's just the three of us at home. I love it - we enjoy chilling out at home with late bedtimes and no morning rush.

It's not easy though, because both of my children are very different when it comes to personality. Harry is like me, happy with his own company. He's able to entertain himself for ages - reading, building Lego or doing activities based on things from his books. Last week he built a computer using a matchbox filled with beads, and he spent ages teaching it to play noughts and crosses!

Mia on the other hand needs a lot more input from others to keep her entertained. The two of them will play happily up to a certain point, then there will be tears. Harry will have had enough, and Mia becomes frustrated that he no longer wants to play with her.

This means that Harry needs the time to retreat for a little. I learned about restorative niches a little while ago, and when I explained the concept to Harry he completely understood. It's basically the term for a place that you go when you want to return to your true self, either a physical or temporal place, and a way to take a break from whatever you are doing. For an introvert it's the chance to recharge.

I've told Harry that whenever he starts to feel overwhelmed, he's to tell me that he needs a restorative niche, and he can take himself off to his bedroom for some quiet time. Mia doesn't really understand why he needs this, so I've told her that when Harry needs a break we can have some 'Mummy time' to do something together. I'm also trying to make sure that I build restorative niches into our week, so a long day out with friends is followed by a quiet day at home.

It's also important for me to find time during the day for my own restorative niches. I am usually exhausted at the end of a day spent with the children, and I need time to myself to recharge. So Ram will often take the children by himself after dinner. If the weather is nice he'll take them for a walk down the beach and if it's not so good they'll watch a film together in the other room. It's a chance for me to sit with my book or cross stitch, and enjoy some peace and quiet.

I can also find quiet moments throughout the day. If we do an activity together - like playing a board game or doing a jigsaw - then afterwards they are content to amuse themselves for a little while. There are also always screens of course - if they've had a long gap from screens then I can guarantee myself a little bit of a break when they get them back!

Child reading in his bedroom

It's been a lovely few weeks so far of the holidays, and I'm very glad that we still have several more weeks to go. Even though it can be hard at times, I know that I'm so lucky to be able to spend this time at home with the children, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

1 comment:

  1. I like the term restorative niches much better than my boring you need space haha. I agree we all need it and with at least one child of ours on the spectrum and 2 the same age it's a must and we should really practice it more often here. Sounds like a nice start to the hols x


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