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Friday, June 27, 2014

Teaching Your Child to Have a Quiet Time

(Today's post is by guest blogger, Delores Liesner, from Racine, WI. I saw a Facebook post she wrote about teaching her kids to have a daily quiet time with Jesus and thought it might be something you would enjoy as well.)

Even into adulthood, it was a challenge for me, a rather hyper personality, to sit still, even for a few minutes. I felt like a baby, taking little steps to get to know God’s voice and His character. Quiet times spent in prayer and reading my Bible calmed me, though, and I often spoke of them to our toddler saying things like, “Mommy is happy because she talked to Jesus this morning in her quiet time.” This way she understood that my behavior and attitude was being guided and changed by a quiet time with God. 

I wished I’d been taught this when I was a child, so I determined that our children would know the peace of spending time with God. It was actually quite simple.

A kitchen timer, a playpen, and a child-size picture Bible book enabled teaching our toddler the self-discipline of having a quiet time.  I’d set the timer, first for one minute, announcing that we were going to have a quiet time and talk to Jesus. I showed her my quiet-time book (my Bible) and sat quietly in her view, reading until the timer went off. The time was increased by a minute for five days, then it remained at five minutes for a week. 

Next, I told my daughter that Mommy was going to have her quiet time in her room. I turned on the timer and moved out of her line of vision.  As the daily quiet time increased to seven minutes, and finally the fourth week, to ten minutes, I alternated being in and out of the room for quiet times. When in the room, told her if she finished her quiet time first, she could continue to play quietly till Mommy was done. 

In addition to teaching respect for a quiet time, and imprinting the importance of personal time with Jesus, our daughter quickly learned to read and play quietly.

It took only a month, and I found our quiet times had more of an affect than I imagined. One day I was irritable and three-year-old Laurie looked up and asked, “Mommy, didn’t you have a quiet time today?” 

Do your children have a quiet time? How did you start it? What guidelines do you have in place for it?

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