SLOC 2014: Downtime

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Not long ago, I found a link to a Today Show interview with clinical psychologist and parenting expert Wendy Mogel and teacher and writer Jessica Lahey about how to help children be creative. Mogel and Lahey both talked about how important it is for kids to have downtime and opportunities for unstructured play. Mogel stated that we “need to encourage our kids to really embrace creativity” and that “the best teachers of creativity are free time, nature, and mess.” Lahey, who blogs at Coming of Age in the Middle, followed Mogel’s advice with ways that her family tries to accomplish this. She shared that on the weekends they have two hours of “nap time, quiet time” when the devices are turned off and “everyone has to find something to do and be quiet doing it.”

Today, I took this advice to heart. After the breakfast dishes were cleared away and the laundry started, I curled up with Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. I have heard of Gladwell’s work and have read a few of his articles in The New Yorker, but somehow this is the first book of his I’ve read. It’s well-written and fascinating, and I was completely absorbed by the stories Gladwell told to support his theory.

I only feel slightly guilty for spending most of the day reading. I have plenty of professional books (not to mention other Slices!) I should have read, plenty of paperwork I should have done. It’s all waiting for me on my desk. It will be there tomorrow, and, thanks to today’s downtime, I’ll be ready to tackle anything.

Thank you, as always, to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

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8 thoughts on “SLOC 2014: Downtime

  1. Ah, I feel the same way. I spent a few hours reading yesterday and even though all the laundry didn’t get done, I feel much more able to face the next week of work. I firmly believe in downtime for children AND adults!

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  2. Outliers is in my to-read pile for my spring break this week! Looking forward to some shameless hours of book reading myself. I love the idea of screenless time each weekend!

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  3. I love that you took time for yourself today and read…I didn’t get a chance to do that today, even though I had a lot of family time, so that is good. Thanks for sharing this “Slice of Life” about your reading today!

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  4. I was thinking the word”guilty” before I read it in your writing and then I was sad that we feel this way just for taking a moment to be with ourselves and read an actual book. Good on you for doing what is good for you.

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  5. I did something similar last weekend and finally this week decided to let it go! So great that you could get some downtime and thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to feel guilty when I take the extremely rare, much needed, and well deserved ME time 🙂 Great post!

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