This mom has the internet divided over her imposed hour-long “silence period” during the family vacation. The single mom is trying her best to raise her kids well, but her methods have started an online debate. Is a strictly regulated down time really necessary for the little ones?
This mom went on a holiday with her kids to Menorca. The nine-year-old and six-and-a-half-year-old were obviously very excited to have some fun in the sun, and they undoubtedly wanted to involve their mother in everything they do. There was consistent storytelling, attention-grabbing, and jumping all around. Their mom still wanted to enjoy a bit of the holiday herself, so she imposed the silent time.
Sometime during the day, the mom imposed an hour-long time of silence. She strictly regulated it—admitting on Mumsnet that she would shush her kids whenever they tried to talk to her during the hour. She even describes her own method as brutal, but she believes it was necessary. If there’s no strict rules on silent time, then the attention-grabbing will never stop. After explaining her situation, this mom opened the floor for opinions on her decision.
Many were sympathetic, adding that they know that it’s hard to distract the children. While silent time is a good tool, those who agreed with it believe that an hour is too long. It could pose dangers, as a child will be reluctant to tell their parent that they need water, got hurt, or are upset by something. Users who agreed with silent time also recommended having an activity for them to do instead of simply sitting there in silence. It helps everyone wind down from the activities of the day.
There were also many critics of the mom’s use of silent time. Especially because a parent’s attention is everything to a child, consistently shushing them and ignoring them can make them feel anxious and unwanted. Many commented that the believe this mom is being unreasonable, and the shushing is too harsh. Instead of having a forced silent time, her critics suggested providing other distractions that don’t need to involve her full attention: a film, a book, iPad games, etc.