As a homeschool Mom it is so easy to let my days become rushed and chaotic with schoolwork, housework, extra curricular activities and such. In an effort to fit in all of the “important stuff”, I sometimes forget to take a breather with my children and just sit down and talk, laugh, or simply be together.
A few years ago I was introduced to a delightful solution to this problem – Tea Time. We began setting aside a special time one afternoon a week to sit down together for some refreshment and conversation, and this soon became one of our favorite parts of the week.
Here a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help facilitate this special time:
- You don’t have to serve tea! Only one of my children will drink a cup of hot tea. The other two have milk, lemonade, or iced tea. Serve whatever you and your children enjoy.
- Keep the food simple. Unless you and your children just want to spend time baking or preparing food, you don’t have to. Open up a box of cookies, or for a healthier alternative serve fruit and cheese. Don’t require anything stressful of yourself.
- Lay a pretty table, but like the food, keep it simple, and don’t stress. I’ve used my good china teacups and saucers as well as leftover birthday party plates and cups. No matter what I used, the tea times were fun and special. My children really enjoy helping to set the table (something to do with handling Mama’s good china, I think), so don’t forget to include them if they want to help you.
- If you’d like, read aloud some poetry, a good book, or tell family stories. Or you can put on some relaxing music. We happen to enjoy listening to classical music sometimes during our tea.
- If you do choose to incorporate something such as music or poetry, do not use this time to teach a school lesson.
- Spend at least part of your tea time having a conversation with your children. Focus on them and what they have to say – not on the food, the reading, or the music. Really look into their eyes and listen to them as they talk to you.
- Start slowly – maybe just once or twice a month. If you and your children enjoy it, then try to work up to having a weekly tea time if you’d like.
Unfortunately, I’ve not always been consistent with having our weekly tea time, and my children miss it and ask for it when I don’t carve out the time for it. When it is a consistent part of our routine, they look forward to it each week.
If you do try it out, I hope that you find it a relaxing and fun way to connect with your children!