Not Parenting: Giving a Kid Space

Everybody needs space for themselves. Everybody.  For kids, I have incorporated it with these two methods.

  1. Independent Play. Find a time during the day for each person to do separate activities. For kids, this encourages spontaneous and creative play. For adults and caregivers, it provides a much needed rest or uninterrupted time to complete tasks. Kids may want to play together or separately and you can leave it up to them to sort that out. I usually tell kids to only come to me if there is an issue that they cannot resolve. Independent play is just that, independent.
  2. Space vs Hug. When a child is upset and crying, whether in public or private, I remain calm. Assuming they are not injured, I ask “You seem very upset, would you like a hug or would you like space?” I have had an eighteen month old request space to cry it out alone. Seriously. Often kids calm themselves in a quiet place then continue on with their activity. And if I need to talk over inappropriate behavior I do so once they are calm.

These absolute fantastic methods I learned from watching Child and Family Coach Brandi Davis interact with children. I am continually amazed at how well it works. Allowing kids to have space gives them the opportunity to learn how to sort things out on their own, and gives the adult time to recharge!