You know, I think the British have something with tea time. Tea time is typically around four or five o’clock. Of course, hot tea is served and usually some sort of cookie or cake. It’s observed religiously. Everyone stops, sits down, and enjoys a civilized cup of tea and some conversation. Now, transfer that to your typical four o’clock…match? or no match?
A couple of years ago I instituted tea time in our home. My youngest had started full-day Kindergarten and I really didn’t want to miss out on hearing about his day, while my oldest was starting sixth grade and entering the era of “I’m too cool to tell you anything on command.” My middle one, a third grader, had things to say but needed space to process and share.
So, I amped up “after school snack time” with a few fancy snacks and an agenda. Ironically, though I referred to it as “tea time,” I did not serve tea. I served water and whatever food item I had planned for the day. Sometimes, it was as simple as cut up fruit. Sometimes, it was a plate of cookies. The “what” was not as important as the “what happened.” Here’s how ours usually plays out:
- We ALL sit down at the table (after a yucky-school hand washing!)
- We take turns sharing about our day (including Mom).
- We review who has homework.
- I wrap things up with directives about chores, backpacks, homework and free-time!
I really feel like “tea time” is a great pause in everyone’s day. I think I could have used it years ago, when the kids were younger and we suffered through those afternoon witching hours before dinner/bath/bedtime. Besides the talk time we engage in, I know it helps stabilize blood-sugar and is a great opportunity to rehydrate, both biological factors in maintaining good moods and level heads. I’m always surprised at how much I appreciate the time to sit down and rest and really listen to what they have to share.
After school can be a busy, chaotic time, but with a little bit of intention, I look forward to three o’clock, all three coming through the door asking with their faux British accents, “What’s for tea?”
Life moves so quickly and finding these little resting places are the times we’ll remember and they will, too.
Happy new week, to you!!
This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett, momming and blogging my way along.