Recently, a participant in the Parenting with Positive Guidance Ecourse asked for a bit of advice. Her children had suddenly stopped napping and everyone was suffering from the consequences. Tired, grumpy kids. Frazzled, grumpy mom. What do you do?
It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you can “make” the kids keep napping, but sleep isn’t something you can enforce, and really, isn’t something kids can always willfully choose. It’s a losing battle. You can, however, set boundaries for a quiet time and establish routines for how the time will be spent.
Quiet time is a great opportunity for Mom to catch a much-needed break while the kids get a chance to unwind. Everybody hits the reset button. And usually, if a child really does need it, quiet time creates the perfect invitation for sleep (without the fight). Another bonus: quiet time also gives kids a chance to build self-mastery and executive functions as they play independently.
How do you make the transition from nap time to quiet time?
First off, it helps to determine your expectations and start gradually. Here are some fantastic examples of how to do just that:
Once you’ve established a routine, you’ll want to have engaging, quiet activities to offer. Check out these creative ideas:
Here are 13 quiet activities from the Quirky Mommas at Kids Activities Blog.
Audio Books area great quiet time activity! My almost 6 year old sat and colored for nearly 2 hours as he listened to a chapter book! Find wonderful ideas and quick links from Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids to get you started.
Whether it’s creating an invitation for a child who’s stopped napping, a way to keep from disturbing younger siblings who are sleeping, or just a much needed reprieve during the day, quiet time may be just the thing to smooth out your daily routine.
How do you establish quiet time?