Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Parenting Hack: Rest Time / Quiet Play

Back when Jena was a toddler, her body tried to drop a nap before she really seemed to be ready. And before I was ready, if I'm being honest. Trying to think of a way to encourage her to rest, I initiated what I call "Rest Time / Quiet Play". Of course back then I was working full-time outside of the home, so it was only used on weekends, but it worked like a dream. About half the time Jena would end up falling asleep.

The idea is that the child has to go to their room, door shut, for a specified amount of time. They can rest, nap, or play, but everything must be quiet.

It not only encourages rest time, but for the time that they're not quite ready to nap, it encourages independent play.

Well, recently Jillian has decided to drop her afternoon nap... and has become a terror. The lack of sleep makes her normally spirited self even more of a handful. Lots of tantrums, she started hitting & biting again, defiance, disobedience... she was out of control. Enter Rest Time / Quiet Play.

I instituted it this past week at our house, for both kids. Sure, Jena doesn't really need it anymore, being 8 years old, but she could use some encouragement to play independently. And quite frankly, I could use some non-kid time.

So far, it has been amazing. The first day it took me about 30 minutes to convince Jillian that she really did have to stay in her room. But she eventually got it.

We school in the morning, then have lunch, then from 1pm-3pm the girls have Rest Time / Quiet Play. Jillian has fallen asleep every day, which as made bedtime a little bit of a struggle, but her mental state and behavior is so much improved it's well worth it for me. Even Jena has enjoyed it, and has started asking for it!

What I didn't plan on, but am not really surprised by, is now much more productive I've been able to be around the house. Those two hours without distraction have allowed me to get more chores & cleaning done this week than I've gotten done in... forever it seems.

An additional bonus? Jena got so bored, she decided to clean her room!

It hasn't been this clean in a long time! And by having Rest Time / Quiet Play every day she has kept it clean, while still having plenty of time for watching shows, playing games, reading, making crafts, or whatever she wants!

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