One of the most helpful routines I’ve added to our day is a daily quiet time.
Do your kids still nap? None of mine do (except, of course, the baby). Every mom grieves the end of naptime! But with the introduction of a daily quiet time, you can still have the benefits of naptime, even with bigger and older kids.
Especially in the first couple of years after having a baby, I need a guaranteed, solid block of time to rest, to have peace and quiet around the house. Children also need quiet time for healthy brain development. (Source.) They need a break from their siblings, time to think and read quietly, to settle down, and to rest.
How to Do Quiet Time.
The concept is simple:
From 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, the kids are required to stay in their beds and rest. They may read or sleep if they like, or play quietly with toys. No electronics allowed. And for siblings who share a room, no talking.
Interestingly, the two oldest seem to love quiet time the most, and often stay in their rooms for closer to 2 hours. Sometimes a non-napping child will fall asleep.
The kids sometimes complain about it, but they still comply.
To help them out, you can offer a little treat/snack as a reward for staying in their rooms and doing quiet time.
Perhaps after quiet time is over, you can brew a nice pot of tea (Roobios is nice for the kids, it’s naturally decaf and has a pleasant sweet flavor) and offer a snack.
I’ve definitely noticed a positive change in the kids since implementing quiet time – they seem to enjoy having a little break from one another. The introverts need a break from interaction, and the extroverts need a break from their own high energy!
The rest and quiet are good for their mood. They aren’t as hyper before bedtime due to overfatigue. For me, quiet time is a wonderful example of positive, gentle discipline. It prevents problems before they start, provides structure, and helps the children be their best.
During the homeschool year, I plan on having the older kids read or journal during quiet time. They may be finishing up their schoolwork at that time, but it will be something “light” and enjoyable.
Do you have quiet time at your house? How do you enforce it and what benefits do you notice?