Middlest has outgrown her nap. Such a sad day. But that period of quiet in the afternoons is truly an absolute necessity for me. Losing that quiet is tantamount to losing my mind.
Also, that’s often my ministry time, whether blogging or in-person. I will often tutor other children, invite ladies in to my home for fellowship and discipleship, or plan my teaching/Bible studies with this time. Sometimes, it’s just my time to catch up, check my email/social media, write a blog post, plan a school lesson, etc. So the end of nap is not the end of that time of quietness.
What is Quiet-Time?
- You must stay in your spot for the duration of Quiet-Time. If you leave, your “quiet time” becomes nap time. (Incidentally, everyone must go to the bathroom before Quiet-Time begins for this to work.)
- You may not be in the same room as another sibling.
- You must play quietly—no loud imaginary games. (This helps me, and it helps Littlest who still gets a nap during this time.)
Our Quiet-Time activities include audio-books and Leap Pad activities, legos or blocks, books and coloring books, and the art bag with our other crafting items. Also, because some of these items are not allowed to leave certain areas of our home (our attempt to keep legos and scissors away from Littlest), the kids alternate Quiet-Time spaces and activities.
For us, Quiet-Time lasts for about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the length of the audio story and how much of a nap Littlest needs.
When is a child ready for Quiet-Time?
I begin Quiet-Time when I can tell my kid no longer needs the sleep. With both of the kids, there came a time where they just could not take a nap for me. It was not a power-struggle situation where the child just didn’t want to nap, but a legitimate attempt on the child’s part to TRY to honor me when they physically couldn’t.
For instance, Middlest is my child who tends to push boundaries. Nap time has always been a little bit of a struggle with her. In other words, I have to leave her door open to be sure she has obeyed. But I could tell that she truly had outgrown nap time when she stayed in her bed and did not play, but could not go to sleep. With Oldest, who never gave me issues over nap time, he suddenly began disobeying; it was out of character for him.
In both instances, I had to evaluate my own expectations: was I placing my child in a situation that made it physically impossible for him/her to obey? When my answer has to be “maybe,” I give Quiet Time a try. And what I found with Middlest was that the quiet space of time by herself was all she needed to correct her whiny, late-afternoon attitude.
I still hold the prerogative to declare any day a “nap day,” depending on behavior and the demands of life. But maintaining that peaceful afternoon routine is a life-saver, for all of us. And Middlest is ever-grateful to have finally graduated to the privilege.
Need some more “quiet-time” ideas? Read a wealth of quiet-time wisdom at the HodgePodge.