The month of December can be a whirlwind. Between school events and holiday parties, families visiting and shopping for gifts, it’s no wonder everyone’s a bit worn out come January.
You may not be able to completely quell the holiday fuss, but a good way to help kids remain calm through it all is to build in a little quiet time each day. Not only does daily quiet time give parents and Nannies a much-needed breather, but it gives kids time to be self sufficient, and to develop their own skills and thoughts without worrying what anyone else is thinking.
So how does one go about incorporating this quiet time?
Naturally, if you begin a daily quiet time when kids are very young, it will become an expected part of their daily life.
For small children who are still napping, a good way to begin is to let them take a stuffed animal or board book to bed with them. If they don’t fall asleep, they may play with their toys in lieu of napping. When they wake up, they’ll get used to playing independently for a few minutes before calling out for attention.
For older children, let them know that you’re going to start incorporating a quiet time into each day to help everyone in the family relax. Begin with 15-30 minutes, and work your way up to an hour or more over time. Before quiet time, help your child select a few toys or books they would like to play with, and then set a timer so they know when quiet time will be over.
Three tips for a successful quiet time:
- Be consistent. If quiet time becomes a routine, there will be no question asked when the daily time comes. To make sure it sticks, try to have quiet time at the same time each day on every day that you’re home.
- Rotate activities. Help children choose what toys and books they want to play with during quiet time, and if siblings want to play with the same toys, make sure they rotate each day. Older children will know they are responsible for choosing something to entertain themselves, and there will be no excuses if they become bored.
- Be patient. Kids may take some time getting used to having a daily quiet time, and may come out of their room multiple times at first. Take the time to patiently walk them back to their room each time, and remind them that they need to stay there for the rest of quiet time. Eventually, they’ll realize that this is a daily activity that’s here to stay.
How do you incorporate daily quiet time in your household? Please share with us in the comments.
Photo Credit: Jessica Lucia/flickr
Happy Holidays from all of us at Chirp: Connecting Families and Nannies!