Is quiet time worthwhile? Find out how Heather’s family is liking quiet time after giving it a second chance. Plus get a free daily kids schedule.
My oldest daughter was 2.5 when she stopped napping, and that’s when we first tried to transition to a quiet time.
The problem was, we started potty training her around that time as well. She figured out quickly how to manipulate the situation.
“Mommy, I have to go potty!” she would call out, as I sat on the couch or worked on my computer.
Up I popped, hoping to prevent an accident.
But then, after returning to quiet time, she would return the door with another potty plea. I had to get up every 5 or 10 minutes to try to reinforce our potty training.
She had me, and she knew it.
I abandoned quiet time after a few agonizing afternoons of getting up and down, up and down. “This is NOT relaxing” I realized quickly, so I left that strategy behind and haven’t tried it since.
Until now, when our lives are turned upside down by a pandemic and we’re starting a brand new routine at home.
Quiet Time, Take Two
Three and a half years later, we implemented quiet time this week and it’s off to a (mostly) good start.
The 2-year-old still takes lengthy naps in the afternoon, so this is a natural time for the rest of us to go our separate ways and have independent play, reading or working.
Since it’s Day 4 of kids at home for the foreseeable future, and my brain is officially fried, I’m feeling especially glad that I dropped QT on them and stuck to my guns, despite protests.
By the way, if you’re in need of a daily kids schedule to help give you stability and consistency (and reduce the crazy!), you can get my personal schedule plus a blank template here free:
Today is Thursday, and here’s how it’s going:
My 6-year-old’s Reaction to Quiet Time
My oldest (6) complained a lot about quiet time on Monday and Tuesday, which thus far has only been 30 minutes long. She came down halfway through on Monday, but then got into reading and didn’t want to come downstairs to play with her sister. I though that was a win.
On Tuesday, despite complaints, she read a ton and seemed to enjoy herself.
Skip ahead to today (Thursday), and she went straight to her room and grabbed her book when my husband told her it was quiet time.
My 3-year-old’s Reaction to Quiet Time
My 3 year old had a harder time adjusting to quiet time. She’s used to having me to herself and starting her screen time when our youngest goes down for a nap. That’s typically been when I work on blog since both kids are occupied.
Now that older sis is home with us, my 3-year-old wants to play with her or watch a show. She also tends to be loud, so I didn’t want her up in her room waking up the littlest. So, she had free reign of the playroom which also made it harder for her to stay in one place.
She came over to my office several times but with some encouragement went back to playing. I had to give her some ideas on things to play, and I even gave her a challenge of making lego creations of all the same color (Monday) or using gears of all one color (today).
She responded well to that. The hope is for her to be able to come up with ideas on her own, but we are working into that.
We’re all adjusting to a new normal so I’m fine with allowing extra time for us all to adapt.
Tips For Starting Your Own Quiet Time
- Start with a few minutes and move up over time. My 3-year-old needed help to make it to 30 minutes, but that time worked for us. You could start with 15 if needed, or even try 15 minutes twice per day.
- Plan out your quiet spaces. We didn’t use bedrooms for all the kids. It took some monitoring but worked for us. Depending on your house layout, you can use a variety of locations such as the kitchen table, playroom, family room, bedrooms, or even outside if it’s nice out.
- Communicate your expectations. Let the kids know what they can or cannot do.
- Let them struggle. It’s ok if they don’t like it and if it’s hard. We are just a few days in and already I’m seeing more acceptance and ability to start playing with little to no complaining.
- Provide guidance when needed. You can pull out a few game or toy choices, give ideas, and help them learn to problem solve. For elementary and up, ask questions about what they think they would like to do, rather than feeding them all the ideas.
Our Next Goal: Stretching Out Quiet Time Length
Over the next few weeks, I plan to lengthen out quiet time on an age-appropriate basis. I think I could get them both up to at least an hour, but that will be an interesting experiment.Communicate your expectations for quiet time. Let the kids know what they can or cannot do. #dailyroutine #toddlermom Click To Tweet
And hopefully I’m not shooting myself in the foot, because I’m also planning to use all this “free time” at home to potty train my youngest!
I’m counting on her to be napping so I don’t hear “mommy I have to go potty!” all over again during quiet time.
If you’re looking for a structure for your daily schedule, be sure to grab my free Daily Schedule and Blank Template below for your personal use!