we struggle so much with this. she doesn't really nap anymore but i want to instill the values that quiet time brings. i think it's a valuable skill to have, to enjoy being just by yourself. i let her play soft music, do art, work on her letters. it should be in her room where she can be in her own space. she fights me on this with tears and tantrums. BUT, it's not an issue when i'm not around and her dad tells her it's time for quiet time. uh huh...mommy syndrome.
i would greatly appreciate some insight on this and some techniques i could try.
I haven't tried to enforce my dd being in her room for a designated quiet time. But if your goal is to get her to spend time in solitary pursuits, I do get that time when dd takes a bath. I don't know if I'm supposed to be leaving my 5 year old in the bath by herself, but I can hear her talking to herself the whole time so I figure it's ok. Anyway, she usually stays in there for half an hour to an hour doing imaginative play with her toys. It's nice because it's not convenient for her to get out and come bother me :)
-Ecstatic mommy to amazing DD, 2/07 :
I don't understand the quiet time issue. She's forced to go to her room so you can have quiet time?
Why can't she listen to music and work on her letters in the living room with you? She seems much too old to have a forced quiet time. When do you plan to stop forcing her to do this? Age seven? Nine?
Sorry to be harsh, but I don't understand what values this type of quiet time would instill. I would get it if she needed a nap, but at age 5, she doesn't need a nap.
My advice-- don't send her to her room. Tell her she can play quietly in the house.
i think you need to give her time.
with my dd i found she valued her time with me. quiet time with me chatting about deep issues.
by about 6 or 7 she liked being on her bed and reading quietly.
even today she has never listened to music by herself.
time with herself didnt happen till her reading took off.
I do quiet time, I started it when I NEEDED time without my children but had no support (deployed husband, no real support around me). I started with 10 minutes and worked my way up to 30 minutes. They have a choice of either both going in the same room (they are 5 and 3) or going into different rooms and they have a range of activities they can do (look at books, draw, color, play quietly etc). It really helped me to have that time so I could properly take care of them the rest of the day. Its not the same if they were in the same room as me because I feel like I have to be "on call" if they are there.
It took a month or so for them to fully catch on. A big thing is DON'T push it and make them feel like its some kind of punishment because the children will fight you more. Mine started to really look forward to the quiet time because I explained it as a time for all of us to recharge so we can have a fun afternoon.
I agree that enjoyment of solitary time isn't going to happen if she's tantrumming! I do think you need to be clear with yourself what your real goal is. If it's actually for her to learn to enjoy spending time alone, you'll need to approach it differently than if you're really just trying to get some time to yourself. But I think either goal is valid.
What about coming up with special activities for her to do each day during her 'quiet time'? It could be a project, a simple learning task, a new library book (pictures only if she's not reading yet) or audiobook, a special CD, a toy that only comes out during quiet time...
If your goal is getting her to enjoy the time, I'd start by being in the same room, and maybe slowly move further away each day so eventually you aren't in the room. I'd stop the quiet hour for the day any time she started crying or seemed to struggle too much with it, so she only has positive associations with it.
If your goal is to get some time to yourself and none of the above ideas work, you could consider a mom's morning out program, or drop her off at some kind of class, or have her watch a TV show, or trade childcare for a couple hours with a friend, something on that idea.
Some five year olds nap. My five year old still often naps, but not always. If she doesn't, I encourage a nap. About 20% of five year olds still nap, so I don't think encouraging a rest time in the middle of the day is unreasonable, depending on the child. Plus, I have a younger child I nurse to sleep, so I definitely have quiet time for my older kid in part to give me time to let my youngest nap. How it works for us is this: it's quiet time when the baby is definitely ready for a nap. If she's still awake when I finish putting the baby to sleep, then I will lay down with her for 10-15 minutes. If she's still up after that, we then have special mommy-daughter time. But I found that laying down with her really helped her rest, game me a break, and helped our afternoons go more smoothly.
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)