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How we do quiet time

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I am sharing a little quiet time success story with you to say that if we can implement a semi-consistent quiet time, then anyone can!  I’m excited to share our sweet success of how we do quiet time, and to share why children need this time of independence and rejuvenation every day!

how to implement quiet time

a quiet time success story

Every day, between 2 and 3 o’clock, we are implementing quiet time.  This time is not set in stone, but it mostly works out this way.  We eat at 7, 10, and 1 o’clock.  And by 2 o’clock, they are ready for quiet moments on their own.

We have worked our way towards this.  My son loves reading books on tape, so he doesn’t put up much of a fight.  He reads, and he plays with Legos or rocket ships, or whatever he is interested {or obsessed} with at the time.

But my baby girl challenges me on this. “No wiet time,” she says shaking her sweet little head of curls. Yes, it’s quiet time little girl. Right now, as I write, she is looking at me, sneaking her little foot out of her door.

She does not like to be alone. She craves physical touch and interaction.  She is my extrovert.  And I know and respect this about her.  Her door remains open. And that’s okay. I’ll set up about three or four quiet time activities for her and that will engage her for a bit before she turns to her huge selection of books and she also enjoys singing sweet little songs on her own.

And John respects and loves this about her.  It’s the little things that warm my heart.  One day he asked me, “Mom, can May do quiet time with me in my room, I promise that I won’t hit her!!”  This is a breakthrough.  This is a miracle.  Other times in the day, if they are alone, or if I’m in the bathroom {!?}, it will often end in little tears from my little girl.

But during this special time, there have been no fights, no wrestling, no screaming from either child. It is a real miracle. So I can’t take credit for it. It is his sweet heart.  This is their time together.  They bond, they imagine play, they read.  Oh I want to listen to them play!!

But I can take credit for staying consistent. Keeping this sacred quiet time and allowing the kids to have a much-needed calm down time.

quiet time ideas for young children

Why have a quiet time?

1.   Children flourish when they are challenged to play and think independently.  Quiet time lets them be still and reflect.  The magic happens here.  The rocket launchers made from toilet paper and the little doggie’s grocery store and cashier check out.  The little worlds are made and created.

This reminds me of the Psalm 46:10 passage: “Be still and know that I am God.”  God calls for us to not only reflect on him but to take moments to revel in our blessings and our lives.  Am I expecting my children to be praying to God during this time?  Well, no, but I do want them to take moments of independent rest.  And certainly part of this can be curling up in bed with their choices of Bibles {you can see our Jesus resources we love here.}

2.   Children should learn how to deal with boredom. I am not here to entertain my children 24/7. I have mixed feelings about this. I want to give my children the world, but sometimes that can be a disservice to them.  I should not be their entertainment because life is a whirlwind of disappointments and learning to do things on our own.  However, I do feel the need to give my children the tools to utilize quiet time productively.  This means manipulatives and books on tape for my son {I wrote more about this at how to keep a child busy during quiet time} and little simple learning activities, or busy bags, for my daughter {I wrote about this at quiet bins for little ones}.

3.   I am a much better caretaker when I have a mental break from mommyhood.  I love my childern.  they are the first and last thing I think of.  I love their cheeks and their wonder and their little sentences.  But my mind {and body} need a break.  I am constantly bombarded with little requests all day long.  I am constantly worried about their safety at every turn.  I am constantly pulled on or pulled towards any one of their little directions.  And, with my son, I am constantly trying my patience with asking him to use gentle hands and not to hurt me or his sister.  This is exhausting.  And if I have a moment to reflect.  Or just lay on the couch.  Or just go onto this blog.  Or eat a bowl of popcorn.  It may only be an hour {okay it’s only about 45 minutes, but we are working on up!}, but after this time, I am more engaged and more excited about my children.  Then I am recharged and can be all there for them again.

why kids need quiet time

Consistency works

I am just trying to survive. Now that naps are over, I need the kids to have a quiet rest time. For my sanity, and for them to be able to entertain themselves for an hour. I laid the ground rules: you must be in your own room and be quiet. John is fine with his door being closed,and May needs hers open.  And sometimes, half way through, or even the whole time, they play together.  This is happening.  And consistency works.  5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, on up.  We are at a solid 45 minutes and it feels wonderful.

how we do quiet time - why children need quiet play time - wildflower ramblings

What are your quiet time successes?  I’d love to hear about them!

Need quiet times ideas?

Try our quiet time boxes or our quiet time books on tape!


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One Comment

  1. I had to switch to a quiet time last fall when my son vetoed naps for good. We did the same as you.. Worked our way up, 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes.. Up to an hour. He has gone through spurts of not being cooperative with it, but is doing great now. He’ll even come out to use the bathroom and then go right back on his own. I agree that consistency is key! He is allowed to play with whatever he wants in his room which usually means his room ends up a disaster zone, but it’s worth it for that hour of alone time to work on my own things!

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