Nap time/quiet time suggestions

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Caitlyn 11 months ago.

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    The easiest rhythm of the day that we are able to stick to is nap time, my 2 youngest usually nap in the middle of the day. The problem that I’ve been having is what my older 3 are able to do at this time that is quiet. They cannot play outside because it is right beneath where the other 2 are sleeping. They cannot play board games because they always fight, super competitive with each other. It’s not as difficult to manage when I am downstairs with them, as I can redirect them. What I could really use help figuring out is the 20-30 minutes while I am upstairs getting the baby down.

    My oldest is ok about handwork or reading, but my other two never seem to be able to keep to themselves for this short period.

    Is it unrealistic to expect a 7, 9, and 10.5 yo not to bicker or shout suddenly for that period of time? In the past I have put 1 episode of a show on for them, but I really want them to be able to call on their inner resources, and more importantly not wake up their siblings during this time!

    Thank you for any ideas!


    Donna Simmons

    Hi Caitlyn,
    No – I don’t think it’s unrealisitc – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. I wonder if part of the solution lies in helping the 2 middle children to find things that are their special projects which they are only allowed to work on – and alone – during the little ones’ nap time? A craft project perhaps…something they are only allowed to do during that time and only if they do not fight. This means that y0ou have to think each project through and live into how each child can be enabled to have her/his space to do the project…you might have to work with them each first and then leave them each to it when it’s nap time.

    Any fighting and then the next day they have to do something to make it up – the key being that by fighting or making noise they are negatively effecting what the little ones need….so they have to do something that ‘makes it up’ to them – a chore, a cleaning task…

    The idea here is that what we do effects other people and it is not too early for a 7 and 9 year old to start to learn that actions carry consequences…it it not about punishment per se – but it’s about you do X and here’s how you make it better. Re-directing is one step – but by this age they should each also start to know that there are consequences for what we do in life.

    Does that help?



    Yes, very helpful!

    They had some great hours of fun needle felting the other day, while I was there. But I think I do need to consider what similar activity they could do on their own!

    I definitely need to solve a reparative consequence! That is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestions.

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