Quiet Time for You and Your Child
||| Is there a time of day that is particularly hard with your very young child? For many, that is just before dinner when you are busy preparing, and the child(ren) can be cranky and hungry. Or is it right after lunch when you want to establish a Quiet Time, but your child cannot seem to be without you. You just want 30 – 45 minutes of quiet and some time for yourself.
Consider an activity box. This idea has certain parameters which make it work. This is a box that is only brought out by you (store it up high, where only you can reach), only at a certain time each day, and only for a certain length of time.
What can be in it? That’s up to you and what your child enjoys. It is best if you create it with things your child doesn’t get to do very often (so it’s really looked forward to!) and (this is important!) YOUR CHILD WILL NOT NEED YOUR HELP WITH. The box or basket should not have too much in it – maybe 3 – 5 things. “Less is more.”
Here are some ideas to get your imagination flowing:
- a piece of beeswax
- silly putty
- a sack of special rocks or polished stones
- special crayons, colored pencils or markers
- a drawing pad or coloring book
- a couple of finger puppets
- reusable stickers
- some marbles
- a beautiful picture book
- a ball
I recommend that you don’t change the contents of this box for at least a week or two, maybe longer. Your child will find many ways to explore what’s in it. See how it goes, though. You may find that you need to tweak it.
When the 30 – 45 minutes is over, you put the box away. This is important! Do not succumb to the begging. Put the box away. The whole magic of it lies in:
- it having some tantalizing toys / games / activities that are not often used in your house,
- a set time period every day when it comes out,
- that it goes away until tomorrow.
In reverence to the children,