Sunday, 21 July 2013

Quiet time...

Several years ago - just after I had my second child - a friend was explaining how she had coped with four children while her Padre husband was away for six months with the military.  One of her most useful suggestions was called Quiet Time.  Every afternoon her older three children would have an hour or so of alone time.  They could choose to do almost anything they liked - sleep, read, play - but they stayed in their separate space.  No computers, no television.  It wasn't a punishment.  It was just the routine.  When my eldest started not needing very long afternoon naps, I decided to try it, and she responded really well.  This was particularly useful as I was pregnant with No. 3 and living in Gibraltar where a siesta was definitely a plus.
Unfortunately when my second child stopped taking regular naps he wasn't of a temperament to continue this pattern without a struggle, and I kind of gave up on the idea.  Today, however, we revived it.  With six weeks ahead of us, five children and me, we really need some alone time, I think.  So, when Daughter 3 went for her nap, the elder three children were 'invited' to take some Quiet Time.  Predictably, Daughter 1 went happily to her room to read, and Son 1 and Daughter 2 opted to 'play quietly' outside - not coping well with being told to be alone.  For a while this was acceptable, and then finally Son 1 went to his room to play with Lego, leaving Daughter 2 miserable and alone.  She has since been sitting doing colouring and trying to learn how to do this.  There's still a bit of time left before Daughter 3 wakes up, and so far it's been a good start.  Hopefully we'll all settle comfortably into the routine in the next days.
If nothing else it will give me time with the baby.

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