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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles > Replacing Naptime with Quiet Time

Replacing Naptime with Quiet Time

Although parent's usually love nap time, after all it’s the perfect chance to cleanup a bit, make some uninterrupted phone calls, or just gather your thoughts for a few minutes and take a breather, there comes a time when your child will be ready to give up daily naps and reserve their sleeping for the nighttime hours only.

One approach that many parents take with this transition is the institution of quiet time. Replacing naps with an hour or so of solo quiet time will not only give you a much needed break during the day but it will also give your child a chance to relax and learn some much needed life skills.

To make the transition, you need to be aware of changes in your child's schedule. As soon as you notice them taking shorter naps or having a difficult time settling down for naps, you need to begin preparing for them to end.

Depending on your child's schedule, you will need to introduce the idea of quiet time either prior to their nap or immediately after they wale up from it. For a child that is having problems settling down and falling sleep, explain the idea of quiet time before a nap. Instruct them to play quietly in bed with a favorite doll or toy, read a picture book or daydream. For children that wake up early, place quiet toys in their bed or near it for them to play with as soon as they wake up. In either case, it is a good idea to explain to your child that they are to play quietly for a while before coming out of their room.

As your child's sleeping time declines, increase the time that they are expected to play quietly in their room. Before long, their entire nap time will be replaced with quiet time.

The benefits to quiet time for your children are numerous. Some of the more important benefits include…

• Self-reliance- children who are given the chance to be alone for short periods of time in a safe setting have better decision-making skills and self-reliance skills than those who are not. During quiet time, children are able to choose what game they want to play, problem-solve to avoid boredom, and rely on themselves for entertainment.

• Relaxation skills- quiet time gives children a chance to spend time awake relaxing and moving at a slower pace. The skills they learn during this time will aid them in their adult life when they choose activities for relaxation and mediation.

• Comfort with being alone- being comfortable alone is a skill that your child will need often in their adult life. By starting them out with this concept at a young age, children will learn to be comfortable with themselves and prolonged periods of aloneness.

• Imagination skills- when children are left alone to entertain themselves they have to draw on their imagination skills to come up with activities and games. Too often, children are bombarded by structured activities and games and they do not get the chance to create their own amusements.

• Independence- while allowing your children the option to make their own choices throughout the day will help to foster their independence, having alone time will also help them gain the skills necessary to live an independent life. While they are alone they will be forced to make decisions, although very limited ones, and this skill will help them believe in their decisions and themselves.

Many parents that include quiet time as part of their parenting routine state that they have more responsible, more grounded children. Many children that are introduced to quiet time at a young age continue the practice well into their teen or even adult years.

Copyright 2013. All educational materials are the sole property of Kid First Internet and are available for the benefit of our parents. Duplication or use of any material requires the express consent of Kids First Internet.

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