Creating a Quiet Time Period for your Pre-Schooler and you:
Step 1: Take Out a very large white piece of paper
and at the top write: Mommy, Suzy and Little Johnny.
Draw, write and colour all the great things you do
together. Have Suzy draw and colour as much as
possible. When finished, ask questions like, “When
does Mommy get to …. Read a book? Watch
TV? Talk to her friends? Finish cleaning up the
kitchen?” “Well, it used to be when you napped …
now you don’t nap because you are a big girl.” Then
go on to explain in your own words that by having
quiet time – this makes Mommy a better Mommy –
“this helps me get things done so I can play with you
Step 2: Purchase some toys (preferably with her) that
she can only play with during “quiet time.” The best
ones are quiet of course and that you don’t want
her playing with around Johnny. Explain, these are “big
girl” toys – it is not safe for Johnny to play with these.
They are only for Suzy and only in her “big girl”
Step 3: Purchase an inexpensive egg timer that has
60 minutes on it minimum. (Try to find a 90 minute
timer so that in the future, if you want to go to a 90
minute quiet time, you don’t need to buy another
Step 4: Create a loving and quick routine before quiet
time. With my own son, I read a book, he then goes to the washroom and then we sing a song, kisses and hugs.
Step 5: Set up “stations in her room.” A colouring
station, a book station, her dolls station, etc. Go
through the various stations and show her how lucky
she is to have all these special items in her “big girl”
room and only for her.
Step 6: Explain clearly your expectations. “Suzy,
now that we have read your book and sang your song,
it is now time for you to play by yourself with Lion.
Look at all the wonderful things for you and Lion to do.
I am going to set the timer now and when it goes off,
that is when you can call for me, and I will come and
Step 7: If she calls for you, cries or protests, or
leaves the room, then give her one warning. “Suzy,
if you choose not to play quietly in your room, I
am going to have to re-set the timer back to the
beginning.” She will learn over time as long as you
are consistent that, quiet time will go much quicker if
she simply plays quietly in her room until the timer
goes off. It is critical to your success that you follow
through after the warning and that you go back to the
beginning each and every time. So, yes, your first
day might be a long one. But, in the long run, you
will be able to do the 3 minute routine, set the timer
and confidently walk away knowing that she is going
to play happily and contentedly in her room for the
agreed upon amount of time. Give her a TON of
praise when she does it the first time and then over
time it should be expected and you won’t need to be
giving her a lot of praise.
Step 8: At the end of quiet time, ask her to help you
clean up the quiet time toys and put them away for
the next day. (We put everything away my in Son’s closet so his younger sister can’t get to them.)
Good Luck and enjoy your Quiet time!