It’s been about a month since I detailed the problems we’re having with Avery, my 3 & 1/2 year old, transitioning between napping and not napping (read my first entry here). My initial plan was to help Avery through this time by implementing a “quiet time” for an hour each day, in her room with the door closed, which I thought I would do by playing a CD storybook for her. I thought this would help her relax and allow her to sleep if she needed to. But — she hated it! She wanted nothing to do with the CD storybooks. And despite countless attempts, she wouldn’t stay in her room; I ended up feeling like I was doing “time-out” with her by guarding her door instead of letting her have some peaceful time to herself. I tried laying with her, but it was like wrestling a monkey to try to keep her in the bed. So, I needed a new tactic.
Guess what I did? I made a big mistake, but I was desperate! Because I really needed to get things done around the house, I caved. I allowed her to lay on the couch and watch a show or movie for an hour during the weekend afternoons as her so-called quiet time. I KNOW! This was not a good idea — this is not quiet time! TV can be over-stimulating and isn’t “quiet” at all! Also, allowing children to relax by watching TV does not teach children how to cope with boredom. But now, she’s hooked on her hour of “quiet time” in front of the TV. To be honest, it did wonders for my sanity — no more hour-long arguments during the middle of the day from forcing Avery into her quiet time. She looked forward to her TV hour and we generally got along wonderfully! And bedtime is so much easier! No napping during the day meant she was tired at the end of the day and went to sleep on schedule. But let’s face it; I took the easy way out, and now I have to commit to fixing the problem.