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.

My next idea is to purchase Avery two things: a clock or timer of some sort that helps her keep track of how long she needs to remain in quiet time and a bin that will hold a variety of projects for her to focus on each day. One great idea I’d like to make are “Quiet Time Bins” which contain toys or projects for Avery to do during her hour alone. Each day will be a surprise, to keep her
interested (think Legos one day, a coloring project another, etc.), and we’ll recycle them. We’ll start small; maybe 20-30 minutes the first couple of times, and try work up to an hour. I’m feeling hopeful!
On another note, we still haven’t found a solution for Avery napping at daycare and having a horrible time with bedtime during the weekdays. Last night she napped at school and was up until 10:30 PM and like usual, holding me hostage in her room. I’d really love some suggestions, so if you have any solutions, please share!
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