Whether you have one kid or twelve, chances are things are sometimes chaotic in your home. That’s bound to happen when you bring those fun-loving creatures with a will of their own into your life!
Chaos. We All Have It.
If your house is anything like mine, things will be humming along and then all the sudden there are multiple meltdowns or arguments. Little dictators start running around the house in unison or congregate in the kitchen while you’re making dinner. Or perhaps all is joyful and well but then you just hit your noise limit and feel like you might blow a gasket.
The Tools: Quiet Time and Blanket Time
One of the BEST things you can do, both for yourself and your kids, is to practice quiet time and blanket time. They are helpful both as regular parts of your routine and in those spontaneous moments.
Introduce the Idea
Start today by telling your kids that you’re all going to start doing short quiet times
whether they like it or not as a way to promote peace in your home. Five or ten minutes is a perfectly reasonable start!
Separate the Kids
We have a small house and four kids. They love to play together, but emotions can get high! The best way for us to do quiet time is for everyone to get a separate space. Sometimes we do pair up to play as well, but usually the baby is sleeping or with me, one child is in the kids’ room, one is in the play area, and one is doing blanket time.
Use Blanket Time for the Littlest Ones
We start teaching our children blanket time when they’re about one years old. We simply declare it blanket time, spread out the blanket, and they are to stay on it during quiet time and play with their toys. It is a great tool for home for outings such as doctor’s appointments as well!
We start small and work them up to a half hour at a time. As they are learning the rules, I sit near the blanket with the timer going and simply put them back on if they try to get off. They cry at first but they learn pretty quickly.
Many times we play our memory work CDs, scripture music, or other educational audio books during quiet time. Once they get a bit older, like our 6 year old, they can go in their rooms and play with legos or whatever interests them. For the younger kids, I may bring out some toys they haven’t played with for a while or are particularly into at the time.
Instruct and Discipline
Set your kids up for success by making sure they know what is expected! Explain the rules to them each time until they know them cold. We gently instruct as they are learning the rules and boundaries of quiet time. Once we know they are thoroughly aware of the rules and capable of following them, they are disciplined if they choose to disobey. Of course, you can also reward a particularly successful quiet time with a special treat or game outside.
Here are our rules:
- Stay in your area
- Keep your toys in your area
- Be whisper quiet
- Help clean up when it’s over
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Set a reminder on your calendar to practice quiet time each day for a week. Start small (5 minutes) and gradually work up from there. Soon, you’ll remember your quiet time tools when you most need it and you’ll even find that your kids may ask for quiet time! It is a great way for them to decompress when things get too crazy.
Here are great opportunities to do quiet time:
- First thing in the morning (we use our Bible basket for morning quiet time)
- While you are preparing meals
- When you need to focus on a particular child’s needs
- When the kids are all cranky and arguing
- When the noise level just gets to be too much
- When you or the kids aren’t feeling well
Enjoy Peace and Quiet!
We are a big family and we love to be loud and fun! However, peace and quiet need to happen as well, for mommy’s sanity and the well-being of the kids. Start practicing quiet time and blanket time today, and see how it blesses your family!