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My oldest child took a nap after lunch until she was 3.

My next 2 girls stopped naps around 18 mo. {Girlie #3 was born when #2 was 18 mo!} Needless to say, Mommy was not thrilled. But we had established “quiet time” with the oldest one to be used on such days that Mommy just needed a rest. so we taught the younger 2 to have quiet time also.

sometimes this happens

I use “quiet time” at least twice a week now. Always on Sunday. and one other day [or 2] that warrants its use. It is not used as a punishment, and some times the girls actually ask for it if we’ve had an unusually active morning. 

{This is simply the way we do this. it is not the “perfect method” for everyone. nor is it for every family. Just what we do. and I pray it can be a blessing and an inspiration to someone.}

When we first started this with our oldest, I made her have quiet time every day for about 2 weeks. When the younger 2 girls quit their naps, they had quiet time every day for a few weeks also.

The training for this is quite similar to the bedtime training. The first few times there must be strict [loving] discipline and correction when they get up before they are supposed to. Our children have a CD of gentle instrumental hymns that lasts 1 hour. They know that they must remain in their beds [except to potty] until the music is finished. [This established time must be very clear to the child, such as a timer beeping or music stopping.]
sometimes at supper {LOVE}

During the training process you cannot expect to actually rest yourself. You must be up and ready to train. You must explain [as much as possible] what “quiet time” means. During this time they may have a book. or one toy [or not]. But they must, at ALL TIMES, be in their own bed. They may not be silly or talk with their siblings. On occasion, one or both of them do fall asleep. More often though, they just lay there while mommy rests. or actually gets something accomplished. {smiles}

Once they know and are [mostly] doing what is expected of them, I tell them that while they have quiet time Mommy is going to rest. They are not to come talk to me. They are [still] not to get up or be silly. {AND, if Mommy is asleep when their music is over they are NOT to wake me but stay in their room and play.}

This simple few weeks of training for each child has afforded me many hours of rest through the past several years. It has been a priceless treasure of investment into our life as a family, my life as a wife and mommy, and my children’s lives, as rest is vital to physical and emotional health!


{Please link to a blog post URL in which you have talked about a child-training tip! and link that post back here if you like}

**family notes

We have had “quiet time” in our home since our oldest was 3 years old. She is now almost 8! And, on occasion, she must still participate [though sometimes I allow her to have a quiet activity beyond a book]. I do expect that this summer when school is out that the younger ones will have quiet time and she will not be required to do the same. And I anticipate some whining over that fact. But knowing that “quiet time” has a stopping point {except for Sundays} should give them something to look forward to!

I realize that some may see this training as a difficult task, but when weighed against the irritability that I will inevitably have without an occasional break [not daily, just occasional], it is more than worth it. 

And, in our house, this time cannot begin later than 3:00 pm or, if they fall asleep, they do not go to bed very well. {smiles}

Of course, not every single “quiet time” is smooth and without need of correction, we are all human. My children sin. I sin. But training the simple things [such as how to lie down quietly] while they are very small will truly become a blessing when they are older.

And, on occasion, the little man’s afternoon nap will slide right in along the girls’ quiet time and I really DO get a few minutes… quiet. blessed quiet.

What age did your children stop taking naps? 

linked up at raisingmightyarrows.proverbs-31-thursdays

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