Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quiet Time

Oh how I wish I knew about this 30 years ago. I thought I invented it about 5 years ago, but little did I know many many women were already using this child-rearing strategy. With me it started when I had a foster child that was very very very clingy. He had spent a year and a half at a relative's home who let him watch T.V. ALL DAY LONG. He had developed no imagination at five and half years old. He spent the greater part of the day asking me to play with him. I played with him, but I couldn't do it all day! He also would never leave my side, which meant he didn't play with toys because they were not glued to me!

After about a month of this not getting any better I decided to force the issue. I told him he would have to go in the playroom for 5 minutes every day and play by himself. The first day he stood in the doorway the entire time. He did this for a few days. Then one day I told him he wasn't coming out if he hadn't played at all, even if the timer went off. So he played. And he played the next day. After that I increased the time each day until we were up to an hour. Sometimes he even fell asleep. He started to not like it if we were busy running errands and didn't have time for Quiet Time.

I started the whole process for very selfish reasons. I needed some respite from him during the day. But in the end, he benefitted from it so much more than I did! He developed an imagination. He started playing in other areas of the house. He was less fearful about being alone. I saw such changes in him, I knew I would use this technique with any more children that came into my home.

So now that Mia doesn't always take a nap, we have graduated to Quiet Time. After lunch she gets to load up a rattan tray with play items and at least one book (my requirement). I then set the timer for one hour. She plays, sings, and sometimes falls asleep. I have noticed that her imaginative play has increased at other times of the day as well.

Love love love my her quiet time!


Andrew and Heather Robinson said...

I'm not sure if you've officially met you, but I've been following your blog for over a year now. :) I so enjoy it! We also adopted from China this year, our sweet girl Abigail Mei. Anyway - just wanted to say thank-you for this post. I needed to hear it! I've been doing something like this with Abi, and I needed the reassurance that I was doing the right thing. Your post gave me that reassurance. Thanks, again!

Andrew and Heather Robinson said...

Haha, I just noticed that I said, "...if you've officially met you..." Haha! I hope so! Of course I met, if you've officially met me, as in if I've introduced myself. :)

Debbie said...

Nice to "meet" you, Heather.