Monday, April 28, 2008

"Rest" Time Ideas

Need some input from my blog readers, especially any with twins or sibs who share a room.
My boys are approaching 4 (wow!) and are definitely outgrowing their afternoon nap much to my sadness. However, I still want them to have a quiet time where they can "rest" and I can get some things done without them underfoot. So, I'm polling all you out there to see what brilliant ideas you can give me as well as reasonable expectations I should have for this transition.

My thought is to have them in quiet time for up to 2 hours.
I'm not sure whether to keep them in the same room, separate them, allow them to just read, play with whatever they want to play with in one room of the house, have a snack, not have a snack???? For now, they stay in their bedroom with the lights off, sometimes the curtains open for light to read a book. The sound machine goes on, but I'm not sure why anymore b/c it certainly doesn't help them sleep anymore and it doesn't block out the noise they make. Bella's room is right next to theirs, so I don't want them to be allowed to make as much noise as they want to. Sometimes they do really well in the same room. They'll crawl up in the same bed and read books at opposite ends of the bed. Other times, like a few days ago, they don't do so well.

After hearing a lot of noise, giggling and banging coming from their room, I decided to finally go check it out. When I tried to peek into their room, I couldn't get their door open! They had pretty much destroyed their room...taken their stacked crates apart with all the books, diapers, and shoes that were in them strewn around their room. They had pulled out all their bins of clothes and thrown clothes all over the room, including a pair of underwear that was hanging from the top of their closet doors. I was just glad that the curtains were still up and the fitted sheet hadn't somehow been pulled up. No holes in walls or doors off hinges, so I considered myself lucky. :)

Chime in with a comment and let the advice giving begin.


reader said...

Hi Bri. One thing my kids love is audio books. Not the little books with a 20 min tape, but the full length, unabridged books. There are tons at the library. They have listened to Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Farmer Boy, Dr. Seuss, Pooh Corner, Bible Stories, etc. etc...
They will lay there and listen to them and they pick up so many new words. Silas recognized a cross cut saw in a picture because he heard it described on the cd. So you know their little minds are being exercised. Hope that's helpful :)

zoanna said...

OH, it's been a long time since I had more than one child to figure out how to do a quiet time. (When I need a nap, I make Joel take one with me if no sib is around.)When Sarah and Ben were little, I think I started out separating them for 10 mins, then 15, and so on, letting them take a stack of books, toys, drawing stuff, etc. If they fell asleep on the floor of their rooms, that was okay. If they didn't, that was okay, too. As I recall, they appreciated the alone time because it meant they couldn't get in trouble, didn't have to share, probably felt a little grown up without MOm watching everything. IT's good you're starting this. Kids need to learn to be still, alone, as a prerequisite for being still and alone to hear from God.

Jessi said...

I'm not much help here. Mine basically napped up until kindergarten, which is where Seth is now, and he still naps every other day or so. When he doesn't, he's basically up and doing 'school' stuff or some other activity that's quiet like coloring or something. I've found it not really do-able to put any of my kids in a room alone together and expect quiet activity. Any of those things can happen, but apparently not all together in this Clemmer house! Alone, yes. Quiet, yes. Together, yes. But alone, quiet AND together...I can just hear the laughter at the mere thought of it !! :)

jujurocssoks16 said...

Well, I'm not speaking from experience here, at least not as a parent. I'm trying to think back to how my mom did it. I know we had "rest" time for a long time, but it really was nap time. She didn't care if we went to sleep, but we had to lay in bed for a half an hour, and I know I always went to sleep. I know I did this until I was at least 7 years old.

Maybe, like Zoanna suggested, you could work up to 2 hours. 2 hours seems like a long time for four year olds, but I don't have 4 year olds, so I can't say! But, maybe you could start them off at 1/2 hour rest time, then when they seem to be managing that, 1 hour, etc. Or, maybe you could make each half hour a specific activity. This would require a little bit more involvement from you, but maybe it would help curtail them ripping into the bookcase! :) Like maybe you could set a time and first give them 1/2 hr. time where they have to lay in bed, then 1/2 hr. listening to book tapes, then 1/2 hr. doing a quiet activity (drawing, legos, puzzles, etc.). Maybe, to keep them separate, they'd do all of this at different times (one lays on his bed in his room while the other one is doing the quiet activities in another room, then rotate?). Maybe this would end up being more work for you in the end, I don't know. Simply brainstorming here. Take it worth a grain of salt! :)

Anonymous said...

Oops, that's me above. My sister used my computer when she was over last week and I didn't realized she was signed in!

Don and Marie Johnson said...

Ok, I have TOTALLY had the experience of the door being blocked. Not one of my best parenting moments as I ranted about the fire hazard and whatnot (thanks to my dad's influence). Anyway... I too think 2 hrs is a lot. Now, since every day is diff over here, my kids don't always have a down time. The afternoons i work they sometimes get a video. The other days I try to do at least a 20 min. book time. I also recently have been following Beth's idea about the books on tape. They do like those. Also, since my kids don't stick to 1 activity too long, I allow coloring. NOw, this is not all done in their rooms. I usually do books on the couch, audio books in their room, and coloring at the kitchen table. Have fun! Love ya!

Don and Marie Johnson said...

Oops, missed the part about wanting to get things done. That's still an expectation? Yeah, the only time I get things done is during a video or after 8:00. The rest of the day, I'm REFEREE (sp?) .

Tara said...

Well I'm right there with you on this... I'm thankful you posted the question. What I "try" to do with my three year old is about an hour of time. The purpose is more for my sanity than anything else. So I'll try to do a half hour of room time, I've used books on tape or gotten a few toys out but explain to him that he can't get any others out. After that I'll put a video on and give him a snack at the table. Now my five almost six year old can handle two hours. I'll give her three things to do in those two hours and she does great. So I think it comes with training and maturity. I'd love to hear what you settle on and what works!

Anonymous said...

bri...are your expectations too high...up to two hours? start out with smaller times perhaps, and then build up as they learn the concept. i know you need to get things done, but that is part of motherhood, not getting to do what you "want/need" to do. i have no pertinent advice, we could't keep one of our kids in bed at night!! even after much get the gist i am sure. that child's "stubborness" to do what we wanted, has become a great strength in adulthood. so bear with them...these times will pass all too quickly, though they loom large now. love you, gigi
(as you know i always erred on the side of "mercy"...probably inconsistency...but again, what seem like mountains now, even though you are trying to build character, etc. will become humorous later...i know you find humor even now). so no good advice here, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I had another thought. What if you broke up the "rest" times to one "rest" time in the morning and one "rest" time in the afternoon. That way they'd be smaller chunks of time for the kiddos to handle.

Briana Almengor said...

Thanks for all the great input! And, yes, I probably do have too high expectations..that's sort of a given with me.
Here's what I've tried for the last two days:
Since Bella is now giving up her morning nap as well, I have moved her afternoon nap to 1:30.
After I get her down, the schedule that's worked the last two days is:
read chapter book to boys
video for boys (1/2 hr.-45 min)
snack for boys
rest time in separate rooms (1/2 hr.-45 min)
It has happened that the one who is in his own room falls asleep while the one who is in my room does not. That's likely because it's very dark in the boys' room while it is not so much in my room.

It's worked out, though, that the one who is up first gets some individual time to do an "activity" with me, which is what the boys call workbook pages. This is while we contend with Bella who is wanting to be apart of everything we do now. :)