This comment came in from a reader of the blog and I wanted her to have some feedback regarding Quiet Time. She writes, “My 4 yr old has not napped since she was three and a half to four, but we continued having “rest time.” I had her stay in her own room to do this since she sometimes would fall asleep, but lately I have had her try doing her quiet time out in the den with me while the one yr old naps. Sometimes she tends to be less focused when I am there and wants to talk to me… I am interested in what parameters others set for quiet times for non-napping kids? Alone in room or out with mom in the den/living room? What kinds of activities – books only, quiet toys, does mom read to the child for part of the time or do they stay silent?
Also, I am curious how interruptions in sleep affect a four yr old… my daughter tends to wake at least once a night, sometimes twice, to use the toilet. And sometimes she just wants to be tucked back in and have one of us lay next to her for a couple minutes. I know at some point she’ll feel confident enough to just go to the bathroom on her own without waking us… But I wonder if this is disruptive to her quality of sleep?”
These are a few of my personal thoughts, but I hope many mothers will leave comments below as to their own practices.
I feel that during Quiet Time, mothers should be resting. This may change as your children grow, but I feel if you are going about the house doing work, folding laundry, etc. and your child is younger than 7 and in that imitative phase, than they will want to be doing what you are doing. Also, as homeschooling mothers, I feel it is an important priority for us to have some true down time to think, evaluate in our heads what happened in the morning in our homeschool time and to prepare in our heads for the afternoon activities.
I personally don’t mind if my child wants to be our big bed with me, but I am laying down with my eyes closed! or if they want to be on their own bed. I also don’t mind when my four year old looks at (a few!) books (not the “ole giant stack!) and then rests, but I also feel many Waldorf mothers would feel this undermining to the point of Quiet Time – which would be the ability to be still and not have to be “entertained” by a book or by reading or by toys. I don’t know, I would love to hear the perspectives of some of the Waldorf mothers out there!
As far as the waking up in the night to go to the bathroom, it seems to me that many four-year-olds are not dry through the night, so this may be a real need. I think as long as she can really get up and go right back to sleep, then it is just where she is. However, if she is up and fully awake, perhaps you could investigate a bit further. Does she wake up at the same times every night to do this? Could you bring her to the bathroom before you go to sleep yourself and would that change these nighttime waking patterns? And then observe what goes on during the day…
C’mon mothers, please give your perspectives on Quiet Time and sleep. Leave your comments in the box below!