Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Oprah moment?

I love when Michael Scott refers to something as "an Oprah moment."

Anyway, I think I may have just had one. Lately I have really felt overwhelmed and discouraged by the fact that my three older kids don't really nap anymore. (Biniam WILL nap, but not in his room with his brother). I really needed that couple of hours in my day where my home was quiet and I was off-duty in terms of mediating squabbles and fielding the requests of small children.

Add to the lack of napping the fact that my kids have not been getting along too well lately. :( Anyway, I was im'ing about this with my sweet, wise friend Angela yesterday and she had some great ideas!!! (Angela has four little ones too!)

So this morning, I directed each of the older three kids to choose some toys and go play in their own spot. Anna and Yosef each went to a different bedroom, and Biniam ran around with Kaitlyn. SO nice, my home was actually fight-free and I felt like I could breathe. And starting today, I'm reinventing naptime around here. It will now be called "quiet time" and I will set a timer for 2 hours. Biniam will nap in my room, Kaitlyn will nap in the girls' room, Yosef can play/look at books quietly in the boys' room, and Anna can play/look at books quietly in the main room of the basement. When the timer goes off, they can get up, but not until then.

We'll see how it works. Thank you SO MUCH Angela for the wisdom and for contributing towards my Oprah Moment!!!

10 comments:

Kurt and Kayla said...

I do this and it is a life-saver! At times, they will challenge me about staying in their areas but they know it is not negotiable. I think it's good for the kids to learn how to entertain themselves and have a break from all the other kids, too.

Shana said...

That reminds me of something I used to do, called "room time". I haven't done it since my number of kids quadrupled, but maybe I should. Basically I would declare "room time" around the same time each day, and Emma would go into her room (I would leave the door open but put a gate up) and play by herself for an hour or so. It took some training to get her to cooperate, but after a while she would "beg" for room time.

Jen said...

Sounds like a brilliant plan to me! I do this with my three & though they will occasionally complain, they've learned that i won't take no for an answer. :)

Not only is some quiet time crucial for all moms, but it also teaches kids that they need to be able to entertain themselves, and i believe it's best to learn that at a young age. Alone time is very important. My kids have tons of interaction with my husband and me, as well as each other, but i'm a firm believer that "quiet time" teaches self control and that will come in very handy as they get older!

Jen said...

Brianna, i forgot to ask, do you think you guys will adopt again? Sorry, i know that's kind of a personal question! :( But after several months of reading your blog, i know how passionate you are about it and i can't help but wonder if you'll try to adopt again. And if so, if you would head to Ethiopia again or maybe you feel a calling to another country...

You've definitely brought the idea of adoption into my heart and it's something we may pursue in the next couple of years. I just wanted you to know that!

Emily B. said...

Great idea!

Kristen Borland said...

beautifully said.

and a perspective that's too easily forgotten in the day-to-day busyness.

Kristen Borland said...

hmm... good idea.

love the oprah moment. ah, michael scott pearls of wisdom...

and hey, girlie, i miss you too!!!

Eos said...

We do this w/ our daughter and she's 10...not in an inflexible manner (she can choose to be whereever she wants to be and can do whatever activity as long as it doesn't disturb) nor every day but it's something that we have done for so long that we (sometimes she is the one that initiates it) request "quiet time" and the whole house shuts down.

We started it because my husband used to get horrible migraines but we've realized we need moments of quiet during the day just to hear our own thoughts or recharge so it stuck.

All this to say that I think it's a good idea to train children to be their own company for a certain amount of time.

Kelly said...

One other suggestion. I do quiet time, but could never get my son to stay in his room. I started using audio books/stories and it works perfect. Adventures in Odyssey are really great for young ones. You may even be able to get you 3 older ones to sit and listen quietly together....or maybe not?!?

Katie Lady said...

We still this with our boys, too, but I might recommend starting with an hour first, if they haven't been used to it...two hours can seem like an eternity to little ones away from mommy and sibs when they haven't been doing it. then, just slowly add time--you know, kind of like the frog in the boiling pot of water method? And before they know it, two hours are here and gone and you are one happy mom! Oh, and I started using some of this time for my own devotional time, and I found my heart was more ready to end it early if absolutely necessary. Pray it through sistah!

 

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