Siesta Time
December 2, 2010 · Posted in Parenting, Play, Pressure on Children, Toddlerhood · Permalink

A mother in an ongoing group was discussing her “spirited” and adorable 3 1/2 year old. She had come to a decision that after preschool, no matter what, they were coming home, and having “Siesta Time”- two hours of down time. Since her little girl rarely naps anymore, the “Siesta” is spent playing quietly with toys, spending time on her own and generally chilling. Later in the afternoon, they might see friends, or go to the park or take a class together but “Siesta Time” has become sacred. The mom hadn’t correlated an easier and more enjoyable phase with the addition of this new routine, but as we talked she discovered it was definitely associated.

This mother is on to something. Children need plenty of downtime during the day.  They can go along with a hectic schedule of school and classes, playdates and outings, but notice how much more pleasant they are when life slows down. In this hectic and pressured world we need to safeguard our children’s need for unstructured time at home. It is nutrition for their body, soul and brain. Building it into the schedule, naming it and sticking to it yields benefits for all.

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Comments

  1. kcf
    December 2nd, 2010 | 9:26 am

    I remember doing something like this with my spirited 3 year old (now a spirited 16 year old). The first day she decided to hang out in her room, so excited that she didn’t have to nap. She piled books and dolls in her bed and sat there to play with them. I came in about 10 minutes later to see how she was doing and she was sleeping sitting up!

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