Do you have toddlers, preschoolers or small children who get hyped up, out of control, or fussy during the day? Umm… who doesn’t. This is an awesome trick that’ll help bring the home atmosphere from chaotic back to peaceful.
The day started much like any other. My two sons (3 and 2 at the time) were getting on each other’s nerves. They struggle to play together since they want the same exact toy. Namely, whatever toy the other one has.
My daughter was probably bossing them around loudly, as she is wont to do, and my little crawler was moving around being perfect since he couldn’t speak and therefore had no attitude. Making him highly favored….
Finally, the noise got too much and I’d had it Up To Here. Then…
A lightbulb moment of genius.
I told the kids we were going to have “relax time” and that it was going to be fabulous. We’d calm down, get some peace and quiet, and a bit of relaxing rest.
I talked it up positively and pretty soon they thought it was a good idea. We’ve never looked back.
Here’s how you can use “relax time” in your home with older toddlers and preschoolers who are getting rambunctious
Of course, you may choose to do it differently but here’s what we do.
Get some books
First, to help get them to cooperate, I ask them to pick out a few books they’d like to read. If I choose their books it never works as well. They each get three or four (or more if they are enthusiastic) and go to their seats. Sometimes choosing a seat is a slight battle, but quietly we get seated. I get a book and sit down too!
Read or browse quietly
There are no strict rules here, except that we want to look at our books and have some quiet time. We are all still in the same room together so there’ll be occasional comments, but if they get too chatty I’ll shush them. In fact, they often shush each other. I will intersperse phrases like “Oh, it’s so nice and relaxing to put up our feet, isn’t it?” I really ham it up. Ham works.
Only get out of your seat to get another book
Sometimes they like to push the envelope and browse their books super fast so they can go get another. As long as they are quiet and not disturbing the rest of us, I ignore their games. Soon they are actually interested in a book and calmed down. Aside from pottying, they can’t just leave “relax time” cause they feel like it. I’ve actually read a few chapters of a book at once during this time.
Use a timer
I’ve talked a lot about how timers are wonder workers, and this case is no exception. A timer is handy if children are reluctant to start something they aren’t super excited about. By saying, “I’m setting the timer for x minutes and then we’ll do y,” you gain cooperation much more peacefully.
Next time the kids aer going nutso and you are losing it and you need some order and quiet… try “relax time.” You’ll be amazed!
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