Chill Out

The boys (5 & 4 yrs old) stopped taking naps a while back. I’ve tried quiet times, quiet play-time, etc. I finally gave up. However, every once in a while – they need to nap or at the very least be APART from each other for an extended period.

The boys were fighting repeatedly. After 3 screaming, kicking, hitting, pushing, stealing and running to Mommy skirmishes in 5 minutes, I decided to separate the boys. I was done.

They share a room. So, I put one in my daughter’s room and the other the boy’s room. They had instructions not to leave – I didn’t tell them a time line, didn’t lecture, didn’t say “time out” or “take a nap”. I only said “Do NOT leave this room.”

I planned to give them an hour. One fell asleep (whew!), and the other emerged 30 minutes later asking, “Is my time out over?”

My reply, “That wasn’t a time out. It was a chill out. Are you calmed down and ready to play nice again?”

He said yes, and we are back to “normal” again.

I love when I accidentally stumble onto a phrasing that works well with the kids – minimizing my need to explain things repeatedly. They will now know what a “chill out” means. So, next time – I can say “OK¬†kids. Time for a chill out.” Done.

The same principle applies to another phrase I stumbled onto – the “red zone” is the area where they are not allowed to enter when Aunt Allie is painting. No lectures, no long-winded and repeated explanations – just “This is the red zone.” The kids then know. Stay out, or else! You set it up once, and you’re done explaining.

They are smart kids, and explaining things over and over is frustrating and exhausting. Two word phrases outlining instructions and boundaries is awesome. If you have any phrases like this you use, please leave a comment! I’m curious, and always open to tips.

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