WFMW-Room Time

We're in the full swing of summer.  We just finished a glorious week of doing absolutely nothing and our summer vacation is coming up.  

And you will be happy to know my farmer's tan is in full swing.

Because I am not a party planner or a cruise director,  I cannot make every summer day a Willy Wonka moment for my children.  There are lulls in our schedule. And lazy days.  And stay-in-your-pajamas-until-you-stink days.  

But with all the freedom and less structure, my kids wear on each other's nerves. And mine. Can I say that? There are those moments when I want to find a summer school program, immediately. 

Last summer, I discovered two Magic Words for times like these. When my kids hear these words, their grumbling stops, their perspective changes and they find something to do.

Oh yeah, we're talking powerful and 100 % legal.

Room. Time.

Room Time is time in your room.  Stay with me.  If my kids complain of boredom, fight with their siblings, or just need a time out.  I announce Room Time.

It lasts one hour. They are not allowed to come down, ask questions, get food, step-a-toe, outside their bedroom, until Room Time is over.  They can read, rest, write in their summer journal, they are forced to entertain themselves, alone.

This is the best attitude adjustment e-ver.  Many times, I'll sneak up there and they've fallen asleep.  (This is denied if it's mentioned though.  They were just resting their eyes).

When my kids come downstairs, they can't wait to play together again.

It works like a charm.  And sometimes, I send myself to Room Time.  Because I need a nap. 

And an attitude adjustment.

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thediaperdiaries said...

I absolutely love this and am stealing it the second my children wake up in the morning.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Love it!!

Sarah said...

I am a firm believer in Room Time!

Muthering Heights said...

That sounds awesome...I'll keep that in mind!

Bridget said...

I love room time...I send myself there all the time (especially between 11 and 12 for The Young & the Restless!) ;)

Hoosier Homemade said...

Great idea! Mine are teenagers now, can I still make them do that? LOL
Thanks for hosting!

ilovemy5kids said...

We love Room Time! We also call it Reading Time. Same concept. Same motive - Mommy gets a siesta!

Blessings to you this week!

5intow said...

Definitely a great idea. My kids NEVER ~wink~ sleep either. I have one daughter you even stays up all night. simply amazing . . .

Heather @ Just Doing My Best said...

I'm with ya! When my two were younger, we did quiet time each day after lunch and it was often for me to have a chance to regroup.

Raise Them Up said...

Great Idea!

Jenny said...

That would never go over at my house! LOL! Great idea, though.

Donna @ Way More Homemade said...

I am also a firm believer in room time. My kids actually enjoy it. The 4 year old still has rest time that usually will turn into a nap and the 8 y/o periodically has "down time" that sometimes turns into a nap.

Monica@DailyDwelling said...

I'm a room time lover as well. In fact, that's what my post is on today, too. Our room time is a part of our daily routine. After breakfast everyone goes into their rooms for independent play. My girls are toddler is working his way up to an hour of room time. It is one of my favorite parenting tools!

Beach House Dreamer said...

Roome time, or alone time I think is kind of important, for anybody really. For us adults it's far from a "punishment" of course!

Susana said...

Totally agree with you! I use room time quite often around our home and it works like magic!!

Veronica said...

I love it! That is a fantastic idea! I'm definitely going to use it. That and the summer journal. Thanks!

Jenny said...

that would never work with my son. he'll scream bloody murder till the cops bang down my door.

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

Sounds like a great idea! Everyone needs some ME time.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I do send my son to his room occasionally to hang out - he never falls asleep though even though sometimes he really needs it.

I love how the sleep is denied - kids are so funny. Naps are only for babies, right?! LOL.

JanMary said...

Oh I love the sound of room time!

Unfortunately our daughters share a room at our holiday cottage, but one of them could maybe go to my room and I could have some downstairs-all-on-my-own time :)

Cardamom said...

This is great! We have a version called it Book Time. Everyone has to stop, get a book, sit on the couches and read until I say they may get up. This is basically like playpen time that I always did for my babies and toddlers.

hawkeyejlp said...

everydayMOM said...

I started room time with each of my three kids even as young as 1 year old! They could do 15 minutes of "crib time" and we eventually worked up to one hour of room time.

Room time is such a normal part of our household that it's not questioned at all. In fact, my kids go running for their rooms, ready for the time of independent, creative play.

It is the ONLY WAY I have been able to run a business out of my home the last six years. It's amazing what you can accomplish in one hour!

The Book Lady Online said...

I love this idea! In our house, I'm the one who needs room time the most. We're going to try this today. Thanks for the great idea!!

Shara--The "S" in Transition said...

I remember the days when I could use that as "punishment" for my kids. Now they're all teenagers and I would love for them to want to spend time not in their rooms.

Hey, maybe that's what I should do when they act up--make them spend time with us? =)

se7en said...

We do this after lunch every day - book time, though no one has their own room. I expect them to read a book on their own - a number of books if necessary!!!

I have to say that I led a mom's group for local mom's here (Cape Town, South Africa) for a while and they would die laughing at "your room time" since they all lived in homes that were just one room and they thought the funniest discipline line they ever saw in books or movies was: "Go to your room" this would leave them all tickled for hours!!!

Michelle said...

Great post and great idea! I love the "resting their eyes" comment my kids will argue until they are blue in the face saying they were just resting their eyes not sleeping. I love lazy days at home. Our summer doesn't start until Monday so wish me luck as well.

Tara said...

We have nap and quiet time. And the two kids who share a room take turns having quiet time in the basement in front of the tube. Yup. :)

Noel said...

We have done the room time for several years - it's absolutely necessary during the summer that they have time to themselves (and me too) :)

Jen-After the Alter said...

wow that sounds like a great idea...I think it says a lot about your kids that they actually participate in "room time" with out throwing a complete fit!


Kristi_runwatch said...

It's a beautiful thing - my daughter is just starting to outgrow her afternoon nap, so I've already started doing "room time" for her. Even if she doesn't sleep, she has to stay in there and play/ read/ rest until it's time to come downstairs!

Love how you use it as an attitude adjustment. I could use roomtime some days, too.

Carrie said...

I love that idea! I am going to have to try this with my kids.

Stephanie said...

We do this too, however, it isn't always as quiet as I would like. My 3 girls share a room and the 2 boys share the other. But the idea is that I get a little break which makes me a much better mom come supper time. And kids love it too and I love to hear my girls giggling over a book or something the baby just did and the boys planning the next fort/club they are going to build. Oh and my kids "just rest their eyes" occasionally too. :)

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

I think all of us need a little room time.

Meredith said...

I don't have kids, but I remember doing this when I was a kid! We called it "Flat Time" though, because it didn't matter what you did (reading, writing, resting, etc.) as long as you stayed flat.

eringoodman said...

great idea!!!

we are trying to find something similar in our family right now since i now have two non-nappers.

only trouble for us is that our kids share a room...

Stephanie said...

Why have I now thought of this? You, my dear Einstein, are BRILLIANT!
One "Room Time" coming right up!

Just Us said...

i have sort of been doing this for awhile, only it doesn't usually last an hour (but maybe it should). i don't know why, but i always feel guilty about doing it (feeling like maybe i was being lazy by not 'entertaining' them better). however, now that i see other parents out there doing it, it doesn't seem bad at all..... if nothing else, it is atleast a good lesson for them on 'entertaining' themselves. :)

Angie said...

"room time"
love it
using it

Lori said...

We do that! But we call it Quiet Time. I even do it when they are aggravating me. I tell them that Mommy is going to her room for Quiet Time and they leave me alone until I come out!

mommy4life said...

Oh Yeah! We have had thunderstorms and flooding for the last couple of days and the kids are driving me and each other crazy! Room time sounds like an awesome solution. Right now all 6 from ages 2-11 are watching Sesame street! I know - Desperation!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Great concept. Our babysitter actually does this with our daughter - she had "pack and play time" every afternoon. (Because she doesn't take an afternoon nap anymore.) And you know what? We ALL love it - daughter included!

Beth S. said...

LOVE THIS! Next time my kids are making me nutso (which is pretty regularly these days) I am declaring it ROOM TIME! This will definitely be a blackmail tool that I can use to get them to straighten up and find something to do! THANKS!

Suz said...

thanks for the idea. I only have one, but sometimes he does get an attitude. I could see how this would be a great diffuser. I will shorten the time due to a younger child with less attention span, but great idea!
He doesn't venture off to his room on his own often either because it's upstairs and we spend most of our time downstairs... will help him learn to enjoy his room more too.

{ L } said...

This is a SUPER idea and I will be using it for sure now! :)
thank you!

Overwhelmed Mom said...

I love this idea. I think I would love some "room time" most of all :)

LZ said...

Can I have room time? Where no one else can come into my room, ask for anything, etc? Oh, dare to dream! I would love to rest my eyes for an hour in the middle of the day...

Anonymous said...

No farmers tan, hence my need for the bronzers I shared today... ha! (So jealous there.) I am loving the Room Time idea and so hope it WFM when needed. Thanks for the tip Kristen!


Marie said...

Oh I love this idea. I'm going to "borrow" it. I think it's just what I needed today. Thank you for the inspiration!


Carol said...

Would you believe my oldest daughter taught my younger kids this when she was a teenager. She made a big thing out of it and called it alone time! They were about 7 or so at the time. It is such a good idea!

Staci @ teaching money to kids said...

Room time is a problem here, since my 3 kids share a room. But I have found a solution. My 1 yr old gets pak'nplay time, in th eoffice, and the other kids trade off who gets to play in their room, and who gets to help with dinner.I don't get as much of a break, but with a small house like ours, I think it is healthy for the kids to learn how to entertain themselves. Plus, I know I have spent some quality time with them each week, teaching them something useful.

Jen said...

Around our house room time is called Quiet Time and it's also for an hour stretch. The girls are "banished" to their rooms and can do anything as long as they are quiet.

laytonfamily said...

isn't it the best? We have "Quiet Time" from 1pm-2pm EVERYDAY!! My 20 month old naps so my 6 yr old has to find something quiet to do in his room! No noise making toys, reading - coloring, playing quietly! And when I'm worn down, makes for a great nap time for me!

Susie Q said...

I've done that, but when our boys shared a room, it did get tough. Something else that worked for us was 'chore time'! With all their books, toys, games, LEGOS and imaginations...I didn't want to hear that they were when they were old enough to come tell me they were bored, they were old enough to a) clean the glass on the sliding door and the mirrors in the house b) wipe down the bathroom countertop; and if they were fighting AND bored...time to wipe down the baseboards ;D ALL of them. Remarkably, we had few 'bored' moments. a

Anonymous said...

Guess what family in Washington is going to get introduced to Room Time tonight. Oh yeah!!

honeywine said...

I've been doing a "Play in the Living Room or Your Room Only" time period. I can't exactly hide in the kitchen, but at least, it's quieter!

everyday mom of one said...

I heard another very experienced mother talk about the exact same thing today. She said she used to let her kids get bored so they would appreciate their outings more

Storm said...

Hooray for Room Time.

JOY said...

Great Idea! We usually have a quiet time in the afternoon with the same rules as you mentioned, but I never thought of just calling a "room time" when arguing starts - GENIUS!!!

Alexia said...

I use room time all the time - for me. LOL it's my favorite part of the day (or hour...)

Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva said...

I know that I'm a week late on this post, but I love the name "room time." I call it "family time out" and we all just go to our separate corners of the house and chill out for awhile.