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  • Writer's pictureerikaslade

A Nap Tale (a case for creativity)

Parenting is a test of creativity if nothing else. My 4 year old decided after a month of vacation with the grandparents that she no longer wanted to nap. Wellllll, the little sour patch gremlin child she turned into by 6pm said otherwise. What do you do? Give up naps and return to the witching hour era? Force her into bed with threats and punishments? No. Know your child then get creative.

My little one LOVES autonomy. She loves to be independent and she thrives on clear expectations. So I let her know that her body needed rest in order to play properly in the afternoon. I set the expectation that she needed to lay down for a least one hour. I gave her 2 books to read and let her know she could only read them laying down. Sitting up would be an automatic forfeiture of said books. Then I put a clock in her room and wrote the time she could get up on a sticky note. Although she can't tell time, she does know when the time on the paper matches the time on the clock.

Would you like to guess what happened? She fell asleep. About 20 minutes into her new independent rest reading....she was knocked out. After we did this for about a week, I slowly weaned out the sticky note, the clock and books. We read together before nap and then it's off to bed. And now...oh yes, even right now...I have a 4 year old who naps for 1-2 hours and still sleeps 10-11 hours per night.

I encourage all parents to not only "know thy self," but "know thy child." What works for one may not work for all. But the key lies in our ability to understand the nature of our child and find a solution that appeals to their strengths.

Have a wonderful nanny day!!

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