Going from the freedom of summer to the strict scheduling of school is hard for some kids. When the kids come home exhausted and ravenous, how do you enforce chores and homework time?
I don’t always make my kids take naps after school, but there are some days when naps are just plain necessary.
The First Day of Kinder
Number 7 got off the school bus upset because his brand new backpack broke on the way home (granted, this made me tear up too… BRAND NEW!) He went from upset to full-tantrum-mode when he was told he couldn’t have a protein shake for snack. Luckily, the sight of fresh donuts smothered his crying. After a little recuperation, Number 7 asked to play a video game.
Me: Ok, but first I want you to lay down for a few minutes.
No. 7 (falls to floor in hot, sweaty pieces): How many minutes is it?
Me: uh… 4.
No. 7: Four minutes?!? It’s not even four minutes!!
When the kids played sports after school, I would often make them take naps before practice. It helped them focus and remain cooperative (at home and on the field).
The Downside to Laying Down
With so much to do each day, we can’t afford to relax too long; much less take a leisurely nap. Most days, it’s a mad rush to snack, do homework and chores, and make dinner, so that the rest of the evening can be enjoyable.
Sometimes naps end up pushing bedtime back an hour or two… which makes waking up the next morning harder… which makes the kids need a nap later…
It also makes time-telling even more confusing for kids (“Did someone change it to night time?“).
So, do you make your kids take a nap after school? Am I crazy, or do I just need a nap myself?