49: Blanket Time
A tip we’ve learned from others in our church is blanket time. Blanket time is when we ask our younger children to sit and play quietly on a blanket. Blanket time is not a discipline tool, but it is a training tool. In other words, we don’t use it after they get into trouble as a time-out, but we use it whenever we want a few minutes of structure or we want our kids to have some set boundaries.
The principle is pretty simple. You just put your kids on a blanket and tell them they may not get off until you say so. Set whatever other boundaries you want for the time. You can give them toys if you want, put them on a video, or give them books. Usually blanket time also means quiet time.
Tell the child that if she gets off or fusses she will get spanked. This will train her to be able to play quietly and to play within boundaries. Believe it or not often this will calm a restless child. Kids need and crave for boundaries.
After the initial training period your child should get accustomed to this pretty quickly and will be able to sit and play quietly for 30 minutes or an hour.
Here’s the beauty of it: now you can go to any meeting anywhere, pull out your blanket and have your kids play quietly while you talk to a friend, attend a class at church, or sign papers. It’s awesome and incredibly freeing for both the parent and the child!