So, a week after setting up the quiet corner, and I am happy to report that things are going well!
The lure of the new toys as they got delivered to the house was enough to cause a bit of a raucous one night, when everyone wanted to hold the egg light (especially the toddler). It is very pretty and the slow change from one colour to the next is quite soothing.
I am incredibly pleased when I see one of the kids chilling in the corner, headphones on and flicking through a book or looking at the gel timer. Sometimes they gravitate towards it because they are at a lull in their chosen activities, but several times I have noticed someone purposely sitting there in order to calm down.
My nine year old daughter is full of pre-pubescent hormones and sometimes loses her temper in a spectacularly loud fashion. (um, I wonder where she got that from? yikes)
The other day, when she was particularly annoyed with her brother, she stomped off and sat down in a huff for a bit of quiet time. She put the headphones on, read a picture book, and was in her own little world for a while until she felt able to deal with other people again.
It's not all roses and unicorns here, though. There is no magic cure for cross tempers or clashing personalities! The toddler wanders off with the Quiet Corner supplies, much to everyone's consternation, and there are moments when a person can't even breathe loudly in the vicinity of the stressed person.
I have yet to use the corner myself. I don't quite fit, for a start. It is definitely a child-sized space.
This article on the disadvantages of time-outs really makes a lot of sense to me. I like that our Quiet Corner isn't a punishment, or a banishment. It's a chance to relax in a dedicated space, whenever a person feels like they need it. I think I need an adult's version somewhere else in the house!