Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is Your Child the Reason for Your Sleepless Season? by Beverly F. Jones

Sometimes children refuse to sleep at night and parents ask me how they can solve this problem. Like most topics involving children, some things are learned through trial and error. While you are trying, consider what I suggest.

First, You should understand that no matter how much you pay for magic to happen, it does not work on a child. Teaching strategies work, and they work best with consistency! Not everything is an easy fix. I pray for parents who become angry with others because their child has developed this habit of "non-sleep", or worst, and the caregiver is blamed for allowing their sleepy child to take a nap instead of forcing them to stay awake. Does anyone else hear how that sounds (smiling). The truth is, parents get desperate when all that they have tried has failed. In short, we all are frustrated with what
We can not fix, or do not understand. I have found help for those who are searching for answers. This may not work with all children, but it is worth a try. 

SLEEP IS A 'DEEP' SUBJECT...Put on your diving gear...Dive In!

Step 1: Set house rules when your child is young...before they
learn to talk and use reverse psychology on you ;)

Step 2: Have a family meeting to discuss the schedule of events that will take place at home.
Tell your child that you are going to cook dinner together (to provide quality time), then tell your child your expectations: he or she will take a bath and put on pajama's after dinner is over. You can sing together while your child takes his / her bath. Allow your child a chance to choose the songs you sing. 

Give ample time to transition from one activity to the next. Warn your child that bath time will be over soon. Prompt your child before it's time to eat dinner. There is a sure chance that proper notification will eliminate resistance. 

After dinner is over, invite your child to help clean. The running water may encourage your child to go use the toilet.  After that is done, you will have time to read a story together. Skipping storytime to have 5 minutes to yourself really robs your child of bonding time that could be view as their greatest memory when older. If you want to eliminate late night talk sessions with your child, allow your child to talk to you and ask questions during storytime.

Step 3: Let your child know that he or she has 20 minutes to play on their floor and make
noises before you set the quiet time timer (together). By then, the child's food should have digested and trips to the toilet may be limited. After the schedule of events have taken place, explain that you are tired, and everyone in your house is required to sleep in order to be strong enough to play the next day.

Step 4: Set a timer to help make limits clear. Just before you set the timer, let your child know that he or she is expected to use the toilet, wash his hands, be quiet and sleep after the timer goes off.

Step 5: Give your child a great big hug and ask him or her to either tuck you in the bed and give you a kiss; or you tuck him or her in the bed and give the kiss. If the child tucks you in, tell him or her to quickly get in the bed. Remember, it is the parents job to see that the child has actually made
it to the room. In other words, do not fall asleep if you get tucked in first :).

Help your child feel independent instead of like a baby. Your child will eventually follow the night time routine. Refrain from faulting your loving caregiver for how your home is managed. Kindly ask for help, and consult your child's doctor as needed. In fact, your doctor should be made aware of any behavior that you find unusual in your child. Sleep tight!

I like to refer to the many possibilities listed in the book,

Old news is good news when you tweak it to fit your current needs. 

Copyright Beverly F. Jones 7.17.10