If you are wondering why your child is not going to sleep early at bedtime, have you thought of screen time? The shorter the time between screen time and going to bed, the longer the time it will take your child to go to sleep. The younger the child, the more delay in going to sleep.
Sometimes the content on the screen affects children’s sleep, making them toss and turn as they replay in their mind what was watched. Basically, this is different from physical activity but rather based on the amount of information the child has taken into their brain, cognition and mind.
If your young child is struggling to sleep early at bedtime, this is a thought for you to consider, and work towards correcting it by putting in strategies that will help. Remember, sleep is very important for the growing child, not to mention adults. It helps them to concentrate, focus better, less cranky, less tearful, less emotionally drained and less stressful.
I have read a few romantic books in my life. Most especially as a girl child entering into my teenage years, Mills and Boon were my favourite romance books to read. I learnt a few things from reading these romantic books, most especially, for a growing teenage girl, the importance of friendship and romance in a relationship. Not all was learnt from romantic books and of cause I got some lessons from observing how my dad treated women and myself with respect. I will stress not all the Mills and Boon romance books are free from violence in the relationship (That is a story for another day). However, the majority, I will say 85% of them were based on how romance in a relationship is essential. These books in a way contributed in imprinting in me my expectation from boys and how I as a girl should be treated with respect and listened to.
Now fast-forward many years later, with being in a marriage and having a girl child on my own, I firmly believe a growing girl child, entering the double-digit years into being a teenager should be introduced to reading romantic books. Already, children from this age, if not earlier, will be having a crush on the opposite sex, which is part of growth, development, body change and emotional awareness. Most parents struggle to discuss or deal with this, even in this millennial century. Parents may not know what to say, how to say it, completely tell it the wrong way or do not want to talk about it at all. As noted in my earlier blog on what book is your child reading, books are essential in ensuring we as parents stay in communication with our children. The fact should not be denied that there will be sexual themes or act in these books. However, as parents we must face the fact that in today’s world there are more harmful things fighting for the attention of our children than a romantic book; which can help contribute to a foundation of what romance may look like, us taking the lead role in educating our girls by selecting or recommending the choice of books and helping to open the door of communication with our girl child.
Going back to romantic books, apart from releasing happy hormones, what can the girl child learn from it, and of cause we should not forget the boys. Some boys enjoy reading romantic books or movies, and this has nothing to do with sexuality.
Sexual impropriety is high, and with the age of social media, YouTube TV and mobile tablet device, this makes it more alarming. However, it not all sad news as more is being done to educate parents and children about staying safe from sexual abuse. This is an additional method to keep the safety net on and of cause encourage reading in our children. A suggested age to introduce the girl child to romantic books will be from the class age of year six, entering into secondary school.
A child of mine worry’s about most things; about it being sunny when it’s meant to be dark or why the weather forecast indicates it should rain and it did not. When you observe any sad face or signs of worries on your child below are 5 statements/questions that can help:
‘Turn your frown upside down’.
What are you thinking of?
What will happen if what you are thinking does happen?
Who told you it would happen?
Why do you think it will then happen?
It should be said that children have different ways of processing, and some can do a better job at it than others. These steps may not be applicable or help all children that worry. The age and mental maturity of the child should also play a part in identifying how much support the child needs. As indicated, these are simple steps that can help with the everyday worrying child. The aim is for the child to learn how to talk, describe and analyse his/her feelings. For children with feelings and thoughts that need more structured support, it is essential to get the required professional assistance.
A text came from a parent at a point when I was questioning the support I gave to parents, whether solicited or not, was the right choice. I was reflective and having an inner battle within myself if parents found information shared useful. When conversations or discussion take place between parent and me, there is the nod of the head agreeing to what was discussed and a thank you here and there. However, this message was so different, why you ask?; because of the timing and the effort taken to write it out. Teachers, lecturers, councillors and educators tend not to request a display of appreciation. However, if parents feel the need to show appreciation to those that support or care for their child, it should be encouraged because that act might be what is needed to add that layer of confidence to the individual.
Appreciation is not just about praise and reward but also about acknowledging the contribution a person made to solve a problem. The act of appreciation is needed in every professional field both from management to member of staff, parents to teachers and vice versa. Yes, those in education should appreciate parents that make an effort to ensure children follow the rules, regulations, policies and procedures set out by the establishment. Because in today’s world parenting is a skill that requires creativity and patience to get the right result for individual children.
“Hey Renny, I just wanted to say thank you. Every time I have seen you recently we’ve had a good chat about children and you’ve always made me feel good. We’ve been through tough times with our child with what happened with the friend and finally feel like we are coming out the other side from a toxic friendship for both of us. Whenever I chat with you, I always feel like you understand and have the same views on parenting as me. Just want you to know I appreciate that.”
To the parent that inspired this, thank you for giving permission to share.
It’s exam revision season, and I ask my child to revise 30 minutes on an e-learning platform, encouraging to write principal points along the way of the revision. The child decides to be smarty pants about it and says ‘my learning style is visual so don’t need to write down.’ Thank God for the knowledge of teaching, my response was ‘I am aware of the different learning styles and happy you are aware of your’s, but you still need to write down what you see in your words for better understanding’. I went on to say “you can use a mind map to draw out and map out your points.” All these were said in my best possible sarcastic mum voice.
However, I was very proud that the child identifies with an appropriate learning style. This got me thinking, how many parents can determine their child’s learning style? Having had the opportunities to teach, lecture and be an educator for several years, learners struggle to revise appropriately for exams because they have not identified their learning style. It should be said, learning style is not age restricted, and it can change over the years. A child can move from one style of learning at any stage of development and can also identify better ways of revising for exams. The critical point is, at any particular stage of the development of a child, a parent can ensure to recognise their child’s learning style and encourage it as a technique for learning.
There are several types of learning styles but the three main ones I will focus on are: listening, touching and seeing.
Listen: this is also identified as auditory. Children that fall into this learning style need to pay attention to what is being said. They hear and listening to the information and can retain it. When it comes to revision, these children can benefit from listening to podcast of the topic of their choice. Listening to music, of their choice, while revising can also be beneficial to these children. This is why some children can carry out verbal instructions and task better than other children because their strength lie in audio learning style.
Touch: customarily identified as kinesthetic or physical learning style. Children that fall into this bracket revise better with activities that are practical and hands on. Such activities can include tabletop games, problem-solving activities and task that require real or life experience. Children can either be descriptive or use a bullet point technique when taking down revision notes for an exam. Flash cards, puzzles and quizzes may come handy during revision. Tactile objectives are also beneficial.
See: children that fall within visual/sight learning style are observant of details. Descriptive writing and creative writing is at play here as they will write down, in details, what was observed. Children will enjoy revision with picture books, documentary. Reading can be a vital part of these children as they can use their creative eye to visualise the outcome. Mind maps and visual boards are also excellent exam revision techniques.
Children learn differently and have own mechanism that they use to revise for an exam. However, all learning styles can be used intermediately and across the board. Applying a set rule is not suggested because a child may learn better using the visual learning style on a particular subject but when another topic is introduced the listening technique works better.
NOTE: Parents should note that many technological resources can be used to make learning fun and engaging for their child. This should be taken advantage to the fullest.