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.
The word ‘intentional’ has been on my mind for several weeks. It means being deliberate, calculated or conscious. In the time, space and environment we presently live in, I believe as parents we have to be intentional towards our children; otherwise, several mundane things will take up our time. As I stroll through the different social media platforms, I see how easy it is to be distracted and allow what is visual govern the mind. You must make up your mind to:
Be intentional about speaking with your child.
Be intentional about listening to your child.
Be intentional about engaging with your child.
Be intentional about playing with your child.
Be intentional about being firm with your child.
Be intentional about showing love to your child.
Be intentional about the wellbeing of your child.
Be intentional about helping your child to learn.
Be intentional about being consistent with your child.
Be intentional about taking a family break with your child.
There are many distractions in society today, and this does not exempt the family. Severally, I have been approached to take on more demanding professional position. However, I weigh it against my work-life balance because I am intentional as a parent not to have the scale tip over. It is understandable that not everyone may be in a position to pick and chose when to make income; however, the ability to be intentional ensures we as parents give it a second thought before going ahead with a decision. Being a parent does not always come easy, but, the act of being intentional helps develop the culture of family principles and ethos that the children can later appreciate.
On a particular day, I was on the train going to a meeting in London. A group of primary school children got on the train in Mile End. One of them had a visual impairment and guided by an adult whom I believe is the teacher. Three of the children sat on my left side, and one of them decided to pick the newspaper to read.
To my surprise, the teacher told him to stop reading the paper and to put it down. From his body language/observation, the boy wanted to ask why but said ‘yes Miss’. While I was giving the teacher the cold look of why?; that’s how you make a child display disruptive behaviour, and holding back my tongue. Another adult supervising the children noticed this child putting the paper down but encouraged him to go on reading. The boy said ‘Miss told me to put it down.’ This adult turned to the teacher and asked my thoughtful question, why? Her response, ‘we can not control the content in the newspaper.’ The other adult said, ‘oh’. My thoughts responded, ‘are you kidding me.’ At this time of the morning, 95% of the newspaper in the train carriage is metro. This got me thinking about the political correctness of the education system and wanting to put filters in every area of it. If the children were disruptive with the newspaper, this action by the teacher would be justified. What happened to;
Asking the child, what are you reading?
Having a look at the newspaper before concluding on the action to take.
Directing the child to a more child-friendly page.
Engaging the child in educational discussion linked to the curriculum.
What is happening in education? I seem to be getting more dissolution with manufactured educators and the deteriorating of common sense in education. OR am I wrong?