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.
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.