Bed Time And Behaviour

Bed time can be a nightmare for parents (and children, come to that). Little ones can often point blank refuse to go to bed at all, or they might head off willingly only to pop up in the living room every 10 minutes asking for a drink, a snack, a story, to be tucked in… They might even go to bed and get to sleep but wake in the night and climb into their parents’ bed. These behaviours are common, but that’s not to say they should be allowed. In fact, without intervention, they will just get worse and they will have a detrimental effect on your child’s health.

Tired Little O after a busy day.

Losing out on just a few hours of sleep is a big issue for children. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of different problems (some of which will manifest immediately, others will take their time to be seen). These include lower academic standards and abilities, as well as general behaviour problems. They are no different to adults in this respect – you know how unproductive and sluggish you feel when you haven’t sleep well and that is how the child will be feeling too; they just don’t have the words or emotions to express it well.

If you are having problems at bedtime, here are some ideas that can help.

What’s The Problem?

If your child really does have difficulty sleeping despite the rules and the routine, there could be another issue going on. Encourage your child to talk about their problems so that you can come up with a solution together. There could be a variety of issues at play, so getting to the bottom of what’s wrong and putting a plan together to tackle it is essential if you want your child to sleep well.

Perhaps your little one doesn’t know how to self-soothe, or maybe they get bored lying in bed. Perhaps they are uncomfortable and it’s time to get some new furniture for your kids. They could have seen something on TV that worried them, or heard their parents arguing. Their imaginations might be running riot and they believe there is a monster in the cupboard or under the bed.

Have Bed Time Rules

If you create a set of bed time rules that teach your child what you expect from them and what they should expect from you, it can make things easier. Children – despite what many people might think! – like rules. They like order. So they will go along with what is suggested when they know there is no choice.

To start with you will need to establish the right time for your child to go to bed. This is crucial. Work backwards from the time they have to get up to ensure that they are going to have enough sleep. When you know what time bed time is, you can arrange dinner and bath time around it. Next you need to work out the actual bedtime routine. This might include reading a story (or offering older children a little time to read by themselves) or discussing the day’s events. Then you need to impress upon the child that once they are in bed they should stay there unless they need the toilet or feel unwell and so on. Keep working on these rules until they are set in stone – there may be resistance to begin with, which is why you will have to persevere.

Have Good Bed Time Habits

We all know that watching TV, playing video games, using a smartphone and so on is detrimental to our sleep cycles and that ideally screens shouldn’t be used in the hour before bed. If it’s the case for adults it’s definitely the case for children. Therefore, parents need to promote healthy habits in the time leading up to bed time so that their children can get the best sleep possible.

Rather than having screen time, the hour before bed should be used to engage in quiet, relaxing activities. This could be reading, colouring, playing with educations toys such as bricks or even just having a nice warm bath and hopping right into bed after that.

Reward Good Behaviour

Rewarding good behaviour shouldn’t be seen as a ‘bribe’ or a ‘last resort’ – it can actually help immensely with children who need to have a goal to work towards in order to get things done. You could create a sticker chart and award one sticker for every time your child stays in their own bed all night or goes to bed without a fuss, for example. Once enough stickers have been earned, this can be converted into a prize of some sort – perhaps a day out or a special meal. Work out where the problem areas lie and use your reward system to help ease them.

What Are Your Rights As A Parent Of A Child In Hospital

Being a parent isn’t easy, especially when our children are sick. The weight of responsibility is huge and never-ending, but how often do parents take the time to think about their rights?  Most guardians would hope they never encounter the dread and stress that goes with accompanying their child through a stay in the hospital.

There have been cases recently, where children with severe brain damage have been in the news, with facts and misinformation about the rights of a child’s parent right at the forefront of the public awareness. Brain Injury Solicitors ‘Your Legal Friend’ has set about researching the topic, when updating their FAQ section and have been in touch with bloggers to help put some myths to bed in this case.

Your baby may be your baby forever, but they are their own human, from the moment they are born and have their own rights separate to yours. As they get older, their involvement in medical decisions, their capacity to consent and their responsibilities as a patient will grow. However, as a parent, there are some things you can realistically expect.

·         Be present while your child is being dealt with unless it would put you or them in danger (for instance, amid a surgery. Be there to give them cuddles and comfort. Let them know that they are not alone. 

·         Be permitted to sleep over with your child in the event that you need to. When Jimmy was recently in the hospital for 3 nights, we were well looked after. As a breastfeeding mum I was also fed.

·         Have an opportunity to make inquiries about your kid’s care and receive plain answers. It’s not a bad thing to ask lots of questions!

·         Be given names and contact details of someone you can contact with further questions.

·         Be given info about all staff members who are associated with your child’s care.

·         Be a member of the discussion about their treatment, with enough information on the positives, the cons, dangers, symptoms or any other treatment alternatives you could have.

·         Be treated with consideration concerning any conduct you or your child show due to stress (within reason).

·         Have all insights about you and your child kept private (aside from where the law expects it to be shared) and for any data to only be imparted with your consent.

·         Be offered access to any data kept about your child and family.

·         Be told if your child’s condition deteriorates or changes.

·         Raise a complaint on the off chance that you are worried about the way you have been dealt with or that your child has been dealt with.

·         Be given a reason and, when fitting, a statement of regret, if things don’t go to design.

·         On the off chance that you think a specialist has acted carelessly when caring for your child, you can make a claim on behalf of your child.

Remember, your child needs you for love and support. It’s OK to be worried and scared, but let them know that they are not doing this alone.

 

*This post is in collaboration with Your Legal Friend.