As you know I am working with 3 wonderful families from the award winning daytime flagship show ‘This Morning’ and here is the email that Alison sent into the show asking for help around SLEEP or lack of it !
I’m sorry I can’t put the video footage up yet as we are trying to get permission from ITV …..but I have just had a fantastic break through Shane’s first words were, “It’s working like a dream !”
Here was their problem:
I am writing to tell you about my three children, none of whom sleep particularly well.
Adam will be 6 in may, he goes to sleep between 11 and 12 on a good night, even though we put him to bed between 8 and 8.30, he is generally a very good boy, but after being at school all day, he can be grumpy because of his lack of sleep and this reflects on the family. He is quite happy to go to his room at bedtime, and he will watch a DVD or play his Ds console, we have now given in and allowed him to do this in the hope it will make him drowsy, if we say to him everything has to be turned off, we then get tears or a paddy fit.
Emmelia is 4 years old, she again goes up to bed at 8, if she falls asleep within 20 mins we’re fine, if not she will be up for hours, coming down to us many times asking the most pointless things, she is the most bad tempered of the children as she also gets up early and generally needs her sleep the most.
Sophie was 2 back at Christmas, she goes days where she will still be up past midnight, still running around. It is now very rare that she will sleep during the day, if she does, we now only allow her to have about 30mins. We have managed to get her to bed at about 9, but then she wakes again at 11 thinking it’s time to start the day.
Due to these sleepless times, it is rare that we have any time to ourselves and i can still be up at 1 or 2 in the morning trying to get things done or have some “me” time.
I am sure the situation isn’t helping the family.
Hope these stories are of interest to your feature.
I would suggest that it is playing on his DS console, that is actually over stimulating him.
Many adults as well as children are finding staying on social media like Twitter or playing games on their DS machines actually stimulate the brain and make it over active and buzzy – just what you DON’T need at bedtime.
Also they have rather an addictive quality to them – hence the tears and tantrums
Your son needs a quiet, relaxing routine – with perhaps a bath, story and quiet time and a drink of milk. Perhaps he could listen to story CDs as my children really used to enjoy falling asleep to gentle music or stories when they were his age.
Kids need your guidance, direction and leadership in this even if they think you are being an old fuddy duddy.
It’s about getting clear on WHY you need to help him relax – perhaps it’s so he can do better at school, be less grumpy and more energised as he will be getting the correct amount of sleep for his age.
Children need sleep to replenish energy, aid their growth and to relax their busy minds so keep the bigger picture to this problem and be relaxed, consistent and clear on your new boundaries and new routines.
Don’t let him feel he is missing out on his “game- time” just change when he has it – earlier in the evening perhaps after his tea or after doing his reading or homework.
It can also be a reward, treat and a privilege you know not a right !
Constant use of the laptops, mobiles and computers can’t be good for us in terms of radiation, concentration and addition to the buzz.
But it’s always about finding a healthy balance isn’t it ?
So just for today I want you to pause to ponder how you use, teach and control your child’s use of technology and to feel confident about what you are going to say to him , HOW you are going to say it to him and what you’re going to do if he kicks off !
If you are relaxed, positive and upbeat and very specific and clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable now – you son will pick up on your confidence and react accordingly.
It’s also about not giving in the 1st night if it goes a bit pear shaped – stickability is the name of the game !
So rehearse what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, reward and praise him like mad when he does what you say and keep the bigger picture to your parenting.