Behaviour, Routine, SLEEP, U Time, Us Time

CHILDREN NEED DOWN TIME

Having quiet U Time and Us Time, time to rest, relax, and daydream throughout the day is just as important as napping or sleeping at night.

Since publishing this months blog New Year Old You https://happychildcare.club/2020/01/10/new-year-old-you/ I’ve had emails from parents saying they have no problem sleeping, that they are so exhausted they could sleep standing up, but their kids won’t sleep!

As we know, our children want to be with us all the time, flattering as this may be, we need our U Time, and they need their sleep. We have to find ways of encouraging them to want to go to bed and make bedtime a comfortable, relaxing experience they’ll look forward to.

There’s no Magical Cure, Sleeping Potions, or Sand Man in the world who is able to make our children sleep if they don’t want to. Nobody can really make anybody sleep if they are not willing to do so, not even a Hypnotherapist like me. But there are ways in which we can help our children to relax and feel comfortable to sleep alone, soundly throughout the night. 

Having quiet Us Time, time to rest, relax, and daydream throughout the day is just as important as napping or sleeping at night. Usually a cuddle and a picture book helps children to relax, and by finding a book that has a message you’d like to convey to your child is especially useful, the children I mind enjoy the Tony Ross Little Princess Story books, the I don’t want to go to bed! one can be found on Amazon here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Want-Bed-Little-Princess/dp/1783440171/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=i+dont+want+to+go+to+bed+book+PRINCESS&qid=1579861528&sr=8-3

Physical and mental capacity is impaired with too much activity and stimulation. This can be nearly as bad as none at all, making learning to relax a useful skill.

A day at School or Nursery sandwiched between child-minders, breakfast, or After School Clubs and family and friends is exhausting and demanding for our young children. This is just what we expect our children to do as part of their normal day.

Children are so busy playing!

Providing an adequate amount of activity for their age and allowing them plenty of time to do things, unrushed, can help them with all the comings and goings of everyday life.

For babies, any activity or visits should be short and sweet.

It’s easy to overestimate what they need or what they are capable of tolerating. Routines such as nappy changing, bathing, or a trip to the shops are physically and mentally stimulating and exciting to them.

A bath before bed aids sleep!

We might not feel we’ve exerted ourselves by taking a trip to the shops, followed by a visit to Auntie Sue’s, but our baby will have.

Everything is new to them, and as they are constantly learning and encountering different experiences, we must allow plenty of periods for them to rest and process them.

Tempting as it is to play with them for hours on end with noisy, colourful toys, or wake them for a cuddle, passing them around cooing friends and family, this can all be too much for them to tolerate.

Friends & family overload.

They soon become tired and irritable for what seems like no apparent reason. Then after such a busy day, we find ourselves puzzled as to why they cannot sleep, wondering why they are fighting it.

Why don’t they just fall straight to sleep when we’ve tried our best all day to wear them out? 

Well, the answer is, they simply cannot relax when they are irritable and past the point of sleep.

As they have no control over what happens to them, and no way to communicate their feelings, they become frustrated and upset.

And being picked up while fast asleep and moved can be a rude awakening that none of us would welcome.

Babies don’t understand the journey has come to an end, and it’s time to get out of the car, into the hustle and bustle of a busy supermarket. They were happy fast asleep. So, we have to be as sensitive, understanding, and accommodating to their needs as possible by offering uninterrupted, regular rest periods in order to prevent them becoming overtired and anxious.

RELIEVING ANXIETY

It’s easy to spot if our children are overtired by how they behave.

Their emotions will be exaggerated, seeming unnecessary or inappropriate, displaying either frustration, sadness, anger, or all of those.

These emotions determine their behaviour, dictating how they act. Those feelings are there for a reason, they can help children regulate themselves if they understand and learn how to manage them.

When we recognise they’re feeling emotionally tired, we can reassure them they are simply tired and will feel better after some rest. Most children become emotionally stable and behave appropriately with adequate rest.

After a good night’s sleep or a short nap, they wake feeling refreshed and happy once again.

If not, then getting to the real problem and resolving the issues will be essential before expecting them to sleep well. 

We need to make sure they are not anxious or stressed but are relaxed before bedtime.

Problems from the day can be left simmering in the back of their mind at bedtime, or fears over future events can bother them.

If they have things to face the next day which they are not looking forward to, such as a test at school or even a visit to the dentist, these worries can cause anxiety, manifesting as nighttime wakings.

We can help eliminate concerns they have by using Us Time to let them discuss issues openly with us each day and by offering them the chance to relax daily. Offloading some of their worries and relaxing more will provide time to think, reflect, and rationalise their thoughts and feelings (we will look at ways to do this in later blog posts when we look at Esteem and The Bother Box). Make sure you join our Newsletter so you don’t miss it!

A regular bed time routine is key to a good nights sleep! zzzzz

Sleep is vital in restoring children’s mental and physical development and growth. As well as helping them to process the day’s events, and to make sense of all they’ve learnt and experienced. Without adequate sleep, their mental and emotional capabilities are affected including their concentration and physical coordination. So, when tired, they are more accident prone and clumsy, their memory and learning abilities are affected, making it difficult to learn, remember, or concentrate, and their behaviour, moods, and emotions are all disrupted.

Sweet Dreams!

They can even experience disturbances that hinder the production of appetite controlling hormones which could be a contributing factor in possible weight gain.

Children have difficulty sleeping for all sorts of reasons, and we’ll look at these over the next few blogs, so Stay Present until then, Em x

Images courtesy of Unsplash https://unsplash.com/

Esteem, Recreation

Does The Grass Have to be Greener?

Over the past fifteen years as a Childminder, I’ve had the opportunity to observe different age groups of children, all playing together. At the beginning of my career, I felt the need to structure and plan activities and to keep them all busily occupied.

Now, experience has shown me that children require as little adult intervention as possible, and more free choice and opportunities for spontaneous play.

This is when they have real fun and enjoy each other’s company, and when you hear real laughter and joy.

When we interfere or try to entertain them constantly, they don’t learn how to amuse themselves, and inevitably get bored when left to their own devices. This can lead to negative or positive attention seeking behaviours. 

Our children crave our time and attention and delight in any we offer. They look to us for acceptance that they are doing it the right way. But when it comes to play, there is no right or wrong way, so we can encourage them to do it their way.

Even if they are technically wrong, we can allow them to think for themselves and show them that we don’t mind. If they colour the grass purple when drawing a picture, then that’s okay, it’s their picture, we can approve of it exactly as they want it to be. The grass doesn’t have to be greener!

Show them that we don’t mind if they colour the grass purple!

There’s a time and a place for formal learning and fact finding and a time and a place for freedom, love, and acceptance. Our children won’t grow up believing the grass is purple, because we haven’t corrected them or criticised their picture when they were three years old. They’ll soon learn its green by themselves, if given the opportunity to play outside. But they will grow up to feel creative, confident and with a healthy level of self-esteem, when we give them the freedom to express themselves in way’s we don’t think are correct.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/HappyChildcare

https://www.instagram.com/happychildcarepentwyn/?hl=en

Learning, Proactive Parenting

HOMEWORK FUN FOR EVERYONE!

Of course, we can make a cardboard dinosaur better than our five-year-old can, but where’s the fun in that, if they have to watch us?

Push our children to succeed or push them over the edge, it’s a fine line to tread?

Knowing how far to push them and when, is unique to each parent and child.

It’s something that intuitively and instinctively we come to know, the more proactive and involved we become in their learning and behaviour.

It’s natural we want our children to do well at school but if we become too involved and take -over, we miss the point of what the learning objective is.

Teachers also have a good understanding of our children’s ability, more than we do.

When children are set homework projects at school, the whole point of the exercise is for our children to learn something by doing it themselves. Hopefully while enjoying the process as much as they can.

As well-meaning parents, sometimes it can be hard to let our children do this for themselves and easier for us to do it for them.

Yes, maybe it does feel rewarding, watching our children parading our elaborate creations on the school yard?

And naturally, seeing how proud our children feel doing so, makes us feel good?

But do we want our children to feel proud of our efforts or their own?

Teachers want to see what the children can create and what they’ve learnt in the process, not what we are capable of. 

Teachers also have a good understanding of our children’s ability, more than we do. They’ll know that it’s our work not our children’s, if we produce an artistic masterpiece or solve an almost unsolvable equation.

It’s getting messy and having fun in the process that counts.

Of course, we can make a cardboard dinosaur better than our five-year-old can, but where’s the fun in that, if they have to watch us?

They don’t care how perfect it looks. It’s getting messy and having fun in the process that counts. We can still help if our children are finding something challenging, but stepping back at times maybe a good idea?

Sometimes, it can be possible to be a bit too present as parents!

Uncategorized

TO DO OR NOT TO DO?

Surely, none of us would have chosen to become parents in the first place, had we thought we would end up angry, frustrated, nagging, stressed out, sleep deprived, nervous wrecks?

WHAT HAPPENED?

We become parents with the sole intention of enjoying every moment with our children, and to love, cherish and appreciate the joy they bring.

Ok, admittedly before our bundles of joy arrived, we envisioned a beautifully decorated nursery, where our new arrival would sleep like a baby, peacefully through the night.

We never thought as far as the colic, teething, bedwetting, sleepless nights, and the crayon all over the walls, or the bombsite a toddler would create, in their once beautiful bedroom.

And it’s doubtful any of us could have imagined tantrums in the supermarket and brawls on the playground, as we daydreamed of building sand castles at the beach and sunny days playing in the park?

But have our children let us down, or have we all just been naively seduced by the notion of what parenting should be like?

The truth is parenting can be a joyous experience full of fun times together, but like any other relationship, it does take a lot of time and patience to build rewarding, loving relationships with our children.

It doesn’t matter what parenting tools or techniques we use, or how much advice we receive from others, without enough time to devote to our children, it’s all worthless and ineffective.

The good news, however, is that it only takes time to build those happy, healthy, and successful relationships with our children.

But we have to make the time for it.


STREAMLINING

Having too many things on our ‘to do list’ takes our time and attention away from our children.

We would certainly all be more effective and more relaxed parents, if we did not have so many plates spinning in the air. The frustration arises, when we try to keep all those plates in the air and the inevitable happens, we drop a few.

As our children are those closest to us, they’re naturally more loving and forgiving than anyone or anything else in our life.

We certainly can put them off a lot easier than we can our Boss or our Tax Return. Sadly, for those reasons they are the ones who suffer the most when we are busy doing too many other things.

Even when we are spending time with our children, all too often we tend to still be thinking of past work or relationship issues, or fretting about the future, instead of concentrating on them.

Understandably with our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, our minds can and do easily wander from the trivia of our children’s conversations or complaints, to our more pressing grown up issues.

We will all be more efficient and effective parents though if, we learn how to streamline our commitments. For parenting to run smoothly, we have to be organised, but too many diaries, schedules, plans and to do lists, just keeps us constantly busy.

Seeing in black and white everything everyone else wants us to do, and how much has to be done, can feel daunting. And putting a slot in our diaries for our children’s ‘Us Time’ can easily get lost.

The less plates we have spinning, the less breakages we are responsible for, so it’s time to drop those ‘Time Takers’ once and for all.

Keeping one diary and one intention for the day; to be happy spending time doing what we love, with those we love most, is all we really need.

Uncategorized

New Year -Time for You


Photo by Morre Christophe on Unsplash
U Time

It’s a fresh New year loaded with new and exciting opportunities.

A time to reflect on the last year and to plan ahead for the new.

Yet for most, New Year’s resolutions have usually faded before they’ve had a chance to begin, and by the second week of January, it’s back to the same old same old.

As parents we are usually tired, skint and left cleaning up the mess from all the festivities.

But there’s one New Year’s resolution we need to make to ourselves and keep.

U Time.

U Time is exactly that, time for ‘You.’

 ‘You’ are the most important person in your child’s life.

Anyone who has ever flown on an aeroplane will be familiar with the safety drill, where the Stewardess asks you to make sure you put on your own safety vest and masks, before your children’s or anyone else’s.

As parents, we should never neglect or underestimate the importance of time for ourselves, each and every day.


Photo by @rw.studios on Unsplash

Whether it’s a soak in the bath listening to a good audio book or committing to fifteen minutes of Kundalini Yoga every morning or evening, we need to set aside time to indulge ourselves.

New Year often reeks of restraint and less of self- indulgence, but taking care of ‘You’ is the most selfless thing you can do as a parent. It’s a priority because if you don’t, then you won’t be able to care for your child or anyone else.

It’s the single, most loving thing we can do for our children.

We are their greatest asset in life, so we must take good care of our own health and happiness. Should we become ill, we would not be in a position to care for them.

 Surely then, if only to keep us in a strong position to take care of our children at all times, U Time is essential, and all the motivation we need to ensure we love and care for ourselves? 

We are not being selfish by taking care of our own needs before anyone else’s. Yet many of us selfless parents still think it’s ok to put the needs of others, especially our children’s, before our own.

But, if we can’t stick to a simple routine of taking time out for ourselves to relax and recuperate, then how can we expect our children to do the same and follow their routines?

If we take care of our own needs and wellbeing and pursue our own interests, then not only our own happiness, health, and success will be positively affected, but noticeably our children’s too.

A happy parent, equals a happy, contented child.

How will you be spending your U Time today?

Let me know, grant@emmagrantdiphyp.com

Or let’s get social?

https://twitter.com/EmmaGrantHyp 000000000