Sleep and Children – Sometimes a Frustrating Affair!
Singing, reading, telling stories and cuddling… For many parents, these are the important things today before bringing the kids to bed since these things come too short nowadays, especially for parents who are working. But many struggle with kids who want to expand these beautiful evening hours with mommy and daddy. So the valuable time often ends up with furious and desperate cries of parents.
There are many theories and tips about sleep and children, but it mostly doesn’t really help. Here is another method to make your kids fall asleep.
Do kids need to learn to fall asleep?
The Ferber method has another way to make your children fall asleep easier. This theory says that babies in the age of six months can already sleep through and alone. The key message is that parents shouldn’t go immediately to a room of a crying child. If it doesn’t want to stop after a long time it is important to go only for a short time to the room and not to turn on the light nor to take the child off the bed.
Even though it can be very stressful and heartbreaking to let your child cry for a long time, it is important to follow this step and according to the Ferber method, it is important to have a strict consequence.
Where is the problem?
Sleep learning programs such as the Ferber method are only useful if the children understand and can do what they are asked for, so it is definitely not for a baby. Another problem is about the difference between day and night. Children don’t understand why they can spend the whole day on the mom’s arm but have to be separated from her at night. So it is important to practice the process of separation and independence also during the day.
The right technique of sleep learning is controversial also among child psychologists. Some say that the Ferber method neglects the need for closeness and protection of babies and toddlers at night which can causes stress because of being “abandoned”.
At the same time, proponents see the fixed bed times as part of an education. Parents show the limits and emphasize the determining role of them.
Do you have to be deadbeat parents?
As you can see, the opinions couldn’t be more different on the topic of sleep and children. But most of the experts are convinced of the importance of sleep rituals.
Before going to sleep, the kids should have some quite hours and should end the day relaxed. It can also be helpful if the parents and the child review the day if possible for about ten minutes before going to sleep.
How does everyday life help?
There is, as for raising children in general, not a panacea for the right sleep in children. Choose the nightly bedtime how you feel is the best for your child and your family.
Moreover, in most families a sleep pattern determines the sleep time for children and many parents enjoy the quiet evening hours when the children are finally sleeping.
Too Much Excitement? Too Yielding Parents?
Many doctors or psychologists see the reason of sleeping problems in a lack of sleep hygiene, too much stress, excitement, exertion, television or computer games before bedtime as the main reasons. But it is also about a lack of parental limit setting. Because if the parents don’t stop their children from continuing to do activities which are exciting for them, they will have a hard time when bringing them to bed.
Therefore, sleep is really a learning process but not just for the children, also for the parents. So try out the advices and you will see the next time that you will not be helpless when it comes to the topic ‘sleep and children’.