The sleep team: Our brains need sleep to grow and develop and function. Before thinking our children have a behavioural disorder or a learning problem – let’s start at the home basics and make sure we have basic healthy home needs in order. If you can tick off exercise, healthy eating and then, bed on time – well done.
Parents must set a firm bed time and stick to it. Of course there are holidays and the odd night out here and there, but as a general rule there needs to be a bed time.
Toddlers need: 12-14 hours
Pre-schoolers need: 11-13 hours
School aged children need: 10-11 hours
Tweens and teens need: 8.5-9.25 hours
Family organiser charts are perfect if this ensures the routine is followed by everyone.
Exercise may have been incorporated in the school day, the walk to or from school, a play in the backyard, a walk with the dog, riding the bike, vacuuming the house!
And we all have treat dinners sometimes, but as long as the majority of dinners are the standard protein and vegetables – that is great.
We need to build our weekly schedules around having enough time for sleep! Don’t let your kids get jobs or take part in after-school activities that keep them out too late. As young children and then as they become teenagers – you can help them make positive choices.
kids need brain power to remember school rules, home rules, to behave and make good choices and to do homework and be the best they can be. The best news is – the right amount of sleep will provide this brain power.