How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
Parents would like all agree that it is important for their children to get enough sleep. Sleep is important to a child's growth and development. However, many parents may not understand how much sleep their child should get on a nightly basis.
An article by the National Sleep Foundation points out an interesting fact: Children who do not get enough sleep can often display symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)!
Consider the following:
Maintain a routine for your child. All children operate better when they have a routine. This would include having the same bedtime each evening and the same wake up time each morning. (Just so you know, adults do better with a routine as well!)
Just because you stay up until 11 PM doesn't mean that your children should. In fact, it is best for your school-age child to have an early bedtime.
Allow your child to "wind down" before going to bed. If your child has been "go-go-go," don't expect them to be able to immediately hit the stop button. They need a "wind down" time just as much as you do. But, this "wind down" time should not include "screen time" whether that is in the form of a tablet or a television.
Don't expect change overnight. If you have not had a routine or if your child has not been getting enough sleep each night, they will resist change. (Their "lack of a routine" has been, in all reality, their routine!) Be prepared for it. Be willing to "stay the course!" Make small changes at first but stick with and stick to those changes no matter how much your child whines and complains. Remember, you are the parent and they are the child! Also, if you are having to make these changes to your child's routine and schedule, it is likely that you are needing to make some changes to your routine and schedule as well.
Everyone in your family will benefit from getting the proper amount of sleep! Try it! You'll like it!