Basic needs seems so basic, but they are the foundation for all things sane in parenting! I’m not here to preach to you or tell you how to run your house. I am here because I care and through my experience have witnessed how far South things can go if these needs are not met. The basic needs I’m speaking of are healthy nutrition and healthy sleep. The two of these together will help create a happier and healthier family as a whole. Today I am going to focus on sleep and reasons why getting your kids to bed earlier will be the starting point for you creating a more positive parenting outcome.
My kids have always gone to bed very early. I am not saying you have to do what I do, but I am saying that being committed to your child’s need for sleep will take you far in the long run. Not only will your child grow and develop at their optimal level, but they will be happier and healthier along the way. Recently I came across an article about a study done in Australia looking at the health of kids and moms’ based on their kids’ bedtime. The article from Australian Women’s Weekly is titled: “Early bedtimes give mums better mental health.” I want to say that I was shocked by the findings, but I wasn’t. I was actually just thrilled to see more scientific research done on this topic. It seems so basic, but like I mentioned, it’s so important and often not focused on enough.
Kids who are overtired and/or over-hungry are not performing at their best. They aren’t able to behave is a desirable manner. They aren’t able to be reasoned with. You can’t expect much from your child if you haven’t met their basic needs. In order to do this you will have to be organized and plan ahead. You need to not over-schedule yourself or your child. You have to make choices and your choices have consequences, as do your child’s. You will have to commit to meeting these needs and in doing so you will notice a huge difference in how your child will feel and how you feel. By following a schedule and being organized you can plan and prepare in advance healthy meals and snacks. You can be home in time to get in your quality time with your child and ensure they receive a well balanced dinner and off to bed at a reasonable hour.
The article studied over 3,000 children for a 9 year span. The longest of its kind on this type of study. They were able to find that kids whom had earlier bedtimes, no matter what time they woke up, were healthier overall. The mothers of these kids had better mental health due to the extra time they had for themselves in the evenings. The better mental health was also due to happier, healthier kids which makes for a more positive home environment and a more positive relationship between you and your kids!
Give an earlier bedtime a try if you are finding you have cranky, irritable kids. Give it some time and note if you see any changes. Trust me when I tell you that from birth, we have had early bedtimes and my boys are happy and healthy and so am I!
For one-on-one coaching or help to implement a new schedule or tackle sleep issues please contact me today!