Caring for your child – Sleep problems
Caring for your child: Sleep problems Sleep problems are experienced with nearly every child. Children suffering from mental health disorders or under the care of foster parents experience this problem more. In many cases, child’s sleep problems are associated with behavior problems. If a child has developed a routine of avoiding going early to bed or waking up at midnight to play with something, then that child requires the supervision of a very strongly disciplined adult who will settle the sleep pattern of the child. Caretakers must work very rigidly as they have to manage the sleep disorders. The main thing is to maintain the consistency of sleep patterns. Consistency means that a person has to stick 99.9% to the desired sleep protocol for the child. At least an upholding of the sleep protocol is required for a period of one year or until the child has developed a positive sleep routine for a period of three months. Any of the steps in the sleep routine cannot be eased until then. It is also necessary to keep the bedtime same which definitely means no changes in the routine if even there is any special event in the house or seasonal changes such as during the summer time. The time should be kept same at any cost. Bed time rituals are also very important to maintain and some of them can be bathing before going to bed, potty time, listening to a story, offering prayer or many others. A nightlight must also be present in a child’s bedroom. TV should not be placed in the child’s room and the same thing is for music players. After the child has finished his bedtime rituals, the parent should leave the room. If the child comes back from the room, then the parents should take their hands in their own and walk them back to bed and tell them in a sweet and calm voice that it is their time to go to sleep. The parent should leave the room immediately after it. Repeat this process again if the child again comes out of the room but the point is never be harsh with the children even if this practice is repeated 300 times. Over time the child will develop a habit of going to bed on time. Do not permit the child to use any other person’s bed, even sleeping with the parents, as it can create other behavioral problems. It is essential that the parents are not discouraged to maintain this routine by the child’s resistance.