Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Children sleeping through the night (Or who should be!)

Paul is a high energy two and half year old who is rarely picked up from daycare before 6:30pm.  He has been stalling when leaving daycare; he wants to play in the yard, does not respond to his mother’s request to go and often leaves crying.

When they arrive home, dinner has already been prepared and they sit down to eat immediately.  Paul has had no time to relax, play with his toys, talk to his mom and dad, help prepare the meal or set the table.  He also could still be upset about the circumstances of his departure from daycare.
Most of the conversation during the meal centers on his lack of interest in his food, the time it is taking him to eat and the fact that it is now almost time for his bath and bed.

Since the parents have no set routine pre-bedtime, they are usual caught up in coaxing, bribing, contradicting each other, giving in to Paul’s request for more reading, drinks of water, favorite toys in the bed, or whatever delay he can think of.  When he finally does get to sleep there is a strong probability that he will wake during the night and want to sleep in their bed!

Here is the reality!

Most parents consider the moment when their child goes to bed to sleep through the night as the most rewarding part of their day.  However, their child does not have the same emotion or goal!
So, if you want a predictable, smooth, happy experience at bedtime you need to answer some questions first.

-Does your child listen to you all day?
-Do you mean what you say and follow through on it?
-Did you spend quality time with your child during the day?
-Was dinner a pleasant family experience and did they have a nutritious meal minus a “sugar treat”?
-Do you have a bedtime routine that you follow no matter what?
If you answered “no” to any or many of these questions you are setting yourself up for a challenging situation every night.

Trust me, a rewarding, positive bedtime experience is possible every day!  Remember, bedtime is at the end of the day!

-Make sure your child always knows what the plan is for the day and exactly what you expect from them.
-Expect them to listen all the time and follow through when they don’t.
-Whether you are a stay at home parent or have you child in daycare, plan specific quality time with them.
-Make sure your child is getting your attention when needed.
-Expect your child to do their own tasks.  Also, give them household responsibilities such as; feed the dog, set the table, and put their clothes in the hamper.  Add on any that are age appropriate and thank them when they are completed.

Your child will feel respected, important and proud.

Now for the evening routine!
-Make dinnertime conversation that includes your child, keep it interesting and positive.
-Allow some quiet playtime prior to the bedtime routine-no over stimulation.  This is not time for roughhousing, or any activity that you might consider in order to exhaust them, it won’t!
-If you picked you child up at 6:30 like Paul was, and he had a 2 hour nap, bedtime should be 8:30 to 9:00pm.
-Adjust the times according to your personal schedule.

Bedtime Routine
-Parents should probably alternate spending this time with the child.  Make sure that you both follow the same routine and have the same expectations.
-Bedtime should include giving as much responsibility to your child as possible.
-Let them select two books to read.  They can be repeats or different each night, but never scary or violent.
-They should not have toys or stuffed animals in their bed, this is strictly a sleep space.
-Tell them that you expect them to stay in bed.  You have had a great evening together and you see them at (state the exact time you feel is appropriate).
-Provide a clock or some time agent that they understand.
-If they have been getting out of their bed during the night make it clear that this is NOT acceptable and they will be taken back to their own room. Do not relent!

Depending on how long the problem has been going on you may have to sit at their bedroom door until they get the message.

I assure you that if you follow these recommendations the chances of you being successful are very high!  When your child is respected, listened to, has clear expectations and boundaries all day- bedtime will simply be an extension of that and will become a very pleasant and rewarding experience.

For more easy to follow guidelines on how to get your child to listen to you so that they will sleep through the night you should purchase Smart Partent Smart Child here!

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