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Relationships matter:  change comes through forming trusting relationships. People, not programs change people.

The challenge of adolescence is to balance the right of the parents to feel they are in charge with the need of the adolescent to gain independence.

We should not medicate the boys so they fit the school; we should change the school to fit the boy. (Leonard Sax, M.D. Ph.D)

The quickest way to change your child’s behaviour is to first change your own.

If it  was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called "labour".

It's more effective to reward your child for being "good" (appropriate) than to punish him for being "bad" (inappropriate).

The more 2 parents differ in their approaches to discipline, the more likely it leads to trouble for the child.

Simple rules adhered to when children are young can prevent more serious problems later.

The mistake that Sharon and I both made is we never set any boundaries.  (Ozzy Osbourne)

Removing a child from a traumatic environment does not remove the trauma from the child's memory.

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Sleep Problems (part 1)

“Children are a comfort in our old age, it is true; and often children help us reach it faster too”.

“My children are the perfect age . . . too old to cry at night and too young to ask for the car.”

Sleep problems are not the same in children as they are in adults. For example, infants and toddlers who are not sleeping well do not complain – their parents do. Young children are usually more unhappy about having to go to bed than about an inability to fall asleep; in fact they are more likely to fight sleep.

One of the least obvious sleep problems is that of insufficient sleep. There is no absolute way of measuring whether the amount of sleep your child gets per day is appropriate. The following chart shows the average amount of sleep children should get at various ages during the night and nap time but each child is different:

  • 1 week old        = 16.5  hours
  • 1 month            = 15.5
  • 6 months          = 14.5
  • 1 year                 = 13.75
  • 2 years              = 13
  • 3 years              = 12 (day time naps usually disappear)
  • 4 years              = 11.5
  • 5 years              = 11
  • 6 years              = 10.75
  • 7 years              = 10.5
  • 8 years              = 10.25
  • 9 years              = 10
  • 10 years            = 9.75
  • 11 years             = 9.5
  • 12 years             = 9.25
  • 13 years             = 9.25
  • 14 years             = 9
  • 15 years             = 8.75
  • 16 years             = 8.5
  • 17 years             = 8.25
  • 18 years             = 8.25

The symptoms of insufficient sleep in young children can be very subtle. If your 2 year old sleeps only 8 hours at night but seems to be functioning well during the day, it is tempting to assume he doesn’t need more sleep, but 8 hours is rarely enough sleep for a 2 year old. With appropriate intervention by his/her parents, he can learn to increase his amount of sleep time. You may begin to notice an improvement in his general behaviour, your child will probably be happier , less irritable, less inclined to have tantrums and be more able to concentrate at play.

How well your child sleeps not only affects his behaviour during the day but also your feelings about him. If he doesn’t sleep well, he may be making your life miserable and your frustration and fatigue may carry over into your relationships with your spouse, family and friends.

My next postings will outline  strategies that have proven to be very successful for young children who waken during the night and are unable to self soothe and return to sleep unaided.

Rick Harper has been providing ideas to parents for over 40 years.

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Workshops

+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you […]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First […]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain […]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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See more of our workshops


Contact

2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario
NOL 2BO

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca

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Parents' Comments

“I am no longer overwhelmed with a child who has unending discipline and behaviour problems.”

(P.S. – London)