Sleep Better Chat

They say that if you really want to get your questions answered ask your child just before bedtime. Nothing is more inviting to them then a way to stall going to sleep. They will even answer beyond ‘fine’ the good old favorite ‘how was school’ question!

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I often find myself talking with other mothers and while comparing parenting challenges I rarely have one to add. Not that my son doesn’t give me his share of reasons to turn gray prematurely but most of the time he is very obedient. Among other things he has always had a very structured and happy bedtime routine. In fact he informed me in kindergarten that he was the only child in his class that had a 7 PM bedtime. Of course he never quite begun his slumber that early but once in bed Julian stays there entertaining himself until he falls asleep.

Until this summer…

As days got longer in spring tucking him in while the sun was still up became harder and harder. He never complained but I would often hear him shuffling under the covers as late as ten o’clock. We agreed he can read until he gets sleepy but he would finish not chapters but entire book pushing his bedtime past nine on school nights.

I worried. But since only a few weeks of school were left I let it go. At the end of the day how can I tell my child off for reading J.R.R. Tolkien on his own at the age of seven? Couldn’t help but feel proud.

However summer vacation did nothing to help the cause. As I got busy getting the house ready to rent and packing our belongings for the move Julian’s bedtime routine kept getting more and more relaxed. Until one day, after driving across the States and crossing three time zones we finally reached the point of no return. My son’s bedtime these days is midnight!

I justify it in my head that realistically that means 9PM pacific time. I convince myself that he still gets at least 10 hours of sleep a day or more since he rolls out of bed in time for lunch. I tell myself it’s OK because that’s what summer is all about, indulging.

But let’s be honest. That’s just nuts. I have become a mother of a seven year old teenager.

So I am here to tell you THE STALL is real! It can happen to anyone and I want us to unite, share the experiences, find ways to tackle and defeat it and bring back the bedtime routine our children will thrive on again. Let’s claim back our evenings!

I am excited to tell you I have teamed with Sleep Number to host a Sleep Better Chat on Instagram tomorrow evening at 8PM CST. Join me to share and talk about what works best for us in ensuring our children get a restful, goodnight’s sleep every day. There will be prizes drawn daily with the grand prize Twin Sleep Number® SleepIQ® Kids k2 mattress set given to one of you participating in the chats at the end of the week! Please register HERE to enter the draw and join me on Instagram tomorrow evening.

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Cool Sleep: 7 Ways to Make your Kid’s Bedroom Fun and Fit for a Good Night’s Sleep

You can really let your imagination run wild when you’re creating your child’s bedroom. With a few simple touches, you can transform the space and ensure it’s both fun and a great place to get a good night’s sleep. Here are some top tips to help you along the way.

1) Create a play area

All children’s bedrooms need a play area. Don’t worry if you’re lacking in square footage. There’s always a way to fit a play space into these rooms, even if where they sleep takes up a lot of room. For instance, it’s now easy to buy raised children’s beds, and these items free up more floor space.

2) Be savvy with storage

Because your tot’s likely to have tons of toys, it’s important to include plenty of storage in the room. If your child goes to bed with items strewn across the floor, they may find it hard to relax and switch off, and this can stop them from getting all-important shuteye. Full height shelving is great if you’ve got a mountain of toys to store.

3) Play around with color and theme

Be bold with color too. While good old magnolia may be OK in other parts of your house, you can afford to play around with different hues in your kid’s bedroom. If your child’s old enough, get them to choose their favorite colors.

Bear in mind that bedrooms are also crying out for a theme. All youngsters are obsessed with something. Whether your tot’s into dinosaurs, princesses, cars, animals or anything else, make sure you reflect this in their bedroom.

4) Make it pet-friendly

Kids love dogs and cats and if you have one of these pets in your home, make sure it feels welcome in your child’s room. The simple addition of a basket will encourage your family’s four-legged friend to spend time in the space.

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5) Get creative with lighting

Good lighting is a must in children’s bedrooms. As well as lamps and wall or ceiling lights, it’s helpful to include a skylight. These comforting illuminations could help your little one to nod off at night.

6) Channel your child’s inner artist

To add a personal touch to the room, encourage your youngster to get stuck into some art. By displaying their creations on the walls, you’ll give your child a sense of pride and satisfaction.

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7) Understand that comfort is key

As well as making sure your kid’s room looks the part, you’ve got to think about comfort. We all know how difficult it is to deal with tired and grumpy tots, and bedroom design can play an important role in helping children to get sufficient sleep. Make sure you choose warm and comfy bedding and opt for window dressings that block out enough light.

By following these basic design principles, you should find it easy to create the perfect bedroom for your youngster.

Images by Alicia Nijdam-Jones and crimfants, used under Creative Commons license.

Honesty is the only policy

We had a rule in my family about lies. Off course lying was unacceptable, but white lies were exempt. In fact they were encouraged. My Grandpa, otherwise very virtuous and strict, was also of the mindset that what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you. And I was privy to mostly nothing. So to sum up I was not to lie, unless for the greater good and about something harmless, not to know about much and not to ask about the rest.

Which of course led me to be an exceptionally observant individual. I can scan the situation and know mostly everything about anything. My husband thought I was a trained spy when we first met. I think he just secretly wished I was. Just like he still tells people I am 26.

I just threw that in to brag a little. What I was trying to say is that I am a product of a very failed system. So you would think that I would bypass it as a parent, since I have proved it to be nonfunctional. Not to mention, my son surpasses me in math at the age of three. Is there possibly anything I can lie about or hide from him without being caught? Seems I keep thinking there is.

Example 1:

Little J likes to help me bake, so we make muffins. Mostly all bran. Except I call them cupcakes. Of course his teacher Mrs. Ada makes cupcakes too, for special occasions. Real cupcakes. Frosting and all.

Busted!

So these days when I ask if we should make some cupcakes Little J says: “The ones with no white stuff on?” No thanks, let’s make cookies.”


Example 2:

Little J likes me to stay with him after his bedtime story. Not until he falls a sleep, but not quite a NY minute either. Sometimes I try to sneak out and get a sleepy “Not yet Mama”. Sometimes I come up with pathetic ones, like I’ll go put my PJ’s on and come back.

Busted!

Little J standing by my bed at 2AM asking if I am not wearing my PJ’s.

Example 3:

I got him a whale rescue boat for Christmas. It is one of those toys you would never consider, until you get to know your child and what makes him happy. I think they used the same figurines from the Somali pirates set. So they came with binoculars, knives and guns. I hid the guns. Don’t know why I did not throw them away. Little J finds them off course.

Busted!

Asks me what they are for. I tell him it’s for the marine biologist to administer a sedative so they can safely tag the orca.

Busted!

He comes back from school where his buddy had a Transformers gun for show and tell. Apparently he was very helpful during Q&A session. Thank you five year old whom my child looks up to.

 

I could go on but you get the picture. Honesty is the best policy if you don’t wont your child to view YOU as a three year old. Don’t you think?