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Positive Parenting: How To Achieve Great Behaviour

Posted on 22 January, 2018 at 2:15 Comments comments (0)
Positive Parenting: How to Achieve Great Behaviour by Raising Your Words Not Your Voice 21st January 2018 Parenthood can be extremely rewarding, enlightening and enjoyable. Yet at times itâ??s hard to see the rainbows and fairy dust through the thickness of thunderstorms and hail. Parenting can be demanding, frustrating and exhausting. As parents we have the most important role of raising the next generation, yet most of us begin our parenting careers with little preparation through trial and error. The challenge for us all is to raise healthy, well-adjusted children in a loving, caring environment. Positive parenting is an approach to parenting that aims to promote childrenâ??s development and manage childrenâ??s behaviour in a constructive and non-hurtful way. Positive parenting is based on good communication and positive attention to help children develop their skills and feel good about themselves, isnâ??t that how we all like to feel? Children who grow up with positive parenting are likely to develop their skills feeling good about themselves; they are less likely to develop behaviour problems. There are five key points to establishing great behaviour through positive parenting. The first one is ensuring a safe and engaging environment. Young children need a safe play environment, especially once they are on the move. Accidents in the home are the leading cause of injury in young children. By providing a safe environment means that you can be more relaxed about allowing your child to explore and keep busy through the day. An environment that is safe and full of interesting things will promote brain development and other sensory skills which will then reduce the likely hood of misbehaviour. Bored kids look for trouble. Supervision is always a must. The second point is creating a positive learning environment; parents need to be available to their children. This doesnâ??t mean being with your child consistently, it means being available when they need your help, care or attention. When your child approaches you for help or to show you what they have done in their play; Stop what you were doing and spend a few moments with them. Encouraging your child to try to do things on their own will help them to become independent. Iâ??m now talking about the pre- schooler who can pack away their own belongings not an infant that needs you to feed them safelyâ?¦.so no bottle propping. Encouragement and positive attention will help your child to be motivated to learn. When you see your child doing something you like, tell them, praise them. By showing your child you like what they are doing they will be likely to do it again. The third point is using assertive discipline. Assertive discipline involves being consistent, acting quickly when a child misbehaves and teaching the child to behave in an acceptable way. When parents use assertive discipline, children learn to accept responsibility for their behaviour and develop self-control. Children are less likely to develop behaviour problems if their parents are consistent and predictable all the time. You can value your childâ??s individuality and still expect reasonable behaviour. When your child is misbehaving or having a tantrum/meltdown; itâ??s best for you to remain calm and avoid yelling, name calling, threatening and smacking. The fourth point is having realistic expectations. Parentâ??s expectations of their child will depend on what they consider normal for children at different ages, remember a two year old with limited language will not have the same understanding or physical skills as a four year old. Children are individuals and develop at different rates. Children need to be intellectually and developmentally ready before they can learn new skills, such as toileting on their own, feeding, or dressing themselves. Seek professional advice if you are unsure. Problems can arise when parents expect too much too soon from their children. Donâ??t expect your child to be perfect, we all make mistakes and learn from them. Most mistakes arenâ??t intentional. The fifth point is taking care of you! Parenting is easier when your own personal needs are met. Being a good parent is not about being with your child 24/7/, your child should not dominate your entire life. If your own needs as an adult are being met, itâ??s much easier to be patient, consistent and available to your child. Itâ??s important for parents to have realistic expectations of themselves. It is good to want to do your best as a parent, but trying to be a perfect parent will only lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy. Donâ??t be hard on yourself, everyone learns through experience. References to this article have been taken from Triple P Positive Parenting Program Leonie Clements Registered Mothercraft Nurse, Sleep Consultant, Lactation Educator and Creator of Motherhood Coaching Services Gently guiding and supporting you on your Motherhood Journey Leonie is available for Private or Group Consultations .

The Effects of Lack of Sleep

Posted on 9 September, 2017 at 0:35 Comments comments (0)

The effects of lack of sleep on parents

Being a parent is a tough job. Having your sleep interrupted every night for extended periods may make life really challenging. You are not alone – many parents have successfully navigated sleep challenges that include rough patches and low points and have come out positively on the other side.

We all have an in-built body clock that influences our day waking/night sleeping cycles. It’s called the circadian rhythm. Babies are not born with in-built day and night sleep patterns or rhythms. Their brains need to mature sufficiently to develop a consistent pattern of night sleeping- for most full term babies this is usually around three months.

As your baby experiences more activities during the day and less at night, they will slowly sleep more at night time. By twelve months your baby’s day-night rhythm should be more or less established with longer consolidated sleep periods at night, similar to an adult. However, babies still need to sleep during the day.

Disturbed sleep patterns and lack of sleep may be exhausting. Some effects include having trouble remembering things - being tired makes it hard to think straight, reduced tolerance – it’s harder to stay calm and rational when tired, relationship stress – your lack of sleep may affect everyone in your life. Common feelings include irritability, feeling too tired to play with your children or talk to your partner. Your relationships with friends may change as you are too tired to make the effort. Depression is a huge disturbance from lack of sleep, being tired all the time may make you feel hopeless, angry, teary or alone.

The effects of lack of sleep on children

Babies and children also need sleep and they too feel the effects of sleeplessness in much the same way as adults. Children are less able to deal with even the normal separation from caregivers; toddlers in particular may find it more difficult to manage feelings. Behaviours can escalate as toddlers find that they are less able to self soothe and calm, becoming easily frustrated and irritable.

Infants can become poor feeders, they can depend on soothers or being feed to sleep and wake up frequently overnight for the same regime. Infants can become dependent on parents to assist them to sleep, with parents often sharing the same sleep space through sheer exhaustion on needing sleep. This creates a cycle of frequent small feeds and not a lot of sleep in between.

The long term consequences of sleep deprivation for children are that may not be able to experience life to the fullest, gain the most from it or consolidate learning. Children may have reduced energy, making more difficult to learn positive coping mechanisms to deal with everyday stress, they will zone out and could miss opportunities for important skill based learning.

Facts about the importance of sleep

When your child is asleep, hormones are being made in the brain prompting physical growth. Babies and children practice new skills and process information and experiences during sleep, e.g the baby that practices crawling around in their cot or the older child dreaming of experiences they have learnt. Memories are processed and stored during sleep. Sleep helps to maintain a healthy immune system; your child has a better chance of staying healthy if they have the recommended amount of sleep. Sleep is necessary for health brain development and sleep helps us to feel happier and more relaxed.

How much sleep is needed

All babies, young children and adults wake numerous times overnight for brief periods. Learning to be able to go back to sleep quickly is the key to a rested night’s sleep. Each sleep cycle consists of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) – often called the light or dream sleep and Non Rapid Eye Movement (NON-REM) –often called deep sleep.

In a newborn a sleep cycle may only last for 20-40mins. As baby reaches four to six months old they may have learnt to self sooth through a cycle extending their cycle to up to an hour. If baby is unable to self sooth, they will wake around the 20-40minute mark and cry out for your help. This is where your baby may require your support to help sooth them back to sleep so that baby will eventually be able to link the cycles together. Depending on what you do to help sooth your baby will create patterns –good or challenging. In comparison an adult sleep cycle last about ninety minutes.

Babies and children need more sleep than adults. Deliberately keeping your child awake during the day or limiting their day time sleep so they will sleep better at night does not work. Research clearly demonstrates that babies and children who are overtired have more difficulty settling and feeding during the day and night.

Between 0-3months babies require 12-20 hours’ sleep per 24 hour period.

Between 3-12months babies require 10-18hours ‘sleep per 24 hour period.

Between 1-2years toddlers require 12 – 15 hours’ sleep per 24 hour period.

Between 2-5years children require 12-13 hours’ sleep per 24 hour period.

These amounts are split between day and night.

Tired signs of an infant are closed fists, rubbing eyes, jerky limb movements, yawning, worried facial expression, arch backwards, difficulty focussing, suck fingers. Older babies will also pull at ears, be frustrated with play, clumsy, clingy, demand attention, fussy with feeding and low tolerance. Toddlers will cry/scream, have tantrums, difficult to console, not interested in food, unable to play appropriately and be clumsy.

If you are experiencing challenges with your child’s sleep, seek professional support for your child, yourself and your family.

References to this article are taken from Secrets of Good Sleepers, Ngala 2010