Things you should know about your children’s sleep

Sleep is misleading, although sleep is a very important basic act for all aspects of our lives. If you don’t sleep well, thoughts get muddled, emotions run out, and more mistakes are made. In addition, sleeping well is a vital process for the health of people and animals. Although the dream can be quite difficult for adults to understand, it can seem like a more complicated subject when it comes to children.

It is necessary to know that sleep and good sleep is also very important for children and parents must know certain things to help children improve at it if necessary.

Children need to sleep for specific hours

Children need specific hours of sleep each night, and as they grow older, those hours change as well. The National Sleep Foundation released new data a while ago, making it clear that babies and children should sleep the following hours:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day
  • Babies (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
  • Young children (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age: 10 to 13 hours
  • Children 6 to 13 years of age: 9 to 11 hours
  • Adolescents (14 to 17 years old): 8 to 10 hours

Teens are sleep deprived

Teens seem to sleep a lot because they don’t want to get up in the morning, but the reality is that they get only a few hours of sleep, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. They examined the sleep of more than 270,000 teens over the course of 10 years. According to the results, 72 percent of 15-year-olds in 1991 recorded at least seven hours of sleep each night, but only 63 percent of this group of teens in 2012 were getting adequate sleep.

Lack of sleep in a child can manifest itself in a bad mood, irritability or being overly nervous. For a teenager, it could mean having trouble regulating moods or emotions, or struggling to get up in the morning. Parents should be vigilant in the event that there are good sleep routines at home but even so, children or adolescents do not receive adequate sleep hours. In this case, it will be important to know if there is something that is physically or mentally disturbing to the children.

Too many extracurricular activities can damage children’s sleep

If your child spends his afternoons doing things like going to the band, dancing, tutoring, math classes… then so much activity is probably interfering with his sleep at night. If, for example, your child comes home later than 8 o’clock and does not have time to rest properly, then his sleep may be impaired. If your child wants to do extracurricular activities, it is best to do them as soon as possible in the afternoon.

Have you been wrong with your children? Ask for forgiveness

Parents are not perfect; we make mistakes and make wrong decisions. It is normal, and for that reason, you should not feel bad or look the other way when this happens. Children need you to be their best example and guide in life; they will learn from you. Asking for forgiveness or saying ‘I’m sorry’ is very important to teach children the importance of humility, but above all, to teach that adults are also responsible for our actions and behaviours.


The importance of asking your children for forgiveness

They are simple words and have a great emotional impact on children; however, it seems that apologizing or assuming the error is not something that parents are used to doing when necessary. Many parents do not realize the importance of asking their children for forgiveness. Also, many of them think that they don’t need to apologize for their actions or behaviours because they are their parents.

For many, it is not part of the culture for adults to admit that they have done something wrong in front of children, even when it is obvious that they are to blame. In reality, when a father or mother apologizes to a child, what they do is further consolidate the relationship between them and provide the little one (and not so young) with a comforting sense of security and well-being.

When parents make mistakes and apologize to their children (for example when they yell, when they misbehave, when they say something that is not true, when they have inappropriate behaviour, etc.), they will be instilling a positive value system and also demonstrating to their children that people are not perfect and that nothing happens because of it. We all make mistakes, what matters is to recognize it, learn from it, and that next time, we can be an improved version of ourselves.

Parents are role models, and when they apologize or forgive, they are demonstrating that steps must be taken to accept responsibility after making a mistake, and this is much more important than the mistake itself. Children must be taught that what is important is not the mistake made, but the way in which that mistake is handled.

The benefits of apologizing to your children

We are not beings superior to children, quite the opposite … Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the benefits of asking for their forgiveness whenever necessary. It is important to validate the feelings of the children, say why we apologize exactly (specifying the behaviour or action) and also, it is a priority to be totally sincere.

The ability for parents to acknowledge mistakes and accept responsibility for their actions will cause children to do the same. For this and the following, this action is very important:

  • Self-acceptance is encouraged. We accept who we are, including our limitations. When parents apologize they send the message that they are imperfect… and that’s okay.
  • Show that being wrong is not being weak. Children need to learn to ask for forgiveness through example and to accept failure as a sign of strength and courage.
  • Avoid blame for making a mistake. Apologizing to a child teaches him to know that living with a lie is worse than admitting wrong.
  • Children prepare better for life; they know that adults can be responsible and loving and that they still make mistakes.
  • Learning and problem-solving opportunities increase.
  • Mistakes are inevitable; children will learn that there are things that cannot be learned if they make mistakes.
  • Taking risks can mean making mistakes.
  • Increase self-esteem. When parents admit their faults, they are showing their children that they feel secure in themselves to face the consequences of their actions. This will create good modelling of healthy self-esteem.