Q:  I can’t even get my son up in the morning!! How can I possibly work on self-regulation?

spark* News

A: Hmm, let’s think about why he might not want to get up in the morning.
Doesn’t he like going to his preschool. No, he loves it.

Does he prefer if you to dress him? No, he can dress himself and he’s quite proud of his ability to do it.

Okay, let’s back up then. Is he just tired? What time does he go to bed – 8 o’clock for a preschooler is pretty good. He has to get up at 7 am so he’d get 11 hours of sleep – that’s pretty good. Oh, so he reads in bed and doesn’t get to sleep until about 11?? He’s definitely not getting enough sleep. No wonder he’s tired in the morning and unwilling to get up and dress himself.

So the issue may be that he isn’t getting enough sleep. 

How can we help him wind down at bedtime and get to sleep earlier? Routine and rhythm make a difference. Start at the same time every night. Allow 10 to 20 minutes before he has to get into bed. The sequence of events could be: wash face, brush teeth, put on pajamas, line up favorite bed toys so they can get some sleep too, get a favorite bedtime book, read the book for 10 minutes, say “goodnight” to the toys and tuck them in, lie down and close my eyes.   

That’s all good but how do you help him shut down his brain and body? How about using the Stop, Think and Breathe Kids – an app I reviewed and recommended in last month’s spark* News.

How did it go? His mom said that he dropped off quickly into a deep sleep. It looks like he’s been having problems self-regulating at bedtime in order to shut his brain and body down. 

The world is going to be a easier place for him now. Always keep in mind my acronym: children must be Calm, Alert, and Nourished. This little fellow need help with the Calming part.   

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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