Archive for the ‘Sleeping’ Category

Parents, Prepare Yourself For, “I’m Bored, There’s Nothing to Do!”

Maggie with her teenage children

Well, summer of 2012 is upon us and as parents we begin to sweat near the end of May as to what our children are going to do with themselves all summer long. I know that within two days of summer break I am going to hear, “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”

Leave a List
I leave a list every morning with my three teenagers explaining their “chores” for the day and yet, I hear the vacuum running when I pull into the garage 8 hours later. Now, I understand that between the hours of 6 am when I am getting ready for work and 2 pm when I am still at work, that my kids are getting their much needed sleep and that not a lot can be accomplished before this time of day. Staying up until 2 am or 3 am creates this discrepancy in sleep patterns for the summer. I yell out at midnight, “Some of us have to work in the morning,” yet the TV is still blaring at 3 am. I get it, its summer break!!!  And yet, if I sleep in until 7 am on a weekend, my kids have been known to poke at me and say out loud, “Is she alive? She never sleeps this late. Who’s going to get our breakfast?”

Am I Crazy if I Repeat Myself 700 Times?
The list of chores I leave is very easy and yet so complicated to complete within the 8 hours that I’m away from our small, but comfortable home. I say small to emphasize how few chores I list and how quickly they actually can be accomplished by three teenagers. Vacuum, pick up anything laying on the living room floor and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher! I must say 700 times in the summer, “Rinse your dishes and put them in the dishwasher.” As you know, nothing smells worse than breakfast milk in a cereal bowl from 2 days prior. Cocoa Puffs become the size of mini golf balls and Trix become an art project in my sink as a variety of colors swirl from side to side, pretty, but still smelly.

Ahh, Time with Teenagers
So, I attempt each day to give the kids something to do, something that will give them a sense of accomplishment and something that will allow me to spend more time with the kids when I get home…ok, they are teenagers, I am kidding. But, it will allow me to finish the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, without interruption!

Maggie is a single mother of three children, ages 13, 16 and 17, who attend Corunna Schools. She and her children live in Owosso.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Blissful Bedtimes and Catching Some Zzzzzzzs

Marianne Stuart

I want to talk about our kids and sleep. Sleep is highly underrated. Ask any exhausted mom. I have a few suggestions that can make your evenings and nights more enjoyable.

Nighttime Newborns
I have had many moms ask me how to get their newborns on a better sleep schedule. I think we all might have had a baby that gets its days and nights mixed up. My mother, who raised 14 children, gave me some great advice years ago.

 

  • Daytime naps should be in a common room and well lit. A darkened, quiet room is more conducive for longer periods of sleep which we want to encourage at night.
  • Now this next tip is the most important thing I am going to tell you. Do not make eye contact or talk to your baby during a night waking. I don’t care how cute they are, they ARE super cute, but they can drive you to insanity if they won’t sleep. Talk and eye contact are very stimulating for a baby and now you might have a wide awake baby that wants to be up for long while.
  • Another thing I am learning about babies is that it is a good thing to lay them down drowsy and not totally asleep. This allows them to go to sleep without you, a bottle or pacifier being a crutch that is needed every time in order to fall asleep. I heard an analogy that made so much sense: If a baby needs to be nursed to sleep always then when they wake up in the night they don’t know how to fall back to sleep except by nursing to sleep. The same applies to bottles, pacifiers, etc. It is like you falling asleep with a pillow and then waking up without it. Imagine how hard it would be to have your pillow taken away.

Toddlers and Routines
Toddlers thrive on routine. In our home we have an evening routine. We have the younger kids get ready for bed and then call everyone into the family room for prayers. This takes about five minutes. Nightly kisses are given out and the younger children know they have to go to bed. If we skip prayers then we have little ones that keep coming into our room because they don’t remember if they kissed us goodnight. Other routines can be a bath, pajamas, teeth brushed and then having a story read to them. I would like to tuck them in and see them in the morning. It isn’t always this easy for some little ones. They might want to get out of bed many times. I recommend keeping them in their crib until they start climbing out. Sure, the toddler beds are cute, but now you have a child that can get out many times before they fall asleep. I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day I am so ready to have some down time with my husband. Once they are in a big bed that they can crawl out of bedtime gets more challenging. If they climb out, just take them back and tell them that it’s time for bed. Don’t elaborate, less words are better. Do this until they fall asleep, even if it takes 20 times. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart and this is one of the big challenges. Win this battle! Don’t let that little one win or you might find yourself losing bigger battles.

Elementary Age
I find grade school children an easier age group but they do need some unwind time. My kids love to read in bed with a book light. Some of our children went through spells and didn’t want to stay in bed. We would hear the patter of feet running down the hall to climb into bed with a sibling. One of us, usually Daddy, would camp out in the hallway and send them back to bed when they tried to sneak out. After a few nights they got the idea.

Tired Teens
Teens are wired more like night owls. Unfortunately, school starts too early for most of them to keep such late hours. One advantage we have found with homeschooling is that online classes don’t usually start until after 9:00am. There are a few things we can do to help our teens get more sleep. Dimming the lighting and some nighttime tea are helpful. Limiting computer and tv a few hours before bedtime also helps. I encourage them to read in bed or work on a craft project. My girls are really enjoying knitting and crocheting. When the opportunity arises I will let my teens sleep in, but not so late that they miss a meal. I still have a teenager that fights me on this one but I am working to win this battle! =======================================================================
Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.