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The purpose of the Newsletter is to educate and empower parents through articles, live online event invitations and developments within the area of childcare and parenting.
The central and repeated theme in all my partnerships is for parents to embrace Responsive, Respectful and Gentle Parenting. I believe that through this approach, children will feel safe, secure, nurtured and grounded in their early years and beyond. I will share what this means and how to achieve this with your little ones.
I am also excited to share that, as well as my 1-1 Telephone or Home Consultations, I will be bringing out a number of online courses for parents/carers which can be studied at a pace to suit you and with the additional optional offer of a 1-1 30min phone call during, or following, the course for a small additional cost. I am only in the early stages of designing the courses, so watch this space!
TV / screen time
I am sure many of you would have heard about avoiding TV/screens before bed, but do you know why?
TV is often used as a great way of settling children down while you, the parent, can get on with other tasks without having a little one hang on to you! The TV can become a babysitter for a short while and why not, we all need a bit of a break sometimes. At certain times, though, TV can be more of a problem and this is why.
TV/screen time too close to bedtime can affect the production of Melatonin, the “sleep hormone”. The blue light emitted from screens basically ‘destroys’ the melatonin making it much more difficult for a child to fall and stay asleep. This affects the body clock and sleep process. My advice is simply: No screen time for at least 2 hours before bed.
Research carried out in 2002 (Paavonen) showed that TV/screens showing thing which are frightening to children, (including some children’s programmes and games) may trigger anxiety before bedtime. Stories and certain imagery can affect some children more than others. We need to be aware of ‘passive’ exposure which occurs when the child is present whilst a parent or older child is watching potentially disturbing material, including news programmes. Remember: What seems innocent for one person is ‘triggering’ for someone else. This study reported that 5-6 year old children exposed to Adult TV, including the news, slept less overall and experienced more sleep disturbances.
Each month I will introduce a new Mindfulness activity that you can practice with your child. Mindfulness is a great way of helping children be in tune with how their body feels. By developing this awareness when children are calm, in time they will be able to adopt these exercises with little or no extra guidance when emotions become overwhelming or when they feel out of control. Parents can gently guide children positively, enabling them to problem solve and accept the emotions being felt at that time.
Why do we encourage Mindfullness?
Helps calm body and mind
Reduces stress levels
Distracts from worries
The 5 Senses Activity
Go outside and guide your child by asking them…
What can you smell?
What can you see?
What can you feel?
What can you hear?
What can you taste?
You can also do this by handing your child an object and then encourage them, using all their senses, to describe it in detail. e.g. is it rough or smooth? Is it heavy or light? Does it smell good or bad?
Up and Coming!
In 2022-2023, I am excited to be launching in number of online courses for parents and carers with children aged 0-7 years.
My first course will be my ‘Foundations of Good Sleep’ course. This will be suitable for parents/carers who want to understand how to encourage and achieve good sleep habits with their children and identify barriers which can get in the way of a good night sleep. We will be looking at how often expectations are unrealistic and what is normal for the different ages and individual needs of your child.
This course will be FREE to access when booked before launch!
I am planning to launch in November 2022, but please note this is only an estimate!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter. If you’d like to let me know of any ideas to improve the format or content, please contact me via the website.
With my very best wishes,
– Julie Heginbottom