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Are you using your child’s sleep to solve a parenting freedom problem?

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One of the main reasons I see sleep training fail for parents is because they are using sleep to solve non-sleep problems. People use sleep, often unconsciously, to get back personal time, or deal with guilt of not attending to their child’s every need or from being away from their child while they working a full time day.

 

In the last several weeks I have gotten several clients that have consulted with very “famous” and expensive sleep consultants that charge over a $1000US and their solutions didn’t work and produced tons of crying.  This is what prompted me to write this article today.

 

These clients found me and I was able to help them simply because I don’t subscribe to the very common and misunderstood  North American, Anglo Saxon, British, Australian, New Zealand belief of “7 to 7” or sleep through the night is 12 hours or trying to get children to sleep 14-16 hours a day.

 

Unfortunately in our time starved world, with dual working parents as well as many parents with  unrealistic expectations of how much children will change their freedom, they turn to sleep to solve parenting problems. Parents by no means do this totally consciously but often a child that in (in theory) sleeps 14-16 hours will be preferred to one that probably sleep around 12 ¾- 11 ¾ hours total in a day. That’s a whopping 3-4 hours difference!

 

Further complicating matters is that many books and online web parenting forums are also selling “freedom”. Many parents ask me what do you mean by change in my freedom?

 

Parents experience a change in their freedom (not loss but change) once children come along. Think about how your life looks different today compared to pre-child. You now have the same hours in a day but more demands placed on them. Children require a lot of your time that perhaps you used to spend doing things for yourself that now you must do for your child. Many parents are time starved. They also feel super guilty going out or spending time with a spouse or letting their helper put the child to sleep and so they want early bedtimes.  But again that early bedtime is about the parent’s need not the child’s need.

 

In addition, parents get further confusing information from online websites and pseudo-science book take the high end of sleep and present it like it’s average.

 

So for example, an average 6 month old only needs about 12 ¾ hours sleep TOTAL in a day, but may can range up to as high as 15- 16 hours…notice most people focus on how to get the 15-16 hours, even though their child may not need that much.

 

Plenty of books and website make it sound like your child MUST get the high end of sleep or bad things will happen. Often parents would like their child doing more sleep because a child doing 15 hours gives a parent a lot more free time than a child doing 12 ¾ hours.

 

So many sleep consultants, websites and books are trying to force kids to do more sleep than they biologically are able to because of the cultural myth they live. North American, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are common countries where this Victorian principle of huge sleep amounts and 7pm bedtime times are big. If you are in this culture that says you are good parent if you put your child to bed at 7pm you don’t want to go to go against this.  But Asian, Latin American and some European cultures do not share this view…that’s because it’s a belief not a fact.

 

When you do make a over 6 months do 15-16 hours of sleep, you’ll see some pretty crazy and scary behaviors if they can’t do it.  For example, taking a lot longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep, waking before midnight, waking in the middle of the night for 1-2 hours and no amount of crying it out will work, the child will wake at 4 or 5am done sleep or their naps completely or almost entirely disappear before age appropriate OR they are sleeping way to much in the day for their age.

 

A very common client I get is the North American, United Kingdom, Australian or New Zealander who proudly announces they finally got their kid sleep 7pm to 7am but their naps have completely disappeared. This is because of the 7pm to 7am belief messing up their child’s nap. The parent will be convinced the kid needs this sleep at night (that’s because they are not napping). Plus a lot of weird behaviors they can’t make sense of. I can help you if this is you.

 

All these behaviors are very confusing and hard for the parent to figure and knock on to create other behavioral issues. Many people with no science training or clinical child development training will have a hard time seeing the REAL problem and will often misinterpret the behaviors they are seeing.

 

This is because if you don’t know how something works, it is very easy to fool our eyes. An example of this is that for many years people thought the world was flat! You look at the horizon and the world looks flat, and we made many decision based on a flat world. This is how superstitions are formed, because our eyes and brain are very easy to fool. This is why science has developed regular scientific controls to get around our brain’s bias to find causal patterns.

 

How We Help and What You Are Paying For

 

We are providing a clinical and evidence based approach to child’s sleep. Our sleep consultant is a US trained Mental Health Counsellor with her Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counselling. She did a supervised 3000 training in the US has additional training in attachment; trauma, child and human develop. She has over 10,000 hours experience and has seen and helped over 2000 families for sleep.

 

We explain how sleep works, debunk many myths and help clarify the patterns who think you see. Often parents will be convinced their child is really tired or they will see patterns. But too often the reality is the parent got the pattern wrong because 1. They don’t know how sleep works, 2. They are under the influence of inaccurate cultural beliefs about sleep that prevent them from correctly seeing the data different 3. They have read a bunch of books and website that keep validating that their problem definition is right and must either be their fault or their child.

 

There are 4 main sleep problems and each interacts with the other in a way that makes it hard for people to correctly see the pattern. If you see the wrong pattern and base a solution off this, it won’t work. As result people feel stuck or trapped and think that a professionally trained master degree mental health counsellor can offer them nothing new and don’t want to come.

 

But as a trained professional, working with many cultures around the world and clinical background in child development, brain development and human behavior, I can provide clear concise solutions that usually only require 1 – 90 minutes.

 

What I do:

·         Clarify and debunk sleep myths that are screwing up yoru child’s sleep and your family harmony

·         Lay out a clear and concise play to get a sleep on track with minimal crying

·         Document it with follow up notes

·         Allows everyone to get back to sleep

 

You are making an investment in your family’s harmony, your health and your child. Poor quality sleep is a known harmful factor for immunity and health. Notice I said sleep QUALITY not just quantity. If you and your child are waking multiple times a night this is poor quality and will result in memory impairment, lower frustration tolerance, reduced motor coordination and impaired immune system.

 

So think about what it costs you to miss work because you are getting  sick more often do to the frequent wakings of your child. What is it costing you terms of lost productivity at work and poorer parenting skills because you are tired and get angry more easily.

 

In one 90 minutes session I can usually provide a clear concise solutions. For parents that have a lot of misunderstand about sleep, trauma and attachment, they may require 2 sessions to deal with the misinformation they’ve been given.

 

Contact us to learn more at 90307239 or email us

 

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