Saturday, April 14, 2012
The magic duo of parenting
Sometimes my kid's needs become crystal clear. Earlier this week (after a few late nights) I had one of those moments. It isn't deep but it makes SUCH a difference to my children.
They need the magic duo - food and sleep. After a few babies I worked out that most babies' issues are related to the magic duo. What I hadn't reflected on until recently is that this doesn't stop when kids get older - I'm still pursuing the same goals!
They need good food that fills them up (actually, they need to eat the food that is given to them that fills them up - but my fussy eaters could take up another whole, long depressing post).
And they need a good amount of sleep. My seven year old will not sleep in. He always wakes early. So if he goes to bed at 10 he will only get 8 hours sleep when he needs at least 10 hours to be civilised. The amount of crying in a given day is directly related to the amount of sleep that my children have had. It makes us a little obsessive about bedtimes. It is our sanity at stake.
When people have asked what we did to get our son into a selective school I laugh and just say that we fed him good food and made him go to bed on time. I always make a joke of it, but I actually think there is a truth to it. There is so much evidence of a relationship between poor concentration and learning for kids who are eating the wrong types of food.
And I teach so many yawning kids each day at school that I know they can't be able to concentrate on what they are learning. I had six kindy kids sound asleep in school assembly a few weeks ago - admittedly it was the end of the school day, but even still, on other days the teacher might be attempting to teach them something (we do get a lot of classes in the library last thing in the school day - when the teachers are all a bit over it).
Food and sleep. Seems easy, but wow - does it not fill up a lot of our time?