ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP AND/OR BEHAVIOR?
- Has dealing with your child’s sleep issues left you exhausted and overwhelmed?
- Is your child waking too often during the night?
- Are you facing bedtime battles every night?
- Do you long for a sense of peace in your home?
- Do you feel that you should be able to figure this out, but can’t find a solution that works?
If the family is not getting the necessary sleep then everyone is less resilient; parenting decisions made from a place of exhaustion may provide temporary relief, but usually leave parents wondering when and if they will be able to return to a sense of normalcy.
Once the initial excitement of becoming parents transitions to the day to day raising of child(ren), many parents start comparing themselves or their children to others. Sometimes parents feel everyone else has an easier child, or they believe they should be able to figure this parenting thing out. Then comes a sense of guilt for not being the parent you envisioned, or resentment fueled by being up all night with your child. Many times parents are working hard, reading parenting books, and trying to implement what they learn or hear from others, but still feel stuck. You may struggle with creating appropriate boundaries for your child, or balancing discipline with emotional support. The goal of raising respectful children who feel valued and emotionally secure can feel overwhelmingly difficult!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
The vast majority of parents feel stuck at some point in the first decade of parenting–usually at many points! These points can be about the child’s sleep and/or the challenges of disciplining child in a way that reflects the values as a family.
A large segment of parents experience issues around sleep before their child’s sixth birthday, especially during the first three years of life. Parents of babies who are easy sleepers are often surprised to learn that many sleep problems develop between 6 to 9 months of age. Once kids are sleeping well, many parents then feel confusion on how to parent the toddler and school age years. What is developmentally appropriate? How do enforce healthy sleep habits without harming my child’s sense of attachment? How do I discipline my child without hurting their sense of self esteem and worth?
At this point, some parents find themselves fighting about what is the best approach for their child. Both parents care deeply, but disagreeing as a couple escalates the stress felt by the family.
Learning the skill of self soothing to sleep
Like everything from nursing to walking, a baby needs to learn how to sleep independently. As adults, we do not need to rely on someone else to put us to sleep. Children need to learn to put themselves to sleep as well. For some this comes easier than others. Much of this depends on age, temperament, and previous experiences.
Teaching sleep skills
Sometime between 3 and 6 months of age the baby is ready to be put to bed awake and fall asleep on her own. Some babies are ready for this transition while others protest this change. The degree of protest depends on various factors: your child may prefer the “old method” of going to sleep, she may not be developmentally ready yet and/or family lifestyles may be interfering. For these children, parents need to create a sleep plan that both allows their children to learn the skill of sleep, while also supporting them through this transition and growth.
Learning how behave and stay connected in the family
Starting in toddlerhood, kids are trying to understand their place in the “family universe”. They are social scientists continually taking in data on how one behavior or another impacts those around them. They are also developing a sense of self agency and wanting to check their environment for predictability and consistency. During this time, parents experience their child getting mad over big and little concerns, having difficulty recovering, pushing boundaries or rules, getting upset over existing rules that were previously not a problem, and/or trying to dictate how the family should function. For parents, this requires the presence of a predictable family structure, as well as parents who are willing to help the child learn and reflect on their own feelings and emotions.
Teaching behavior skills
Like sleep, kids love to feel grown up and accomplished. They are designed to learn, especially about themselves in relation to those around them. They want to feel seen, loved and valued. They want to understand their place in the world in a way that feels joyful and fun. Many times we can focus on what not to do, what to correct and not balance the equation by highlighting appropriate choices or how to manage those big emotions. Depending on the age, the right parenting approach can be a mix of reflecting, introducing choices, making relational connections, consistent presence and, for the young ones, repetition, repetition, repetition.
CCRT Can Help with Family Sleep and Parenting Issues
CCRT can help your family become rested and excited to start the day together. CCRT can help everyone in your family to sleep through the night and wake at a reasonable hour and create a stress free, predictable nighttime ritual and bedtime. If naps are a concern, CCRT can create a consistent, healthy nap schedule for your family.
CCRT can also help with broader questions around parenting. After the child is sleeping well and everyone in the family is feeling more balanced, many parents are wanting help with sibling rivalry, tantrums, and helping their child with anxiety. CCRT can help give you a well rounded understanding of your child’s developmental capacity as well as how to foster healthy attachment while instilling expectations and enforcing boundaries.
There are many books on how to help your child to sleep or how to parent well and the ranges of theories behind these recommendations are dramatic. Finding the right solution for your family can feel daunting. CCRT’s philosophy on teaching your child to sleep and supporting you as a parent is rooted in research and experience. CCRT takes a systemic approach and views the family through an attachment framework. I assess your family’s needs and, in partnership with you, determine the best solutions to implement.
You May Have More Questions
How does this work–how many sessions will I need?
This is best determined on the unique needs of your family. Sleep consultations typically require an initial two hour session with one to two follow up sessions. Parenting support can be ongoing or three to four sessions to address particular issues. Once a comfortable foundation is created for the family, some parents want to explore more relational dynamics as a couple or between parent and child. While other parents come for “check ins” as needed. Please call and we can discuss your situation and decide the best strategy to meet your needs.
Should I Sign Up for Webinar Sleep Class or Get Individual Consultation?
This depends both on your child’s situation and your needs as a parent. For example, are there medical issues or other complicating factors that need to be weighed into your sleep plan? Do you feel that you work better with greater support or feel that you just need to know the ground rules? Please call, and once I know your particular concerns and where your child is with sleep, I can help guide your decision on how to best move forward.