Great for All Ages, Mental Contrasting, Parent Tips, Special Phrase Language, The Happy Student Podcast

#108 Be Strategic

“Be careful.” What a common phrase parents say. Your kid is climbing a tree – “Be careful!” Your kid is carrying hot liquid – “Be careful!” Your kid is going for a drive – my parents still tell me to “Be careful!” And that’s fine. But it’s also not great. It’s not that helpful. What does “careful” mean to a kid? Maybe a good alternative to careful is to be slow – to take your time because what your doing requires concentration and thought and you don’t want to rush it because you could get hurt. But being slow and careful is boring. And kids hate boring. So I’ve got an alternative, let’s start telling our kids to “Be strategic.”

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

It’s not that you shouldn’t tell your kids to “Be careful.” You totally can and should. It’s that there are times when “Be strategic” also works and I think it is often clearer and it starts to get kids to think about being strategic, which they don’t necessarily get when they are told to “Be careful.”

“Be careful” means to be cautious. It means to be slow. It means to take your time. It means to be aware of what is going on. Implied in “Be careful” is to think about what you are doing and plan it out. But with kids we need to be super explicit. Telling kids to “be careful” and expecting them to plan out their course of action in response to that piece of advice is unlikely to get the desired outcome.

Meanwhile, “Be strategic” is a little more proactive. It’s a little clearer what it means to be strategic. To be strategic is to have a strategy – to have a plan. So when your kid is looking down the stairs they don’t know how to actually descend and you say “Be strategic” the idea is that they will start to learn to pause before they just nose dive downward.

Being cautious and careful is slow and boring. Being strategic is cool.

There’s this military saying, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” And I’ve started saying it to myself as another alternative to “Be strategic”.

The point is, “Be strategic” is cool and it’s still slow. But even though it’s slow, it’s fast. And that’s cool. And your kids will respond to that. So try to start replacing some of your “Be careful” warnings with “Be strategic” and see what happens. 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Parent Tips, Self-Advocacy, The Happy Student Podcast

#104 What “They Say” about Parenting with Lauren Jumrukovski

“They say” a lot of things about how you should raise your children and it can be totally overwhelming and stressful when what “they say” just isn’t practical for you and your children. Our guest, Lauren from They Say Parenting is here to tell you it’s okay and to talk about how she let go of what “they say” and how you can too!

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

About They Say Parenting

  • Everyone says something different about how one should parent, that it makes it difficult to know what is best.
  • It is best to go with your gut because you know your children and their habits more than anybody.
  • Lauren wants parents to know that they are not alone if they feel anxiety about the “rules” of parenting.

Goals for “They Say Parenting” blog

  • You are not alone in this.
  • We are great parents, mistakes and all. It’s ok not to be perfect, and in fact, it might even be better.
  • We don’t always have to listen to what “they say” because there is no substitute for experience.  
  • The blog is an uplifting place that make parents feel better. A place that make parents feel confident knowing they are doing the right thing because it’s what they think is best.

Personal experiences from Lauren

  • She felt pressure to breastfeed; however, it ended up not working for both her and her children. So, she made the decision to use formula in order to provide her children with the nutrients they needed.
  • It’s ok to do something different that doesn’t follow the rules.
  • For example, it’s alright to not have a super healthy dinner once in awhile.

Topics on Lauren’s blog and her upcoming book, They Say, Not Your Average Parenting Book

  • Her honest experiences as a parent.
  • Ideas/hacks/activities that have made parenting easier for her.
  • It is not your average parenting book.
  • Do’s and don’ts that have helped Lauren navigate parenting.
  • Reminders that it is normal to question oneself as a parent.
  • There are real tips from a real parent.
  • Focus on your intuition or gut when parenting.
  • You know best!

“There are occasions and instances where it doesn’t matter what ‘they’ say or what ‘they’ think, you just have to do what works.”

They Say Parenting

Order Lauren’s Book: They Say… (Not Your Average Parenting Book)

TheySayParenting on Instagram

@TSParenting on Twitter

TheySayParenting on Pinterest

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#103 What’s the Hubbub Surrounding Spanking? (with Alison Smith)

The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids. This is controversial because a lot of parents spank their kids as part of discipline and no one wants to hear that they are doing the wrong thing, especially when they feel like they don’t have a good alternative. So what’s the deal with spanking? And are there good alternatives?

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids.

What are the arguments in favor of spanking?

  • “I got spanked and I turned out fine.”
    • Years of research show that most people who were spanked usually aren’t “fine”.
      • Anecdotal evidence vs. research based evidence
        • Anecdotal evidence is a true story of one person in one particular set of circumstances in his/her own results.
        • Research takes lots of anecdotal evidence into account and the person’s particular circumstances, as well.
    • Is it really worth the risk?

What are the consequences of spanking?

  • It does do harm, but it often appears over time.
  • We have laws and ethical standards against hitting animals, spouses, strangers, so how are children biologically different that makes hitting them ok?
  • Any force, whether physical, emotional, etc., from a larger adult to a child has subtle and significant impacts.
  • The idea of spanking is to inflict at least temporary pain or discomfort.
    • How can we then say that it is not causing pain or discomfort?
  • When they are touched in a private area (the buttock) that they are supposed to protect; they feel shame and humiliation because they’ve had no choice in that.
    • This causes uncertainty and confusion about whether the buttock is a private part of the body.
    • Children can’t articulate this, but they know that something feels off, uncomfortable, or “icky.”
    • Under the age of approximately seven, children have not developed in the part of the brain that judges whether something they see or hear is true or not. So, if someone they love/respect and has a place of power does something to them and says it’s their fault, children take that in internally that they are bad and have done something wrong. They don’t even know how or why, but they feel uncomfortable, knows it has something to do with the private parts of their bodies, and that they must deserve it if this loving person is doing this to them.

Many parents believe that they have to spank their child. There are interventions that work just as well in the short term and are better for the long-term, without the risks associated with spanking.

What are a few good discipline techniques?

  • Allow them to feel like they can come for help without the fear of something bad or uncomfortable happening that may cause them to lose part of that connection they have with you. Then there’s an opportunity to work with your children to help them see the possible outcomes of all of their choices, which then builds the trust and connection between you and your children for next time so they will be more likely to come back to ask for guidance.
    • Keep a good, open communication with your child.
    • The decision making part of the brain does not fully develop until the child is 25-30 years old.
  • Teach the problem solving process and give them safe practice.  
  • Expect them to mess up.
    • There was a fear of messing up because of the thought of being in trouble. This kept us from taking healthy risks and from learning important things. It stifled us.
    • Our goal is to teach them in the moment how to make those right decisions.

But, there has to be consequences sometimes…

  • Consequences are a natural result of something.
  • Some consequences we don’t want them to experience.
  • It takes time and intentional effort.
    • We need new skills to teach us how to do this.

Where do parents go for help now that parenting has changed?

  • Parents can visit a
    • Parenting specialist
    • Therapist with specialized backgrounds in parenting/family dynamics, relationships, problem solving
    • Parenting consultant/coach/educator.
      • They focus on prevention. They consider relationship as much as possible.
  • Follow the links below.

What constitutes spanking? I have a friend who gives her son just a little tap when he’s messing up and she argues that he immediately stops and corrects his behavior. She argues that this is not spanking.

  • I would argue that it is in fact a form of spanking – she is hitting her child and that is physical punishment. And I think that teaches the child that hitting is okay – because his mom is modeling that behavior for him.
  • It teaches that might makes right.
    • Whomever has the size, strength, or power, and if they are motivated enough then they can use their size, strength, or power and it’s ok.
  • It confuses the child on what’s private, what their in charge of, and what someone in power can do.

Summary of how spanking is harmful:

  • There’s more than physical harm. It affects the way they think, the way they internalize the mistakes that they’re making, and it has a lasting impact.
    • Parenting is the most important relationship.
    • People can heal, but it takes more work to counteract those early years.
  • Being spanked has been linked to lower self-esteem, depression, masochism, and psychological distress.
    • It has an emotional affect.
  • It impacts the relationship between parents and children when power is taken out of the equation. The bond and trust we have is important to protect.

References & Resources:

Alison Smith Parent Coach

A Gift from Alison Smith: The Gentle Parenting Manifesto from

The Happy Student episodes on discipline:

“The General Rules of Discipline”

“Types of Discipline”

“Giving Logical Consequences”

“What To Do When Your Kid ‘Talks Back’ with Alison Smith”

“The Bizarre Time-Out Controversy”

“Lighthouse Parenting”

Debra L. Stang has put together some excellent arguments against spanking, using both research and common myths in favour of physical punishment. I shared a number of points from her article. https://nospank.net/stang2.htm

GENERAL SPANKING RESEARCH LINKS

https://stopspanking.org/research/

https://stopspanking.org/2013/06/20/what-researchers-say-about-spanking/

Hard-hitting essay on the evolution of society’s view of what constitutes violence.

https://medium.com/@tommycrow/parents-who-spank-should-be-worried

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Elementary School, Great for All Ages, High School, Middle School, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#99 Bob Sternberg on Wisdom, Intelligence, Creativity, and Success

Psychologist Bob Sternberg joins Fireborn to talk about how there is more to succeeding and thriving than testing well. He says “You don’t have to be the best student in your class to have something to contribute to the world.” That’s an excellent message to get across to kids because in school you are so often assessed based on grades that it may be hard to remember that you have value even if you aren’t the best in your class. In this episode, we talk about how to help your child really take that message to heart.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

What skills are tests missing?

Creativity

  • People need to aware and adept to the ambiance of the rapidly changing world in order to succeed. This applies both for businesses and in social aspects of life.
  • Schools don’t reward creativity, but actively penalize it. School want things done a certain way. For example, if the student does not solve a mathematical problem the way they were taught, but wrote the correct answer, they would still lose points for not following the way they were taught to solve the problem.

What can parents do?

  • The best thing to do is model creativity and not be dogmatic about it. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your own creativity to your kids. Be flexible in your own life.
  • Encourage your child to look at problems in alternative ways and take sensible risks.
  • Help your child realize that when you do things creatively you may get beaten down, but that’s ok, you have to be resilient in the face of objections or resistance.
  • Reward creativity.
  • Sometimes you have to look at things differently from how you have in the past by letting go of the things you may have once believed was true.

Common Sense or Practical Intelligence

  • This means knowing how to respond to different kinds of practical and social situations; such as handling conflict and making judgements of things that our “worth your time.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is weakly correlated with IQ type and academic intelligence. “Being a star student doesn’t buy you any common sense.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is important. Tests don’t value your ability to navigate the world, however

What can parents do?

  • Make sure your kids are talking to you about their problems and challenges with others.
  • Help them work through the problems they may have (don’t just tell them the answer) by discussing possible options with their advantages and disadvantages. This encourages social problem solving. By telling kids what to do it’s hard for them to develop common sense because then they don’t have experiential basis of what to do.
  • You should model common sense because children are more likely to do what you do, not just what you say.

Wisdom

  • Wisdom means using your knowledge and abilities for a common good. It’s taking the smarts you have and applying it to make the world a better place.

What can parents do?

  • Show that as a parent you value a common good. Show that you care about making the world a better place and you hope they will too.
  • Think about what to do to make the world a better place.
  • Have your child do prosocial things that will help whatever issues you think are important.

Find one’s passion

  • Parents can help their child find the “thing(s)” that’s right for them. This may be something parents did not have in mind. Parents can help encourage their child to find what excites them, whether or not it excites the parents. Just make sure that it doesn’t get them in trouble.
  • Parents may try to impose their value system onto their child, and that doesn’t work. It may not be what’s best for them.

What can parents do?

  • You may try a lot of things with your kids and find that most don’t work. Expose them to different kinds of experiences and interests, knowing that most won’t work.

Parents should show genuine interest and be willing to devote their time and mental resources to kids. When your kids talk, listen to them. When they need help be there for them. Don’t be intrusive and try to take over their life. Invest yourself in making the kids who they can be. This takes time and patience.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#97 When Your Sad Teen Won’t Open Up

Communicating with teens can be a challenge. And it can only get harder when they are sad, stressed, or grumpy. Maybe they come home and are just furiously texting or maybe they come home and they rush to their room or they hang out in the family area, but they just don’t engage with you, despite your sweet, sincere attempts to figure out what’s wrong. Psychologist Lisa Damour, who wrote Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, has identified 4 reasons why your teenager may not be talking to you when they are upset. In this episode we talk about all 4 of them and what you can do to get your teen to open up to you.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

Communicating with teens can be a challenge. And it can only get harder when they are sad, stressed, or grumpy.

Psychologist Lisa Damour, who wrote Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, has identified 4 reasons why your teenager may not be talking to you when they are upset.

1.     They worry you’ll have the wrong reaction.

  • Your kids know you pretty well having studied you and seeing your reactions to their behavior their entire lives. So they may rightly worry that by telling you that they bombed a test that you will react by talking about how that’s unacceptable.

The fix:

  • You have to be able to keep yourself from having exactly that bad reaction.
  • Then, start the conversation by saying, “Are you worried that I’ll have a bad reaction?” This can be a really hard conversation for parents because if this is happening, your kid could tell you exactly what they are worried about happening and they could be totally right and that could really make you feel attacked and you could start getting defensive.
  • By having this conversation that is more about your reactions, you lay the groundwork for later conversations when your teen comes home and will feel more comfortable opening up to you because you will have hopefully figured out how to react in a way that your teen appreciates and that makes your teen feel safe opening up to you.

2.     They anticipate negative repercussions.

  • If they have done something wrong, made a mistake, or maybe one of their friends did something bad, they may worry that telling you will have a negative consequence for them.

The fix:

  • As Lisa says, “there are two rules I live by: good kids do dumb things, and I never have the whole story.”
  • This isn’t to say that there are no consequences, often there need to be consequences. Encourage your kid to take responsibility and think about their actions and do what is right. We all make mistakes and have to learn how to make up for them. This conversation teaches your kid how to start doing that

3.     They know that parents sometimes blab.

  • Especially as kids get older, they start wanting to have more secrets. And so if they realize that you have shared their top secret information with someone else, they may stop telling you those things that they don’t want shared.

The fix:

  • If you have accidentally broken your kids’ trust, the answer is simple: apologize. It may take time for your kid to test you and trust you again, but it’s a good first step.
  • If you are just trying to get ahead of this one, just promise them that what they say at home to you will remain between the two of you (and maybe your co-parent as well). And if there is ever something that is top secret, you could ask that they remind you ahead of time that this is really super private.
  • Let your kids know that if someone is in danger, you will have to tell other adults.

4.     Talking doesn’t feel like the solution.

  • Sometimes kids have already been processing what they’re going through so much that they are just tired of it. They may be so close to getting over whatever it was, they don’t want to rehash it all. They just want to move on quickly.

The fix:

  • Just give some basic comfort – hanging out with them, watching TV, chatting about silly stuff, or quietly snuggling them

Using these “fixes” to help improve your communication can make life smoother for them and for you and really enhance your relationship.

Resource:Damour, L. (2017). “Why your grumpy teenager doesn’t want to talk to you.”The New York Times.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Definitions, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#96 The Effectiveness of Helicopter Parenting

Recently research about the effectiveness of helicopter parenting came out – it seemed to say that helicopter parenting works. And yet, experts, like us, have warned against it. So Fireborn took a look at this research and came to the conclusion that maybe helicopter parenting works, but the research affirms what experts have always been saying: an authoritative parenting style is the most important thing for positive outcomes.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

No one that I know wants to be a helicopter parent. It’s more like they feel forced into it because of societal pressures. And then they feel ashamed of being a helicopter parent because all of the experts tell them it’s actually bad for their kids. I try to avoid talking about helicopter parenting or tiger moms or the lawnmower parent or any other term used for parents that’s not scientific and based in research.

Wikipedia says that a helicopter parent is: a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. It is hyper-involved parenting that this New York Times article says “is the route to kids’ success in today’s unequal world.”

Helicopter parenting is not one of the three main types of parenting researched by researchers (though, to be fair, it is now being researched, but it has not found a place amongst these three styles). These three styles are:

  1. Authoritarian: a parenting style characterized by high demands and low responsiveness. Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly.
  2. Permissive: a type of parenting style characterized by low demands with high responsiveness. Permissive parents tend to be very loving, yet provide few guidelines and rules. These parents do not expect mature behavior from their children and often seem more like a friend than a parental figure.
  3. Authoritative: a parenting style characterized by high responsiveness and high demands. Authoritative parents are responsive to the child’s emotional needs while having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries.
  • Authoritative parenting is best, has the best outcomes, is backed by a ton of research, and it is also the hardest and most time intensive. It takes time to talk with your kid about why what they did was wrong and what they will do in the future and make them understand that what they did was wrong, but also maintain your relationship.

Helicopter parenting could be associated with any of these parenting styles. Helicopter parenting is making sure that your kid has done their homework, maybe by knowing exactly what homework they have to do and reviewing it for their kid. An authoritarian parent might take dessert or screen time away if you didn’t do your homework when you said you had. A permissive parent might excuse the lie away – “Oh my child is just so overwhelmed by work.” And then help their kid do the homework together. And an authoritative parent might talk to their kid about why they lied and get to the bottom of that.

There is new research according to the article that is going to upset psychologists and other experts who have “[insisted] that hyper-parenting backfires – creating a generation of stressed-out kids who can’t function alone.” And what this new research shows, arguably, is that helicopter parenting works – kids of helicopter parents are more successful, they just also happen to be more stressed out too.

The article “The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works” starts talking about helicopter parenting and talks about how parents are currently spending more hours a day parenting kids than they used to do. And then the article sites this research that was done on how successful kids were depending on how “intense” their parents’ parenting style was. Kids who had “intense” parenting performed better on tests. The author transitions to say that the traditional parenting styles affected those tests scores. So parents who were strict (or authoritarian), their kids did not get the full benefits of the helicopter parenting. The article says, “The most effective parents, according to the authors, are ‘authoritative.’ They use reasoning to persuade kids to do things that are good for them. Instead of strict obedience, they emphasize adaptability, problem-solving and independence – skills that will help their offspring in future workplaces that we can’t even imagine yet.” The author continues by saying that these kids get more college and postgraduate degrees, are healthier and have higher self-esteem. This is exactly what that 20 years of research on authoritative parenting has said all along!

So when I read this article, I find that it simply reinforces what we already know: that kids of authoritative parents have the best outcomes. The most important thing is to be an authoritative parent to the best of your ability. Whether or not you are a helicopter parent, that seems negligible or like a non-sequitur because we already knew that kids of authoritative parents did better. This research said that kids of intensive parents did better but were also more stressed out. But the kids who had authoritative parents, even if they were intensive, whatever that means, were healthier and had higher self-esteem. And what other researchers have shown is that it can protect against that stress.

Maybe being a helicopter parent can help your kids. It can also stress them out. And the research is clear that if you are choosing a parenting style, authoritative is best. You can be authoritative and a helicopter parent. So, if you are going to be a helicopter parent, and I know it is close to impossible to avoid being one, be an authoritative helicopter parent.

Resources:

Lighthouse Parenting

Because I Said So

“The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Easy Action Items, Great for All Ages, Self-Advocacy, The Happy Student Podcast

#92: A Resolution that’s Actually Good for You

Resolutions are not always good for you. Sometimes they can lead to burnout and feelings of inadequacy. Let’s resolve this year to do stuff that is good for us and for our kids – like get more sleep! A lack of sleep is currently leading to a public health crisis. Let’s help our kids lead happy, healthy, productive lives by helping them (and us) prioritize sleep!

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

The Every Mom: “8 Doable New Year’s Resolutions for Moms” suggests resolutions we need. The resolutions are:

  1. “I resolve to put myself on the [to do] list”
  2. “I resolve to put down my phone”
  3. “I resolve to accept the mess”
  4. “I resolve to lean in to fun”
  5. “I resolve to let go of perfect”
  6. “I resolve to treat my body with kindness”
  7. “I resolve to leave space on my calendar”
  8. “Above all, I resolve to give myself grace

The thing about the “hustle” is that it’s not being shown to make people’s lives better. It’s leading to burnout. Do we want our kids to grow up and hustle and burn out? Or do we want them to grow up and have a great work-life balance in which they feel like they are really living a good life? I vote for the good life. Especially because, as I’ve argued before, that good life actually makes you more productive and is better for your career in the long run. And if we want our kids to behave in ways that will promote the good life, we have to too because they will do as we do.

The Washington Post just published an article “Go to Bed! Brain researchers warn that lack of sleep is a public health crisis”. The article says, “The growing consensus is that casual disregard for sleep is wrongheaded – even downright dangerous”.

Researchers are showing that:

  • Preschoolers, so kids ages about 3-5, who skip naps have worse memory than those who take naps. The kids who get more sleep overnight, but who missed naps, still have a worse memory.
  • Poor sleep may be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • And bad sleep habits, like those all-nighters, can increase anxiety and feelings of loneliness.
  • As the article says, “’It used to be popular for people to say, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’ The ironic thing is, not sleeping may get you there sooner.’”

How do you get more sleep for your kids?

Prioritize sleep for yourself. Your kids will hear what you say about sleep being important, but if they see that you skip sleep, they will realize that in theory it’s nice to get sleep, but if you have something to do, you should skip it. They will do what you do.

  • How do you prioritize sleep for yourself? Remind yourself what you value. I value a happy, healthy, long life. So when it’s getting close to bedtime and I haven’t put away the laundry or responded to Fireborn’s Instagram comments, I think, yes, those things are important. But deep down what I value is that happy, healthy, long life. So it is time to go to bed. Those things can wait. As The Every Mom says, “I resolve to accept the mess” because what is important is my sleep. I’m also following another of The Every Mom’s resolutions – to put myself on the to do list. I’m sleeping because I am worth it.

Reduce the number of after-school activities your kids participate in so they can take naps or get their homework done earlier so they can go to sleep.

Establish bedtime routines to help your kids calm down and fall asleep easily so that they have good sleep habits for the rest of their lives.

Institute a no-smartphone policy for after a certain hour so that you kids can get uninterrupted sleep. This one is hard with older kids and will require a serious conversation with your kids about the reasoning behind it so that they really understand. They may not like it, but if they understand it they will be more likely to comply.

Let your teens sleep as late as they want on the weekends. It’s a natural part of their development that they want to sleep late. So don’t wake them up early because they are “wasting the day away”. That sleep is not a waste. They need it. Their bodies crave it. Let them have it.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!