Category Archives: Sleep and Sleeping issues

Regular time together

5. Plan a regular block of time every day or every couple of days after school to do an activity WITH your child.

Changes Psychology school routinesDo something individually with your child, that doesn’t involve homework or getting ready for school or for bed every day. Even just 5 minutes a day together, without the use of electronic devices, can really help strengthen the parent-child relationship, as children often really look forward to it as part of their day.

 

It is even more difficult for working parents who often do not get home until 6 or 7pm at night, however this makes 5 minutes together even more valued. You might choose to spend this time doing something together for 5 minutes before you start the dinner and bed routines. Or you might choose to  spend it just before bed, engaging in a ‘quiet time’ activity. Some examples are reading a book together, working on a puzzle or research a topic that might involve looking up information on the internet. It doesn’t really matter what the activity is, it’s more the fact that parents do it TOGETHER with their child, and not simply direct them to go and do it while they do something on their own.

The research shows that the strength of the parent-child relationship, called attachment, is enhanced with small blocks of time, from 1 to 5 minutes, spent engaging positively with children on a regular and predictable schedule – at least once per day and at a similar time of the day so children learn to expect it. The more you spend these brief blocks of time engaging with your child, the more your relationship will develop with them! And it’s also a good way to help reduce the frequency and intensity of challenging behaviours, as connecting more with a child can only help to reduce the anxieties or emotions underlying their behaviours.

 

Getting Ready for Prep: Are they Ready for Big School?

Changes Psychology First Day of SchoolStarting school can be a big step for children and their families. Getting ready for prep can mean different things for different children and families, however even children that are ready for Big School may experience challenges with adjustment.

 

 

Australia has one of the youngest school starting ages in the world and so our even littler ones are moving into a whole new world at quite a young developmental age. What are the signs they may need more support and what can you do to help?

 

What to expect leading into the start of prep and the first few weeks

Many children feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety when starting school. This is the same feeling we all get when we start something new and is a normal response to novel situations whether it be starting a new grade at school, heading off to university, or starting in a new workplace.

 

So what are the signs in a 4 or 5 year old that they may be feeling it all a bit more intensely?

  • tearful behaviour
  • nightmares and problems sleeping
  • new fears they’ve not expressed before
  • “clingy” behaviour toward adult familiar adult carers
  • change in sleeping patterns in general
  • tummy aches or headaches with no physical condition.
  • change in eating patterns, and reverting back to being more fussy
  • tantrums or acting out when discussing or doing things related to starting school like buying uniforms or overhearing parents discussing new routines

 

If you, or other carers of your child including day carers, grandparents and friends notice signs that are affecting your child’s normal behaviour it may be time to slow down and go back to some basics to make the transition to big school a little more smooth for them.  See your GP or contact us if you feel you need some more support.
Read more: What does Prep Readiness mean