TIP 17. CHILDREN'S SLEEP
A simple but important way to benefit your children is to always ensure that they get a good nights sleep. Whether you are currently raising a baby, a young child, or a teenager a good nights sleep is as important as putting oil in the motor of your car, without it there's going to be problems. A child needs much more sleep than an adult, because their bodies are growing all the time.
The majority of a child's growth is done during the sleeping hours, when many other bodily functions are shut down. This is especially true during 'growth spurts', and in the teenage years, when there are dramatic changes in a child's body.
It is our job to provide the best conditions possible to ensure our child's growth is not hindered in any way.
A good nights sleep is also vital if the children are to function properly at school. As fathers we have probably all experienced a few sleepless nights, especially when we first bring the baby home. If we can recall how we may have struggled with a lack of sleep, and how our functions were impaired, then we have a glimpse into the need for a good nights sleep.
A good nights sleep can be dependant upon a number of factors, not all of which we are in control. But we can attempt to minimise the detrimental elements involved by setting some basic ground rules. Most children need a minimum of 10 hours sleep a night to be able to function fully, with a clear head and a revitalised body. If your child is normally an early riser, then you need to ensure that they are in bed at an appropriate time to ensure they get the sleep they need.
Some of the other factors involved can be noise factors within the home. We need to create an environment conducive to the children going to sleep easily. This may include ensuring that noise levels of TV's or stereos are low enough not to hinder the children 'dropping off'. We should also ensure that they are either warm enough or cool enough for the conditions present, and that the room in which they sleep is well ventilated.
Spending time with the children whilst 'tucking them in' is another way to ensure that they have a peaceful mindset before going to sleep. Reading to them, praying with them or singing to them can have a very settling influence upon a young mind.
Dads' Call To Action:
Develop a system within the home to ensure that the children get a good nights sleep.
(Proverbs 3 v 24)
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.