Course Notes: Sleep

We’re back with another Course Notes mini-series.

I recently took a Continuing Ed course called The Sensory and Sleep Connection. Although we know that sleep is an important component to our general well-being, it is frequently overlooked when it comes to our physical, emotional, and mental health. We’ve all experienced a lack of sleep (remember the newborn days?) and the feeling when we are trying to function without it; but imagine how our kids are doing, especially when they’re still growing. It made me want to investigate the occupation of sleep (yes, sleep is an occupation) and why we all need to get some good shut-eye.

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Trying to Focus: Kids and Attention

Children have short attention spans.

I know this seems super obvious, but it’s something my husband and I are currently working on with our almost 5-year-old. If he’s interested in a topic, he’ll be engaged for hours, like when he’s learning about animals or conducting science experiments. But give that kid a simple instruction and he’ll forget it or become distracted in seconds flat. Yeah, it sounds like every kid at this age, but it made me want to revisit what I currently know (and research more) about attention and how to best help my son improve it.

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Perfect Timing: Rhythm, Timing, and the Brain

Timing is everything. For the most part, that statement is true.

Everything we do requires rhythm and timing. EVERYTHING. Think about it: walking, talking, reading this sentence, etc. It all relies on a pace and a pattern to complete them.

We’ve talked in previous posts about body awareness and how it affects bilateral coordination and motor planning, but rhythm and timing ensures that those movements are fluid when interacting with objects and people around us. Most of the time, you hardly notice it until you have a clumsy moment walking or stuttering over your words when in conversation.

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Toddlers and the Power of Why

From the weather to why we brush our teeth, it’s almost like they can’t help themselves. It’s been covered in TV episodes and in cartoons. You can picture it even now. An exasperated parent being followed by a super-inquisitive toddler, relentlessly asking “why”.

Research reveals that kids ask around 40,000 questions between 2-4 years of age. Similar studies also found that some 4-year-olds ask about 200-300 questions DAILY. As taxing as their inquiries can be for us as parents, it’s a good thing! Questions and curiosity are good indicators of social and cognitive development.

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Child(ish) Reads: No-Drama Discipline

While The Whole-Brain Child is definitely an awesome approach to child-rearing, the neurobiology can be a bit of a bear to get through. For No-Drama Discipline, the authors zero in on disciplining with the Whole-Brain approach and the result seems to be much more practical (or at least as practical as neurodevelopment can be).

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

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