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Opinions of Monday, 23 July 2018

Columnist: Atta Kwaku Boadi

Solving sleepy time problems

All children go through problems with sleep. Children who have mental health disorders or are in foster care often have more problems in this area.

Sleeping in a strange bed and strange home contributes to this, but in many cases, a child in foster care who has sleep problems may be having intrusive or bad dreams.

Or, they have had a pattern of bad dreams in the past, and they resist and fear to go to sleep. In some cases, their medication may be interfering with sleep.

When children enter into confrontations with each other, parents tend to sometimes step in too soon to solve the children’s disagreement by simply separating them, or handing out a consequence and forcing the children to apologize to each other.

The only thing the children have learned is that adults will solve their problems, to avoid fights in front of adults and that all you have to do is to say “sorry”.

What parenting style do you use with your child? A Psychologist by the name of Diana Baumrind studied a group of preschool children and their parents and concluded that parenting styles can be divided into three main types: the authoritarian, the permissive, and the authoritative. The methods each parent uses to guide, educate and discipline his or her child makes up his or her parenting style.

At different ages, children watch and understand television in different ways, depending on the length of their attention span and the way in which they process information. These variables must be examined to gain an understanding of how television violence affects children at different ages.

Psychological research has found that televised violence has numerous effects on the behaviour of children of different ages.

These include the imitation of violence and crime seen on television towards behaving aggressively, and the displacing of activities, such as socializing with other children and interacting with adults, that would teach children non-violent ways to solve conflicts.

Many children have occasional enuresis or wetting at nighttime, even though they have been toilet trained for years. Quite a few children who have been traumatized by interpersonal violence will have nighttime (and even daytime) wetting that is often not effectively treated by medication or restriction of liquids. Even older children may have nighttime wetting; it is not uncommon for the problem to continue to occur in children.

Children who suffer from stress disorders often have lived for so long with their stress symptoms and behaviours that they do not realize that they are different from other children.

They take their extreme level of stress and resulting behaviours as a fact of life. One step in treating stress behaviours in children is to help them to become self-aware of their stress, how the stress is cued and triggered, and the levels of their stress.