Kindermusik with Chryssa's Blog

Kindermusik International e' il leader nel mondo per programmi di musica e movimento per bambini / Kindermusik® is the world's leading provider of music & movement programs for young children, enjoyed by over 1.5 million families in 70+ countries.

Good Bedtime Habits for our Little Ones!

on July 21, 2013

I always used to wonder why my mom would send us to bed so early and as I a child I often thought of it as unfair…Now years down the line, I understand why and I want to say: THANKS to my mom!

Research has shown that a good night’s sleep is vital to building the brain development and academic achievement of young children.

After having followed approximately 11, 000 children aged 3, 5, and 7, researchers from the University College of London found that children at 3 years old who had an irregular bedtime, or who went to bed after 9 p.m., performed badly on tests for spatial reasoning, math and reading, even if the children started to have more regular bedtime at a later stage.

Yes, you read right!  Poor bedtime habits for young children have an affect on them later on in the classroom, stunting their ability to learn and setting yet another barrier in their attempt to learn to their full potential.

During the early years of a child’s life their brain development – brain architecture, that is the neural connections that make the brain function, is most sensitive.  Much of the development that takes place during this first five years of our lives defines what our brains will look like as an adult.

So, as any architect or engineer would warn us about the high risk of a structure falling down when its foundations are unsteady, likewise children that don’t have solid foundations of emotional, physical and mental development suffer the consequences years down the line.

Research after research shows that the key to reversing these trends while also setting society up to reap major benefits in the future is early intervention, largely because, as Frederick Douglas opined, “[It’s] easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Who has the most powerful tool to start addressing these critical problems? Parents! They have undivided access to their young children and the ability to positively intervene in their lives.

Some of the best science is on the side of parents. For example:

  • One of the largest studies of its kind last year, showed that children are exposed to an average of 232 minutes of background television per day!  This stunts their cognitive abilities and ability to engage in social play. By turning the television off, parents can limit this exposure.
  • Make sure that children have a chance to hear as many words as possible. Studies shows us that is it is vital that children are exposed to as much vocabulary as possible so they are later successful in school and life.
  • Keep it fun. Researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics found that unstructured play is critical in the development of strong emotional, social, and cognitive abilities. The more children have a chance to develop their creative thinking and problem solving skills through play, the better they are at coping with stress and learning in a classroom setting later in life.

Parents play the most important role in a child’s life, and can make a difference, as they are their child’s best teacher!

So even though it might take one or two more readings of a bedtime story to get your little one to sleep, science proves that it will pay off in the long run!!!

Original post can be found here.

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