Jolandi Becker
6 minute read
30 Mar 2020
8:39 am

Why self-care as a parent is so important for your kids right now

Jolandi Becker

These stressful times can cause us to change and have a great impact on our sleep!

I think we can all agree that the last couple of days has resulted in quite an unexpected mix of feelings for many of us.  Ups-and-downs from anxiety, as well as stress, anger and then also periods of calm (or at least trying to convince yourself that things are fine).  As this is quite a unique situation it is quite normal for us all to feel overwhelmed, to be concerned for your own safety and the people you care about.

The reality is that we all deal with these situations differently. Some of us like to prepare, others want to keep to themselves and others want as much information as possible.

The stress can cause us to change our behavior, eating differently, increase our alcohol and tobacco intake and of course, stress has a great impact on our sleep!

Remember these things to support and practise self-care:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading and listening to the news and social media.  Constantly taking in news about the pandemic can be distressing.
  • Take care of yourself by eating healthy balanced meals, exercising and getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Try distracting activities like gardening, reading fiction or motivational/devotional books, or simply try relaxing with a good old series on your TV.
  • Talk to your loved ones about your concerns.

Gently consider these points in an effort to support your children:

  • Take time to talk to them about COVID-19, about the value of social distancing to keep healthy, and make sure to share valid facts and show them how they can protect themselves.  Answer all their questions with facts.
  • Make sure they know it is normal to feel uneasy or worried, but also share with them how you feel and cope with your own stress and concerns.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news and social media.
  • Even with schools closing, try to keep to a normal routine with time for leaning, relaxing and fun.
  • Kids learn from us and what we do.  Make sure to model proper behavior by exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep.

Here are some helpful tips to improve your health through sleep:

  • Keep hydrated and drink lots of water.
  • Keep a healthy diet and limit sugar and caffeine, especially after 13h00.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol.  Even though it can help you to fall asleep and make you feel like it is helping, the quality of sleep you receive after drinking it is not worth that temporary lull of the senses.
  • Keep to regular bedtimes, ensuring these are not too late.
  • Make sure to make time for exercise.
  • Try to avoid screen time about 1 hour before you go to bed.
  • Try relaxing activities as part of your bedtime routine such as meditating, yoga, detox baths, or light reading.

Here are some helpful tips to improve your child’s health through sleep:

  • Keep them hydrated and offer them lots of water.
  • Make time for outside play and exercise.  Children need to get fresh air and sun.
  • Keep to a healthy diet and limit sugar and avoid caffeine.
  • Keep to regular bedtime routines that include bedtime that are not too late.
  • Limit screen time to only 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Including relaxing activities, such as reading or breathing techniques as part of your bedtime routine.
  • Keep to regular nap times and nap time routines for the littler ones.

From our side, we want to continue to help and support you but of course, we encourage all to practice social distancing to ensure that we keep our consultants and clients safe.  We are continuing with our great services and we’ll offer exactly the same services. However,  the benefits of technology allow us to perform our assessments and support through telephone, Skype or Whatsapp video.  We want you to ensure your health is improved through sleep.

Keep safe.


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Good Night is a Southern African child sleep consultancy that guides and supports parents in giving their children – and themselves – the gift of sleep.Essentially, we help you teach your baby and child to sleep. Founded by Petro Thamm, South Africa’s first certified Sleep Sense ™ Consultant, a mom and advocate of good sleep, Good Night is South Africa’s leading sleep programme, which extends worldwide.

The Good Night Philosophy

We believe that no two children are the same, and therefore sleep programmes should be tailor-made to suit every child and circumstance. We believe that a well-rested child makes or a healthy child, and a happy family, we will teach you skills to enable your child to become a healthy and happy sleeper.

Just like with eating and walking, a child needs to be taught to sleep, and we do so in a gentle and nurturing way. We never ask a parent to do anything they’re not comfortable with, and we don’t believe in the misconception that leaving a baby to cry will make him a good sleeper.

  • We do a thorough analysis of your child’s sleep habits and provide you with a personalized sleep plan to implement
  • We give you information about why sleep is such an integral part of your child’s health, well-being and learning.
  • After assessing your family’s unique needs, we provide you with a step-by- step guide of the changes you need to make.
  • We carefully assess your situation to determine your challenges, and then we tailor-make a step-by- step sleep plan that is suited to you and your child.
  • We offer support in the form of calls and emails, and our consultants are also equipped to stay over at your house for added assistance if required.
  • We offer follow-up meetings and monitoring to help your family progress to natural, healthy sleep patterns.
  • We provide seminars, talks and workshops on Sleep.

The Good Night program can help you if

  • Your child will only fall asleep with a “sleeping aid” such as a bottle, toy or the TV.
  • Your child just “doesn’t sleep”.
  • You’re walking up with your child during the night.
  • Your lack of sleep is affecting to your work performance and relationships.
  • Bedtime is a constant battle.
  • Your baby can’t self soothe and put himself to sleep.
  • You’re pregnant and want to learn good sleep habits from early on.
  • You’re faced with new challenges such as potty training, teething, sleep resistance and nightmares.
  • Your child is struggling with naptime and day-time sleep.
  • You want to make sure that your baby is on the right sleep and feeding routine.