The importance of sleep; a short guide

 

Sleep is important for everyone – we spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping – but there are differences between our needs based on if we are babies, children or adults. The amount of time we spend in light and deep sleep varies depending on age.

A lot happens in our bodies and brains while we sleep. Babies and children spend so much time sleeping because their bodies and brains have a lot of growing to do while they sleep, and when it’s dark, children’s bodies produce a growth hormone. Researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and the immune system. Studies also show that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.

Sleep consists of ‘light sleep’ also known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and ‘deep sleep’, also called Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. Babies are biologically programmed to sleep more lightly and wake more often than adults. Cycles of deep and light sleep last 30-50 minutes in babies, then gradually increase in length across childhood. In adolescence and during the adult years, each cycle of deep and light sleep lasts about 90 minutes.

Sleep is important for everyone, but especially so for babies and children. It’s an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

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News; The UK government brings in new laws and workplace rights to support families who suffer the loss of a child

 

The UK government is leading the way by bringing in new laws to support families who suffer the loss of a child. Parents and carers will be eligible for paid leave when they suffer a loss of a child under 18, and employees will not have to give notice for leave immediately after a loss, nor will they need to supply a copy of a death certificate to use as evidence. This is the first law of its kind in the UK to support employees and give them time to grieve.

Those who are eligible under this Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act include; parents, and all primary carers for children, including adopters, foster parents, guardians, and also kinship carers – a close relative or family friend that has assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of the parents.

“Dealing with the loss of a child is an awful tragedy which we recognise people will deal with differently. It is important this new law is designed so that people are given the space and respect to grieve in their own way.” – Kelly Tolhurst, Business Minister

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

News; Vital changes to foster laws being considered by NSW Parliament

 

The NSW Parliament is considering making some vital change to current foster laws. These changes are seeking to streamline decision-making about permanent placements for children who enter out-of-home care. For the children who enter out-of-home care, they have been removed from the care of their parents, and the average length of stay in out-of-home care for them is about 12 years – this can be almost the entire duration of their childhood.

The changes being considered aim to reduce this time to a maximum of two years, with the potential for children to return to their parents where possible. Where this is not possible, the aim would be an alternative legal arrangement of guardianship with a relative, or adoption by a foster carer. Long-term foster care would be the least preferred option.

“With the greater focus on achieving permanent homes, it is important that NSW policies and legislation consider the lessons from other jurisdictions that have made similar attempts. In the US, the Adoption and Safe Families Act has been criticised for its bias towards termination of parental rights and adoption over restoration, with inadequate timeframes and support services that do not allow birth parents to so their children can be returned to them.”

– Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright & Professor Judith Cashmore

The reforms would require appropriate funding for resourcing to strengthen and support families, as well as monitoring and research to check for unintended consequences and to ensure the reforms are for the benefit of the children they are meant to help.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Active listening; how to communicate better with children

 

Active listening involves fully concentrating on what is being said – to concentrate, understand, and then respond – rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. When you practice active listening, you are engaged in what the other person says without offering advice or being judgmental. The things we say to children act like a mirror, reflecting back to children ideas about who they are and what they will become. That’s why it’s so important that we actively listen to children before we respond to them.

Listening to children shows them that they are important. Sometimes children do not speak because they aren’t given the opportunity. Make time to listen to children and hear their point of view, ans try to ensure there is the opportunity for everyone in the family to be heard.

We can practise actively listening to children by not only hearing their words but by working out the feelings behind the words. For many children, behaviour speaks louder than words. What is your child trying to tell you through their behaviour? Be patient when listening – allow them time to tell their story, don’t interrupt them and don’t finish their sentences for them. You can also help them express their thoughts and feelings by helping them find the words they need to express their thoughts or showing them other ways to communicate with you.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Building self-esteem in children; tips and tricks

 

Self-esteem means our opinion of our self and our worth. It’s our perception of our value as a person. Having healthy self-esteem means being comfortable with how we look, how we feel, feeling good about ourselves, our abilities and our thoughts. Building self-esteem in children is one of the most important things you can do for them as their parent or carer. Children with a strong sense of self worth feel as though they are able to cope with the basic challenges of life and feel worthy of success and happiness.

There are a number of ways you can help build a child’s self-esteem;

  • encourage and value their individual differences
  • tell them you love them for who they are, and show them you love them with affection, attention, actively listening and spending time with them
  • celebrate their achievements and keep reminders of their successes
  • allow them to contribute to the family through chores and through letting them help you with things, so they feel valued
  • teach them that failing is a part of learning. Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes, help them to solve their problems and show that you have faith in them.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

News; UNSW’s new, Australian-first parent training program is providing childhood behavioural support to parents in remote and regional NSW

 

Families in rural parts of Australia will soon have access to a new, Australian-first online parent training program, thanks to the efforts of UNSW and Karitane. The play-based program, known as Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), provides specialised support services for severe behavioural problems in young children, and there is currently a trial being held of a government-funded online toddler clinic underway across NSW.

UNSW Sydney’s Dr Jane Kohlhoff is working with parenting service Karitane to provide the service via the internet that will give access to specialist mental health therapy for families in remote areas. Clinical psychologists will be able to use a live video link to coach parents as they play with their children, and to then give support based on the interactions and behaviour they have witnessed.

“This is the first time that parents who don’t have easy access to specialist help in their community can receive live video-based coaching in parenting strategies while the parent and child are playing. This program allows parents to access support from a psychologist in their home and should help ease the burden on other mental health services.”

– Dr Jane Kohlhoff, from UNSW Medicine’s School of Psychiatry

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

Strategies for strengthening positive behaviours by decreasing undesired behaviours

 

We’ve talked about some strategies for increasing desired behaviours, but there are also some tactics that we can employ with children to decrease undesired behaviours. Children might behave in undesired ways because they haven’t learnt the appropriate behaviour, or maybe they haven’t learnt how to control negative feelings, or maybe they feel insecure in their environment. By giving them attention when they display negative behaviours, we unintentionally contribute to the likelihood that they will repeat these behaviours. Instead, we can decrease these behaviours by teaching them the appropriate behaviours and rewarding them with praise and attention when they display positive behaviours.

You can use ‘quiet time’ as a way to help a child calm down after an undesired behaviour is displayed or repeated. Let children sit quietly, without distractions, for a short time, in a designated ‘quiet time’ space. Be clear about the undesired behaviour and the consequence of sitting in quiet time, but also let the child know that they can come back from quiet time after a period of time – one or two minutes for young children, five minutes for older children. When they return to their activity, it is best to follow up with praise for some appropriate behaviour as soon as possible, so children learn that positive behaviours receive praise and attention.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/