Breakfast, Bedtimes, and Boundaries: First step to good behavior and sound learning
Raphael Association, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Breakfast like a king (queen), lunch like a prince (princess), supper like a pauper.
- A light supper (vegetarian) is digested at night, and you wake up hungry the morning after; a heavy supper is not well digested, and kills morning appetite.
- In the morning, be awake 1 ½ hour before leaving the house: to develop appetite and cook; to dress according to the weather, and empty bowels. This is the vegetative foundation for our conscious activities in the day ahead. We are ready. (Rosemary lotion, cool water on face, positive statement helps the sleepy one wake up.)
- No coffee till after protein because early morning coffee kills appetite when we need it most.
Protein at breakfast stabilizes blood sugar for the whole day: our co-ordination, mood, judgment, learning are all better with stable blood sugar AND we have less cravings in the afternoon and evening. The stabilizing effect cannot be fully made-up at lunchtime or supper.
Boundaries are strengthening
- Limits – bedtime, mealtime, for requests use 2 statements of authority (Yes and duration) e.g., “Yes, you can ride your bike for 30 minutes”.
- Chores teach healthy movement, improve self-image, and teach about how the world works.
- Excellent self-care for parents themselves!
Boundaries in response to unacceptable behavior
- What are the difficulties the child is having? Describe, define the problem. Is this behavior problem, or illness? Is there need for remedial work? Many behavioral problems are healed if the child gets 1-2 more hours sleep (parent can too – self-care).
- Create consequences RELATED to action and age of the child. Favorite thing can be withheld, over and over.
- Talk to the child in an appropriate way. 1-7yrs. – Bend down to eye level, redirection is very helpful or “say “That face, that action or those words make me sad”; 7-14 “Let’s make a better choice”.
- Don’t acknowledge misbehavior. As soon as good behavior appears, acknowledge it, even if it was expected: “I noticed you did what I wanted.” (not syrupy ‘You’re so gooooood!!’) Fewer questions, more statements. Women may need to use fewer words and sometimes a lower pitch.
- Always follow through. Better to not name the consequence until you are clear what consequence you want to give. OK to say right away that there will be a consequence.
- Keep authority over yourself (own emotions) and the situation. Act (think, decide) don’t react (impulse from emotion). You are the adult. You are in charge. You are the role model for your child.
- Earliest gift: allow them to go to sleep by themselves regularly.
a) creates security (I am safe in the world with more than one person, by myself)
b) gives experience of touch, gravity, own movement in space by being alone on floor, entertain self, be in bed alone.
- WRAP UP for story time (game: cocoon, burrito, bandage – cotton blanket, legs to waist) lie down or sit, but out of lap. May go up to include arms. Little ones may stay wrapped for sleep if wished. Undo without rolling (rolling stimulates).
- No night lights – hallway light on till asleep, then off; blackout sheet on window in certain seasons.
- Second wind: avoid this by catching child in slump occurring 15 minutes after dinner – put on pj’s. Take bath before dinner, start story, talk about the day. Can even put on pj’s before dinner. All should be asleep by 8pm till 11years old, then go to 8:30pm. In 6th grade a child needs average of 10 hours of sleep, by high school 9 hours.
- Rhythm (sleeping, eating, activity, the day/week/season). Every stage of sleep brings a different form of memory consolidation. Children must sleep to learn optimally and to grow (human growth hormone).
- Lavender oil (bath, massage, on pajamas), warmth (hot water bottles) – sense of life (life is good – I am warm)