What's the connection??
I decided to write this post to share with other mom's the experience I've had raising my own children in a highly competitive world and why sleep and emotional wellness are more important than ever for young babies and toddlers today. Relationship foundations and internal working models of the brain, are set for life during these early years. A child's ability to cope with adversity and to have a strong sense of self worth is linked to the interactions they experience before they can even speak. These foundations need to be strong and babies need to feel emotionally secure in order to adapt to the academic demands they will inevitably encounter down the road.
My daughter attends a prestigious prep school in CT. The boarding school is home for the children of many affluent families, parents with high expectations and others who attend on full scholarships with even more pressure to succeed. My daughter doesn't have time to talk to me throughout the week as classes run Monday thru Saturday. She is involved in rigorous courses and competitive sports. She's a lucky girl to attend this school and have the opportunities she has, but these opportunities do not without a price.
I'm not referring to the outrageous cost of boarding school, but rather the price these kids pay with the loss of a childhood at an early age. Those who have had a loving nurturing background and experienced a great deal of family support tend to do well. Others suffer with anxiety disorders, panic attacks, depression, and even substance abuse. The research on this topic has been unfolding over the last decade and many scientists suspect a link to early childhood, even pregnancy, interaction with infants, parenting philosophies, and early suppression of emotion.
It's easy to look back and critic the areas of parenting where each of went wrong, after all is said and done. It's another thing to be proactive and to prevent the issues from occurring in the first place. Studies done on early education prove that these children have a huge advantage, but only recently have we noted the advantage of nurturing babies and toddlers. I suspect changing the rules for private schools and reducing these high demands, is an unlikely solution. On a global scale our society must compete academically. However, the relationship with sleep and baby coaching at an early age plays a key role in providing your child with an advantage for such challenges. Private school is only one example of the changing world we live in, babies who sleep better have a higher IQ and are more emotionally stable through the pre-school years. I believe the answer lies in preparing our children better and helping them to adapt to the demands of a new generation.
Shawnee Baker RN