Thursday, July 17, 2008

Snapping kids out of sleepwalking


By Rachel Goodchild

WHEN you child sleepwalks for the first time, you might be scared and wonder what to do. But, many children sleep walk, and they also grow out of it. Your child may not walk around the room or house, but they might perform certain actions from their bed. All this happens while they are asleep, and you will find they have no recollection of what they did. If you talk to them, you will more than likely find they do not talk back to you.

Whatever happens you need to make sure your child is safe at all times. You might need to walk in front of them, moving anything that could cause them to have an accident. You should ensure all doors and windows are tightly shut, and if possible locked because you don't want them opening them and either falling from an upstairs window or walking out into the neighbourhood.

When your child sleepwalks you should try and move them back to the direction of their bed. Try and avoid shouting or talking to them, or making any movements that might wake them up.

Keeping your child safe is your highest priority, and getting them back to bed is your second priority.

In the morning, you might mention to your child that they were sleepwalking, talk to them about what it means, but don't make them feel like there is something wrong with them mentally or emotionally.

As a parent you might feel helpless as you are not able to do very much, but your role is very important.

You are the one who keeps your child safe during this time. It might be a table need to be moved, then you should move it, it might be something you child wants to drink but they shouldn't because it is poisonous.

If you child sleep walks on a regular basis, you should talk to your family doctor. They might suggest you keep a diary of events; because many sleepwalkers have a pattern and it can be seen at what time during their sleep they might start to sleep walk.

If this is the case, then you might consider waking your child up before they reach that point in their sleep.

Talking will reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with them, and that many children also sleep walk. They might wake up during this time, and be scared as to what they are doing, again you need to reassure them about what they are doing and learn how to help them through this stage of their development.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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