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Sleep and your child’s mental health

Sleep and your child’s mental health

It’s no secret – sleep is an essential factor when it comes to your child’s overall health and development. While a few bad nights can be normal, children with persistent sleeping problems could lead to temperament, learning and social behavior issues. Below, we outline steps you can take to improve your child’s sleeping habits, ensuring they get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.

Bedtime bravery

For a lot of children, the looming thought of going to sleep can be anxiety-inducing. That’s why it’s important to help them face it with bravery. Try drowning out odd noises with a sound machine; illuminating the room with a night light; or re-labeling an air freshener bottle as “monster spray.” Stay consistent in helping them face their fear. If they wake up in the middle of the night, bring them back to their own bed – instead of resorting to letting them sleep in yours. In turn, celebrate your child’s good nights by using a rewards system such as a sticker chart.

Sleep environment control

Allow your child to take control of his or her bedtime routine by choosing which stuffed friend or blanket to bring to bed. Find an activity your child enjoys doing to help calm him or her before bed, such as selecting a book to read or giving him or her an after-bath back rub.

Unplug

Technology use can directly correlate with a child’s sleeping difficulties. Avoid this obstacle by asking your children to unplug at least one hour before bed. Use the hour as time for them to relax while doing quiet activities. Eliminating screens from the bedroom entirely or scheduling their screen time throughout the day can also help with your child’s difficulties winding down.

If you feel your child is struggling with sleep anxiety, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. South Bay provides the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. A healthy night’s sleep benefits the entire family unit. As most moms can attest, when children sleep better, parents sleep better! Let our clinicians help your family establish healthy sleeping habits that will ensure you all get the critical sleep needed for mental, physical and emotional health.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

Home-based services for children: What is it?

Home-based services for children: What is it?

One of South Bay’s most unique attributes is that the majority of our services are conducted outside of our offices, such as in community settings. Our Early Childhood clinicians frequently travel to homes, schools, foster homes, residential programs, churches, childcare programs etc. – wherever our consumers feel most comfortable.

We understand that inviting an outside party into your home to work with your child can be scary and intimidating. There’s also a common misconception amongst our consumers that a South Bay clinician is the only party involved in the child’s development. It takes a joint effort of the entire family and our Early Childhood team to ensure growth, stability and well-being during the child’s early years. We explain everything you need to know about home-based services for children below.

The clinician’s role

When serving a child, South Bay’s Early Childhood clinicians work with the entire family – not just the child. The clinician’s role is to identify developmental delays and provide support to families if there are environmental barriers that are contributing adversely and may impact the child’s development. Such barriers may include drugs, alcohol, traumatic birth, etc. Once the developmental delay is determined, clinicians provide consultation among the team if it’s beyond the scope of the primary clinician’s abilities. They can also coordinate services in the community (like church or socialization activities), share information or make referrals that may be necessary or desired outside of the initial services. Every situation is different, but what doesn’t change is the clinician’s continued support for the family and the child.

The family’s role

Sometimes, families don’t realize that they do have an active role in the child’s development – not just the clinicians. Clinicians act as supportive coaches for the parents, and the parents actually implement the strategies. Their role is vital to the child’s success. Families often fear that clinicians enter their home and take over, but South Bay clinicians are primarily there for guidance and support. The family is the head of the team. In our home visits, family members can establish what they would like to work on with the clinician and what they would like addressed during the visit.

The goal

South Bay clinicians strive to operate from a place of strength. Our approach is to help families identify their own strengths so they are empowered to foster their children’s growth and development. It’s more important to identify strengths and build upon them than focus on the needs.

If you think your child could benefit from our home-based services, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. Let us help your child have the best possible beginning!

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.