Hang Up & Hang Out

by ADMIN on DECEMBER 16, 2010

Two months ago my daughter asked my husband, “Why do you talk to your phone more than you talk to me?” After a lengthy conversation that included my daughter asking my husband to throw out his phone the stage was set for a one week challenge.  It would cost him $0.50 every time he used his phone in her presence.  In the end, despite his best efforts, he owed her $9.50, and when he paid her she took him out and bought them both milkshakes.

We were so moved by the experience that we formalized the program, and the Hang Up & Hang Out challenge was born. During the week of January 24-28 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado we are partnering with local elementary schools to present our first official Hang Up & Hang Out challenge.

It’s not just a statement we are making, but a community wide action plan where kids, parents, teachers and administrators can show how little changes can make a big difference.  We feel confident that parents who embark on the week-long challenge to stay off their phones in the presence of their children are going to recognize many positive changes in their relationships with their kids, and there is no doubt that their kids will notice too!

To kick things off, I have met with the faculty in both schools to engage them in a discussion on students and teachers being more mindful in the classroom.  On January 11th, at 6:00 p.m.  I will be presenting  my “Creating Peaceful Homes” lecture to the parent body.  On January 21, we will have assemblies with the entire student bodies of both elementary schools alerting them of the challenge, and ways they can get involved.  Finally, on January 25th, we will be hosting a Family Fun Night for all families in Steamboat Springs with loads of activities that promote healthy, engaged family relationships.

In your January newsletter I will be providing more information about Hang Up & Hang Out, including ways to bring this program to your community.  In the meantime, I wish you and yours a very peaceful holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year.

How to ease your kids into the time change AND how much sleep they really need

by ADMIN on NOVEMBER 4, 2010

Winter is coming! If you’re anything like me you may not be thrilled about the chilly months that lie ahead, but those cold short days do have a few
advantages – especially longer nights!

We are about to change the clock back an hour and while some of us are a little saddened by the thought of eating dinner at 5:30 in the dark, this can be a great opportunity to help our kids start getting the kind of sleep they really need!

Studies show that the amount of sleep children get has a profound affect on their learning, attention, risk of obesity, and risk of depression. Most children in our country do not come close to getting the amount of sleep they need to process all of the information they are learning everyday.

When the clocks fall back we have an opportunity to bump their bedtimes up a little bit. Start on Sunday night by having them go to bed with respect to the time change. That is, if they usually go to bed at 9:00, have them go to bed at 8:00 (on the newly changed clock). Their body will feel like they are going to bed at the same time and they can potentially get an hour more sleep. From then on out, try to stick to that new, earlier bed time.

Of course this will take a little preparation on your part. It is going to get light earlier so you want to make sure their room stays as dark as possible in the morning. This will also mean that you need to bump your dinnertime up so that you can fit the entire bedtime routine in at a relaxed pace.

This may seem like more of a hassle than just giving them that extra hour on Sunday night to stick to their old bedtime, but the payoff is high. In a study of 4th grade students, children who received one hour more sleep performed two grade levels higher on tests of neurobiological functioning.

Eventually their bodies will adapt to the time change and you probably won’t be able to keep that full extra hour of earlier bedtime, but try to cling to getting them to bed at least 15 to 30 minutes earlier. Every little bit can help. Studies have shown that even 15 minutes of extra sleep can be the difference between an “A” and a “B” student.


How much kids need according to the National Sleep Foundation

Infants – 9-12 hours at night plus 2-4 naps during the day (lasting 30
minutes to 2 hours)
Toddlers (1-3) – 12-14 hours in a 24 hour period
Preschoolers (3-5) 11-13 hours in a 24 hour period
School Age – 10-11 hours a night

Back to School – Back to Sleep

AUGUST 17, 2010

Ahhh, Summer! Kids sleep a little later, we don’t have to rush out of the house first thing in the morning, and I love those long summer evenings. But alas, school is rearing its head, and so is the inevitable feeling of wondering how the heck I am ever going to get these kids back

Summertime=Sibling War

JUNE 29, 2010

Blenders and summertime go together.  No, I do not mean the frozen margarita on the deck at sunset.  I’m talking about how there are times in the summer when it seems that all the family normalcy that exists during a school year gets tossed right into a blender.  And often times, it’s not the “pulse”

Parenting: It Doesn’t Come in a Can

JUNE 9, 2010

“It doesn’t come in a can” was a favorite saying of a friend of mine’s father. He was a golf pro, and when he said this he was referring to golf, most of the time. I have been thinking about this saying in reference to parenting a lot recently. I think a lot of people

The Kindergarten Dilemma – To Send or Not to Send

MAY 25, 2010

This week Amber Johnson sparked quite the conversation when she asked parents their opinion on the topic of whether to send your child to kindergarten or wait a year when their birthday hovers just before the deadline. This is a question I get asked all of the time and a decision I had to make

Banning the morning TV show: Finally putting my money where my mouth is

MAY 17, 2010

I know how it all got started.  We had the built in excuse of both parents working, rushing out of the house, and a need to occupy our oldest daughter.  This dates back a solid four years now.  I remember her perched up in our bed, TV on first thing in the morning, with the

Kids Who Sleep More Weigh Less: Why lack of sleep is increasing your child’s risk of obesity.

MAY 10, 2010

When I created to provide sleep solutions for children and their parents one of the most interesting things that I kept coming across in my research was the link between lack of sleep and obesity. It is counterintuitive to think that a sedentary activity like getting more sleep would actually decrease a child’s

Grandpa, meet your granddaughter, Satan

APRIL 21, 2010

I would like to think I have some semblance of control and order when it comes to this bedtime routine thing.  Sure, there was a time when I was losing my mind every time the words bedtime popped up in our house. But that was a long time ago, and since then I’ve learned a

Sleep: It’s What’s for Dinner!

APRIL 14, 2010

As these days get longer (thank goodness, I hate the early darkness), it’s so easy to let dinner time wander later and later.  And what happens then are two things: 1) We start later, keep our normal bedtime routine and kids just get less sleep, or   2) We cram the routine into a much