Why Don't We Teach Children About Sleep?
I was talking to some respiratory students at our school the other day and realized that we have stopped teaching some things to our children in school. Looking at the day plan for our local kindergarten students, I noticed that we really are not thinking of children as children anymore but as statistics on tests. It is this lack of teaching the skills needed to succeed that is truly hurting them as they grow and become adults.
You might be wondering what I am talking about. What I mean is that we do not teach study skills and test-taking skills. We expect them to take multiple tests but nowhere do we show them how to take these tests successfully. We do not teach them how to relax when they are getting upset or stressed. Because they do not have these skills they are stressed and missing out on being healthy. We do not teach them that movement is important to be able to learn. Instead we teach them to sit still and be quiet and look straight ahead.
In order to learn we need to learn how to rest. This brings me to what really irked me, which is a lack of nap time. We expect our 4-, 5- and 6-year-old children to not nap during the day. We do not teach them that rest allows them to grow and heal and learn more. We are expecting too much from them without giving them the skills they need to take care of themselves.
The results are not seen until they are older and trying to be successful adults. They do not know what their brains need to learn. They do not know how they learn. They do not know how to create tools to help themselves learn better. Of course as a sleep tech, I focus on how they do not understand that they need sleep in order to learn and in order to help their memory.
When did we fall down on the job? Why are we not looking at teaching self-care to our children? The need for sleep and physical movement are essential to being successful. We as sleep techs need to make sure we are helping to teach the young and those who are helping to shape the young the self management skills they will need in the future.