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Navigating Peer Pressure & Sleep

When I was a teenager, there was a lot of peer pressure. What clothes was everyone wearing? What was my hair doing? Does that boy think I am cute?

My thought process has definitely changed since then, even though I do wonder what my hair is doing sometimes… but now, as a parent, a lot of different questions cycle through my head.

Am I doing this right? Is my child thriving? Am I setting them up to fail? Did they watch too much TV today? Will that cupcake totally mess up their GI track? How does that parent make it look so easy? Can I handle more kids? Can I have more kids? Is my child getting enough sleep?

Well, I’m not an expert in being a parent, but I am an expert in sleep, so here are my top 5 tips for navigating peer pressure...

*And these tips? Well, they can be used with sleep or just being a parent in general- I may not be an expert parent, but I do know what navigating peer pressure feels like firsthand, and this is what helps me!

#1 Figure out what’s best for your family

Your family looks different than any other family. Your children are one of a kind. You are also a different parent than any other parent. You will find things that work for you when it comes to sleep.

Your child may be able to sleep anywhere, get good rest, and be able to continue on with their day. However, you might also have a sensitive sleeper who really needs that ideal sleep environment, white noise, and darkness- that’s okay too.

I spend a lot of time making recommendations on my page. These are based in my expertise, training, and knowledge, but I do know that what I say may not be the answer that everyone needs. So take the time to really figure out what sits well with you and know that what sits well with you today may change tomorrow.

#2 Find a parenting buddy

Do you have a friend who just gets you? Or a group of parents you have really bonded with? Do you have a FB group that you are a part of that brings you joy and not a constant feeling of being judged?

Take those relationships and run with them. It’s important to have support from someone who is in the same boat as you- who isn’t your parenting partner.

Do they have to agree with everything you do or say? Heck no. But the relationship should be built on trust, understanding, and knowing that you are walking through this moment in life side by side.

If you don’t have a relationship like this, reach out to an acquaintance or someone you’ve seen post something you jived with- try to make a friend. Support at this time in life is just so important.

#3 Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’

It’s okay to say ‘no’ to anything and everything at any point in time if that thing is not serving you.

If you and the kids are having a hard morning, it is okay to cancel what you had planned. You don’t need to go to the parenting group. You can skip a swim lesson. You don’t have to go see the grandparents… it will be okay.

If you’re worried that people will think you don’t have your sh*t together, well, they might be right and that’s okay. Own it. You’re a parent to tiny humans, it is impossible to have our sh*t together all the time.

It’s also okay to say ‘no’ when it comes to your child and their sleep. If someone wants to do something during nap time and you know your child cannot tolerate that schedule change, then it’s okay to say ‘no’ or ask for what will work better for you.

#4 Be your child’s sleep advocate

The last tip kind of leads into this one… When you figure out a schedule and routine that works best for your family, don’t be afraid to advocate for that.

Sure there will be times where schedules are shifted and things are needing to be wonky for a day, but if Grandma’s family dinner is just going to run too late, or your friend without kids wants to meet up during naptime- don’t be afraid to put your child’s schedule first.

Yes, advocating for your child’s sleep is about their rest, but it’s also about your sanity. A child who misses a nap can struggle for the rest of the day, which means that we struggle too, and it’s okay to protect that schedule in order to keep everyone happy.

#5 Ask for help

The peer pressure in parenting is very strong, but sometimes the views of our peers is all we have to go on. We lean on our friends who had kids before us to help us through navigating becoming a parent. This is usually amazing and so worthwhile.

However, if you feel that the things you are taking from peers and information you are getting is just too all over the place or does not align with your parenting style, it is a great idea to ask for help.

What worked for your cousin’s baby might not work for yours. The schedule your best friend’s child is on might not work for your child. Instead of panicking and trying to piece things together, it’s a great idea to reach out to someone who has been where you are, can offer you options that fit within your parenting style, and can help support you on the journey.

And I would obviously be honored to be that person when the time comes.

It is my goal to have Kaleidoscope be a place of knowledge, love, and uplifting support, you are welcome here.



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