FOR a good few months now, I’ve been trying to get James out of the habit of having naps.
If he falls asleep in the car or when we’re out and about in the buggy, fair enough, there’s not a lot I can do about it.
And if he says he’s tired, I’m quite happy for him to curl up on the sofa or in his bed for an hour or so.
But I can’t remember the last time I actually ‘put him down’ for a nap. He certainly doesn’t have one every day.
Now it seems I’ve been doing the wrong thing!
According to researchers in the US, getting three to five-year-olds to sleep for an hour after lunch could boost their learning.
University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers studied 40 youngsters, and they performed significantly better on visual-spatial tasks in the afternoon and the next day than when they were denied a midday snooze.
They also recalled 10 per cent more of the information they were being tested on than they did when they had been kept awake.
Now that James has started nursery, the power nap could make a return.
As well as helping him absorb what he’s done that morning, it might also cut out the tea-time tiredness that brings the whinging and the whining as he adapts to his new routine.
My mam says I used to nap after nursery and it hasn’t done me any harm.
According to Dr Robert Scott-Jupp, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, toddlers need 11 to 13 hours of sleep a day to be at their most alert.
If someone could inform my children of this, maybe I’ll get the benefit of an extra kip too!
ANOTHER report that pricked my parental ears last week suggested that social skills are more important than academic ones when starting school.
A survey of 2,000 childcare workers, parents and teachers rated things like independence and the ability to interact with adults more highly than ‘the three Rs’.
They also warned against Government plans to formalise early education, highlighting the importance of play.
Seeing as all James reports from nursery is that he’s been playing Batman outside with his friends, I think we’re all right on that score.
But I would still like him to be able to do a bit of reading and writing when he starts reception next year.
That’s what school’s for, isn’t it?