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People Are Talking...

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine
What Are Kids Thinking?
Do you feel you are prepared for college?
Brandon Pugh, Moorestown High School, grade 12
“I have not finalized my college plans, but I personally feel prepared for college no matter where I attend. In my opinion the process starts from the very beginning of school, even as early as kindergarten. It’s not what you do just in high school, but rather the development of the student over time. It is essential not to just start to become an involved student midway through high school...but rather [to be focused] from the start. This is what colleges want and is what will make one most prepared for the journey which lies ahead.”

How Do I …
Get my child to sleep through the night?
Dr. April Douglass-Bright, Division Head of General Pediatrics, Cooper University Hospital (pictured)
"Although the techniques for getting your child to sleep through the night differentiate a bit depending on the age of the child, there are certain tips that will bring success no matter what the age. It is important to establish a calming bedtime routine to signal that time for sleep is near. This routine might entail reading a book, taking a warm bath or snuggling with mommy in the rocking chair. Parents should try to consistently use this routine as well as initiating it at a consistent bedtime. I suggest to put the child down to sleep while awake; this will teach the child to fall asleep on his or her own and hopefully make it easier for him/her to fall back to sleep if they awaken during the night. If your child does awaken during the night and cries, wait a few minutes before you enter the room. This will give them the opportunity to fall back to sleep on their own. If you must enter the room, do so quietly, without turning on the lights or picking them up. You should spend only a brief moment to check on them and to encourage them to go back to sleep. If your child is old enough to exit his or her bed or room, the child should quietly be returned. Note that you may need to do this several times a night for a few weeks—so don't get frustrated and don’t approach it as a battle. It will take time for your child to develop good sleep habits, so don’t give in! Be patient and consistent, and sleep will come."

Mom vs. Mom
What is an appropriate bedtime for a child?
Melissa Merovitz, Cherry Hill, mother of Matthew, 9 and Amanda, 6.
“Bedtime for children varies depending on the individual child’s needs and the age of the child. Bedtime may also be directly related to the parents’ work schedule. For example, I work until 7 p.m. and get home at 7:30 p.m. So, in order for us to spend family time together in the evening, my children probably stay up a little later than some other children their age. I think that a child 8 years old or younger should be in bed by 9 p.m., and a child a little older should be in his/her bed by 9:30 p.m.

Lenora Cuccinello, Washington Township, mother of Andy, 17 and Lauren, 10. “I have many opinions and this is a biggie for me. Children need structure. Until the age of 8, my daily goal was to get the kids into bed by 7 to 7:30 p.m. (Darn that daylight saving time, when it’s still light outside.) As the children got older the time got pushed to 8 p.m. My daughter, who is now 10 years old, is in bed by 9 p.m. That doesn’t mean that she’s sleeping, but she’s in bed. She can read or watch a half-hour of TV, but with no physical activity. I’ve found that they need to wind down and get their thoughts relaxed. Most importantly, the parents need to wind down, too. I love my children more than I could ever put into words. Establishing good habits is one of the greatest gifts I could give them.”

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3 (May, 2011).
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