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PositiveTip for

Regular Bedtimes

Irregular bedtimes are linked to more behavioral problems in kids.

Scientists studied the bedtimes of more than 10,000 children in the U.K. as reported by their mothers at age 3, 5, and 7. At age 7 the children's behavior was assessed by the mothers and teachers. The children with irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than those with regular bedtimes, and changing to regular bedtimes significantly improved behavior. "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

PositiveTip: Regular bedtimes are an important influence on children's behaviors.

PositiveTip for

Extra Sleep and Kids' Behavior

A little extra sleep improves kids' behavior at school.

Moderately increasing sleep in children made a big difference in their school behavior. Canadian researchers randomized 34 healthy children 7-11 who had no behavioral, academic or sleep problems to a group who received an extra hour of sleep and one who had an hour taken away from their usual sleep time (9.3 hrs.) for 5 nights. On average, those who had their sleep time extended got 27 minutes more sleep. Yet it improved their emotional stability and reduced restless and impulsive behavior.

PositiveTip: Sleep plays a critical role in determining daytime function. How are your kids doing?

Can Nutritional Supplements Alter Student Behavior?

A group of researchers reported that children aged 6-12 years  given low dose vitamin-mineral supplements were involved in less violence and antisocial behavior than those who did not receive the supplements. [Ref: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2000, 6(1): 7-17] The setting for this study was two "working class" schools in Arizona in which 468 students participated.  Half the students were given vitamin-mineral pills containing 50% of the U.S. RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for four months while the rest got a placebo.

Children’s Media Use and Sleep Problems

Dazed boy playing a video game.The following information comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation website in a report called Children’s Media Use and Sleep Problems: Issues and Unanswered Questions.

Research shows that poor sleep causes a wide variety of problems among children. Many of the issues faced by parents and pediatricians -- from obesity to aggression to hyperactivity -- are caused or increased by inadequate sleep.

A lot of people don't know that while the body rests, the brain does not. The first system to suffer from poor sleep is the brain's ability to organize activities and pay attention. These are referred to as executive functions.

The Power of Mentoring Youth

If you pay attention to trends among people working with adolescents, one word you'll hear frequently is "mentor".

Adult mentoring young person.

mentor is an individual, usually older and always more experienced, who helps and guides another individual’s development without having a goal of personal gain.

Some professions have "mentoring programs" where newcomers are paired with more experienced employees who advise and guide them as they advance. Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students, or to students having difficulties.