by Alison Bevan, Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
When I tell people that I’m a children’s sleep coach, I usually get one of three reactions. The first is usually something like “I didn’t know that job existed!” The second is something like “I wish I had known you 10 years ago when my son wouldn’t sleep!” And the third is “I have a friend that needs your help!” (Actually, make that four – lots of people ask me if I can solve adult sleep problems as well!)
The point is, no one ever says “Why would anyone need a children’s sleep coach?” And that’s because everyone knows someone with a child that has trouble sleeping.
My guess is that the reason you’re reading this is because sleep is a problem at your house, too. And you’re definitely not alone. A whopping 69% of children under the age of age ten experience some sort of sleep problem, and 50% percent of children in all age groups aren’t getting enough sleep. Those are pretty shocking statistics. They mean that at least one in three families need help.
The good news is that improving your child’s sleep is possible, even in the most challenging situations. And a good coach can help you solve your child’s particular problems in less time than you might imagine. But here’s the key – you have to be ready and committed to the process that creates the change. You have to be consistent enough for long enough. And that isn’t always easy. The result is life changing, but the road to sleep success can test your patience, tug your heart strings, and shake your resolve.
So how do you know if you’re really ready? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Even the most exhausted parents can be ambivalent or nervous about change. Having been there myself, I understand the feeling of anxiety that so many parents experience when they decide to take the first step towards better sleep for their family. As exhausted as I was after almost three years of sleep struggles, I still worried about whether sleep coaching was right for my family.
My moment of clarity came when I called Kim West (yes, Kim was my family’s sleep coach and sanity saver many years ago) and learned that change was actually within my grasp. Without the understanding of why my child wasn’t sleeping and what I could do to solve the problem I probably wouldn’t have moved forward. Knowledge gave me the power to make the decision to change.
Empowering parents is the most important part of my job as a sleep coach. It’s the sharing of knowledge - my knowledge about children’s sleep and parents intimate knowledge of their child – that leads us to making the right decision about whether the time is right for change. It’s an important collaboration, and the best way I know to decide if coaching is right for you.
To learn more about working with my Gentle Sleep Coach, Alison Bevan visit her website!