At the start of school, parents everywhere struggle to get their kids back on an earlier schedule after a summer of free rein. And a certain chart that has gone viral isn't helping to make them feel less anxious about it. Based on your child's age, it tells you when you should put them to sleep so they get enough rest for the next day - and a lot of parents are pretty surprised at how early the bedtimes are.
Stacy Karlsen, an educator from Wilson Elementary in Kenosha, Wisconson, posted the chart because she thought it would be helpful to parents with children at her school. Since then, it's been shared more than 380,000 times.
"To me, it was a shock [that the post was shared so much]. I didn't make it up. I found it coming across my personal page and I thought, Wow, this is super helpful," the first grade teacher told Fox6Now.
But many moms and dads are finding the chart's rigid guidelines anything but helpful: "This isn't [the] military and if I was to send my kids to bed at 7 at night they would be up at 4 a.m., no thank you ... Plus I would never get to spend time with them after school," one mom, Erica Bodie, posted in the comments.
Still, for others like Faith Meadows Longorio, it just confirmed what they'd been doing all along. "I have four kids - and I catch a lot of flack for their bedtimes," she posted. "I started out setting their bedtime years ago based on how much sleep they need ... Glad to see this chart justify the exact times we have already set!"
Doctors recommend that children ages 3 to 6 need about 10-12 hours of sleep each day. And 7- to 12-year-olds do best with 10 or 11 hours. Why? Not getting enough shut-eye can lead to weight gain, as well as taking a toll on their physical, emotional, and social health.
So using this handy chart could help ensure your children are getting enough rest. As for how to get them actually in bed and sleeping soundly, pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu recommends creating a nightly routine that helps kids wind down, like the "4 B's: bathing, brushing teeth, books, and bedtime."
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