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Rufus

Culture of Sleep

Rufus is in the process of settling into kindergarten and may stay for the first time in his new group tomorrow. Rufus’s dad is worried because Rufus has always before only fallen asleep either in his parents' arms or in the stroller. He knows that Rufus will have a bed in the kindergarten and will sleep with many children together. Rufus's father is worried that his child will not fall asleep unless he is being rocked, or that no one will be able to be close to him if/when Rufus needs physical contact.  

Age: 20 months

Home language: Finish

Additional language spoken: -

Sleep is a topic that keeps many parents occupied. In addition to the questions of when the child should leave the parental bedroom and sleep in her own bed and how the child should fall asleep, many parents also consider how long of an afternoon nap is necessary for their child. Even within a kindergarten group, educators observe the different sleep needs and sleeping habits of children in an age-homogenous group and sooner or later ask themselves: What is age appropriate? How much sleep is healthy/beneficial? What kind of sleep aid, if necessary, can I offer? 

If one considers all of the different sleep cultures that exist worldwide regarding how a child is accompanied to sleep, when a child sleeps, where a child sleeps, one can find significant differences (Owens, 2011). A change of perspective and thinking outside the box can help to understand the reasons behind these differences and how to approach them in a professional setting.  

Rufus is in the process of settling into kindergarten and may stay for the first time in his new group tomorrow. Rufus’s dad is worried because Rufus has always before only fallen asleep either in his parents' arms or in the stroller. He knows that Rufus will have a bed in the kindergarten and will sleep with many children together. Rufus's father is worried that his child will not fall asleep unless he is being rocked, or that no one will be able to be close to him if/when Rufus needs physical contact.

How can one take into consideration the individual life habits of the families in a kindergarten?

What could Pietro's educator say to calm his father?

What approach could Rufus’s educator use in speaking with his father?  

To what extent should educators accommodate for individual life habits of the family in the kindergarten? 

How can the teacher give the father more trust/safety? 

Is there a need for Rufus’s father to worry?  

Sleeping culture describes when, where and how adults and children of different cultures sleep.