Episode 15: A Wake Up Call About Children’s Sleep

Guest: Dr. Robyn Koslowitz

Dr. Koslowitz received her master’s degree in School Psychology from New York University in 2002, and her Ph.D. in School/Clinical Child Psychology from New York University in 2009. Dr. Koslowitz has been working as a licensed school psychologist since 2002, and as a licensed clinical psychologist since 2017 (NJ License # 5751). While at NYU, Dr. Koslowitz was privileged to serve as a research assistant to such prominent professors as Dr. Ester Buchholz (author of books on child psychotherapy); Dr. Carol Gilligan (whose book In A Different Voice revolutionized the psychology of women and adolescent girls) and Dr. SandeeMcClowry (whose research on Temperament Based Teaching and Parenting pioneered empirically validated temperament based parenting programs).

Dr. Robyn Koslowitz understands the lonely struggle of raising a diagnosed child in a world full of typically developing children. While there is a lot of information out there about particular mental health disorders of childhood, most don’t focus on the personality and character development of the child. A diagnosed child is more than just anxiety, or depression, or ADHD. A diagnosed child is a future adult. What if we can hack their symptoms into superpowers? What if we can help that child use their natural tendencies to develop into fully actualized adults?

Dr. Koslowitz is the educational director of the Targeted Parenting Institute. Targeted Parenting is a parenting system that uses empirically validated techniques to train parents and children to overcome various disorders of childhood in a preventative fashion, in order to minimize or avoid later expensive psychotherapy. Targeted Parenting courses currently exist for Highly Reactive, Careful, Socially Ineffective, Disorganized/Distractible, Moody, Bold and Traumatized Children. Targeted Parenting is available as a webinar, a teleconference, as well as in-person classes.

Let’s face it—parents and kids are not much different. When we’re low on sleep, we’re also low on motivation.

– Dr. Robyn Koslowitz

Some topics that were discussed include:

Sleep is a basic human need. It is a non-negotiable. There is a strong connection between sleep which is a feeder decision and attention for example. The daytime routine leads to sleep patterns as well, not just the routine before they go to sleep. Some people are naturally rhythmic. While others have naturally hungry brains that are hard to shut down. We have to structure the day for sleep and knowing our children is an important facet in developing routines and patterns. If you want to work on sleep you have to start the day with the evening in mind. Abruptly breaking sleep patterns in the morning will have a negative impact on the day. While easing into morning routines will help facilitate their internal rhythms.


According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs sleep ranks right in there with nutrition. However, we do not pay enough attention to creating the right routines to have a positive impact. If you do nothing else to help your children, work on getting them to bed in a timely manner and waking them in a nice fluid manner. When our children are babies we do everything to make sure they have their naps and they sleep through the night. We are there every step along the way. However, when they get a little older we lose track of the importance of sleep. Don’t let this happen to you.


  • Sleep is a necessity.                
  • Be aware of parental self-doubt syndrome
  • When you don’t know the answer, call the person with the recipe.
  • You can also learn the lessons your children need to learn.
  • Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Sleep, food, hydration and immutable needs according to Maslow.
  • When your brain has something unfinished it doesn’t close the loop. We want a closed loop for optimum sleep.
  • Daytime routines, including morning routines have an impact on sleep patterns.
  • We have to structure the day for sleep.
  • At night, read to your children, but choose something they are familiar with as to avoid sparking new interests and waking up their brain.
  • With anxiety, we want to discuss those issues as they do not linger all night. How you address this is important.
  • You will slip as a parent. When you do, pick right back up where you left off and keep trying.

Contact Dr. Robyn Koslowitz:
www targetedparenting.com
Instagram: @dr.koslowitzpsychology

I go Live on Instagram every Thursday night 9 PM EST with a free one hour parenting class.

Parenting Class / Non-Clinical Services Email

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Confidential Inquiries Email
Regarding psychotherapy or an evaluation.
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References & links mentioned:


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Episode 15: A Wake Up Call About Children’s Sleep

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