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Teens and the Morning Adventure

by TK | November 23rd, 2010 | Teens

If you are the parent of a teenager, there are certain things that can really be an adventure. One of those things is dealing with the morning grind and making sure they get out the door to school on time and ready for a productive day.

Recently, over on Idea Offer, Penelope made a post about this very subject and got some really insightful responses.

The winning response that she chose was from Zulfus, a self-described 21 year old:

As a 21 year old, I can tell you I completely relate to this. The issue is mainly due to 1 thing: late nights causing us to sleep in, because of genuinely not having enough sleep.

For example, I’d wake up at lunch, and get hounded for sleeping “all day”, though I only went to sleep at 5am, so had only had a pretty average 7 hours kip.

Also, as teenagers we’re finding ourselves, and rejecting values thrust upon us without logic, i.e. “Get up early every day, despite having no need to”. To us, it’s like “Can’t you see how illogical that is!? I might as well use the time how I want, rather than waste it being ridiculous!”

As for your question though, if you need to get your kids moving, the best thing I found was keep coming in the room booming at me to get up, not in a hostile manner, but in a “HEY! RISE AND SHINE! WAKEY WAKEY!” sort of way.

Once I’ll ignore it, twice I’ll tell you I’m up, but probably go back to sleep, though 3/4/5+ times, all around 3 minutes apart, I’ll start shouting and getting angry, but I’ll definitely be up.

The trick is to then stop when you’ve clearly got a reaction. Otherwise you’ll just cause too much anger, and it’ll be hard for the kid to let go and actually forget about it in an hour.

Other useful tactics involved switching the light on/opening curtains/opening the door.

Often times I’d be so tired I’d have never gotten up, but I’ll get out of bed just to close the door, because I want my privacy whilst I’m laid in bed. And by doing that I’ll be awake and getting ready anyway.

It’s got to push to get them moving, but then you’ve also gotta trust/respect/ease off at a point as well.

The part about this response that I find especially interesting is that it is all about guidance, but not being overbearing. Teaching teens to be self-motivated is a key component of parenting. And Zuluf’s response seems to be the right balance of nudging and giving space at the same time.

  1. Michele says:

    As a parent of a teenager, I wonder about the effectiveness of this strategy and what it teaches your child. If I need to go to my child’s room 3-5 times to wake him or her up, that seems ridiculous. Basically, it says that the child doesn’t have to listen to what I am requesting. Oh, yeah, and after having been ignored several times, I shouldn’t be upset that my child isn’t listening.

    How about a system where your child uses an alarm clock? If that doesn’t work, then you will wake the child, once. It seems to work at my house, especially since if I have to wake a child more than once in a week, that child’s bedtime is made earlier by 15 minutes.

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