How to help your kid/teen wake up on her own
@MrsPJSimmons sent out a plea via Twitter asking how to encourage her teen to self-start in the mornings:
Several "me toos" came back, and they had an air of desperation and resignation, as in "nothing I've tried has worked" and "it's driving me nuts."
But some suggestions also came back:
- @espringer: Squirt gun!
- @babytoolkit: Start kids young with alarms and natural consequences
- @mangomeru: "I told my grade 8 class I would give them a personal wake up call at 7 in the morning if they were late 3x"
Decent advice, I think. But then I followed up with:
...and that's when I got called out. Kindly, but firmly.
- @stumark: "Fine up until 'not my prob' - instead, act as if u r on teen's team 2 defeat prob." Longtime Parenthackers will recall that this is a recap of Stu's incredibly wise advice that appeared here years ago: to see the Problem as the problem, not the kid. [For more Stu (one can never have enough) visit Forever Parenting.]
- @rozanna_niazi: "good point - and surely you don't need to "act" as if? The Family Team is the way to go, no?"
THIS is why I love Parent Hacks. Because we all benefit with more than one brain/perspective/take on a problem...just as our kids do.
My refined advice:
Brainstorm with your kid/teen about how you might solve the late waking problem together. Let her know, without accusation and hyperbole, how starting the morning in conflict affects the rest of your day. See if there is a fun way to chip away at the problem.
Identify the goal, and then create steps toward reaching it. Your kid may have no idea how to do this herself. Perhaps the goal is to be out the door by 7:45am. If your teen is currently 15 minutes late every morning, start by identifying ways to shave 5 minutes off the morning routine. Once she has achieved success, increase to 10 minutes, and so on.
See if there are some ways you can team up with the teacher on natural consequences. If tardy slips aren't enough, perhaps there are other consequences the teacher can suggest. Non-shaming, discreet, and meaningful consequences.
Troubleshoot problems and celebrate successes. The trick is to lower the tension around the whole issue.
Hopefully this helps. Would love to hear!
Any more advice on teaching kids to be responsible for waking themselves up in the morning?
Finally, a little irony: Clock radio hack encourages kids to sleep later
Twitter and Facebook are great places to ask questions of me and (more often) the Parenthacker collective brilliance. What do you want to know? Follow @parenthacks on Twitter, and "like" the Parent Hacks Facebook page.