Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Get Up!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zits Cartoon for Sep/02/2013

I'm sure it was not a pretty sight this AM. The first alarm clock (you) rising of the new school year. If you have had a teen who has spent the last two months with a reversed sleep cycle, you can expect that this new early morning reveille to be as unpleasant as you anticipated.

The anxiety, excitement and anticipation of a fresh start this year for sure will interfere with an easy new bedtime ritual. Your best bet is to stay calm. They will get up! They want to go to school believe it or not. Not to learn, god forbid, but school is where and when they can access their friends. Think of school as a friendship delivery system. There is definitely motivation to get there, they just want you to be the one to make sure that happens. And that is what you SHOULD NOT do.

Let them know today what you will and won't do to help them with this new morning schedule.

1. Spend the first hour of the morning making it your mission to get them up.
2. Listen to their usual morning abuse as you continue to update them about how much time they have left before the bus/ride/walk to school is approaching.
3. Give them a lateness excuse because they just couldn't get their ass out of bed.
4. Give them a ride if they choose to stay in bed and miss their bus/ride/walk to school

1. Let them know that you understand that this transition to early AM's is really hard. You understand that they do not want to get up this early, and that they hate it.
2. Share with them what you are not willing to do with respect to getting up on time.(use above list)
3. Share with them what you are willing to do:

  • Work with them to come up with a plan. Perhaps you are willing to give them two wake-up calls. But if they choose to ignore those reminders you will NOT continue to shake, scream, or otherwise annoy the hell of them until they get out of bed.
  • Be happy to drive them to school or bus stop at the appointed time. But if they choose to not to get up in time to make the ride, they will be responsible for their own transportation that day. You will not wait around for them to get up and out!
  • Buy any new required clocks or alarms they might need to rouse them out of their deepest sleep.

Your teens have got to learn to be responsible for getting up on-time. My college freshman tell me that this is their biggest challenge when they get to college. Most of them report that they sleep through most of their first classes because they never developed their own plan for wake-up, instead relying on their annoying parents to do it for them. This is your practice time. It takes years to develop good AM rituals that work. This will take some trial and error. But please stick with it. You both deserve a better start to your day.

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