Friday, February 26, 2016

How to Get Teenagers Out of Bed!

Okay, look. I remember trying to get out of bed in the morning as a teenager. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t like doing it. But I’m pretty sure my parents never had to all but sit on my head to get me to school in the morning!

Fast forward a dozen years or so, and now I have the teenager that doesn’t sleep well, doesn’t wake up to an alarm and waits until the last possible second to roll out of bed in the morning, often making himself late in the process. This year has been the worst. It used to be we could poke him to get him up somewhere between 6:30 and 7; that way, even if he dawdled, he’d still be ready in time. This year he insists on staying in bed until 7:40 when school starts at 8. 

Honey, I understand completely.
The winter weather has been…well, winter in the Northeast. I can’t say it’s the worst I’ve ever seen, but it certainly hasn’t been warm and toasty. Since he’s at the high school and can’t ride the bus anymore, we’ve been giving both the boys a ride to school in the morning. That way, G-money only has to make the scoot from the house to the car instead of standing at the bus stop, and instead of walking almost a mile before the sun’s had a chance to warm everything up Mr. A can catch a ride in a vehicle that’s at least slightly warmer than the outside.

This morning he wasn’t doing it though, and with company to get to school on time (we babysat for a friend last night) I just gave up. Dad drove the three that were ready up to school, and Mr. A walked when he was ready.

It took me a while, but I finally figured it out. The problem is, the school’s been lenient with his tardiness so far. So much so that even though I spoke with the principal earlier this year and encouraged the school to begin implementing some consequences for his tardiness, it hasn’t happened yet.

If the school doesn’t care if he’s late, why am I making myself nuts in the morning?

Yes, I know. It’s a matter of good habits and ethics and all that good parenting stuff I’m supposed to be doing. I get that. But honestly? He isn’t five anymore. I can’t pick him up out of bed and carry him to the door, and short of that I’m tired of trying. I figure today’s going to become the gold standard, with a few changes. 

I think a new alarm clock needs to happen, and he needs to get himself out of bed. And I think we need to implement a time past which we will NOT be making the drive up to school. Being driven to school is a privilege he needs to earn, and if he doesn’t want a ride I see no reason to roll myself out the door in the morning…no matter how entertaining driving into the school parking lot in my PJ’s happens to be.

Moms with teens, am I missing something here? Does someone out there have any awesome tips for getting teenagers out the door in the morning? Or are we all in this together?

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