Ice water? Stealing the covers? Yelling and screaming? When it comes to waking up teenagers, most parents have tried each of these methods for getting kids up and out the door - particularly during the harrowing transition from summer to school. But who wants to start every day with a fight? With a little planning and practice, you and your teen can make painful morning wake ups a thing of the past. Here's how it's done:
Understand. It's important to understand that biology is partly to blame for your teen's inability to wake up. Somewhere around puberty, teens bodies mature in such a way that they are able to stay up later - and many teens often can't fall asleep until around midnight. Add to this the fact that teens still need about nine solid hours of sleep each night and you can see why they sleep throught that 6 am wake up call.
Make a plan. But just because you understand why they are sleeping in doesn't mean that teens should get a blank check to be late for school every day. The fact is that they have to get up at a certain time every day for school. Talk to your teens about the best ways for them to take responsibility for what time and how they will wake up each monring.
Step back. Until kids are legally adults, it's the parents resonsibility to ensure that they are at school on time every morning. But that doesnt mean that you need to continue cheking on them in their rooms or calling them from work to be sure that they are awake. Let them figure out a wake up strategy and then let them face the consequences if they don't make it. For most teens, all it takes is one Saturday detention before they suddenly remember how to turn on the alarm clock.
Stick to it. The biggest hindrance to helping teens wake up for school is that most tend to toss those good habits out the window on the weekends. Sleeping until noon on Saturday may help teens feel like they are "catching up" on a week's worth of poor sleep, but all they are really doing is setting themselves up for a rough start on Monday. Try to keep teen's bedtimes and wake up times consistent -- or at least within an hour or two - all week long.