Your teen slept through his alarm again. It is the third time this morning you'll have to yell at him to get up for school. You go through this every morning; even getting him up at a decent hour on the weekends is a huge hassle. "There has got to be an easier way!" you think to yourself.
Well, yes, there is. But first, you need to remember your teen's body is going through a whole host of hormonal, physical and emotional changes which impacts everything—even their sleep pattern. Sleep quality is critical for teens—after all, they don't have to deal with just school; they may have a part-time job, and need to decide what they want to do with the rest of their life.
All of this takes a toll on their physical and mental energy, which is why they need lots of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation states teens need eight to ten hours of sleep every night and a teen's sleep pattern shifts to later times. In other words, your teen will find it abnormal to go to sleep before 11:00 pm. So, with that in mind, don't force your teen to go to bed at an early hour, but instead make sure he's in bed by 11:00 pm, which will allow him to get as much sleep as he can.
But there is still the problem of how to get out of bed and out the door for school. One of these four tips might do the trick.
1. Welcome the Noise
Unless your young adult is an extremely deep sleeper, there is no way he will be able to sleep through a lot of clamor around the house. What can you do? Well, there are several things.
Put a radio or CD player just inside his bedroom door—but make sure he can't reach it from his bed. Select a genre of music he dislikes—maybe it's country, opera or easy listening/folk. Turn on the CD or radio and turn it up. The only way he can turn the "horrible music" off is to crawl out of his comfy bed.
If he's lucky enough to have brothers and sisters who are younger than he, why not let them play in his room? Give them toys that create loud sounds and encourage them to be as noisy as they want.
If he's an only child or the youngest in the family, you can always go the traditional route. Grab a wooden or metal spoon, a pot, and create a one-person band. March into his room, banging on the back of the pan with the spoon and singing some silly song at the top of your lungs. Don't stop until he's off his mattress!
It's true, with these noise-making ideas he will not like you much for a few hours, but he will certainly be up for the day.
2. Let There Be Light
Who doesn't like waking up to the morning sun streaming into their bedroom? Well, okay, besides your slumbering teenager. Sunlight makes a great alarm clock because it stops your sleep hormone, melatonin, from being released. It will make you more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to go forth with your day.
So when it's time for your teen to get up, go into his room, open his shades and give him a healthy dose of glorious sunshine. You may hear plenty of grumbling or even a bit of yelling; he may even try to snuggle more under his covers. If that's the case, throwback his covers so he can't ignore the beautiful morning sun.
During those dark winter mornings, perhaps a terrific investment would be a wake-up light, which imitates the sunrise. What a neat invention!
He may not see you as his favorite person at the time, but he will get up!
3. Show Some TLC
Okay, so maybe you don't want to torment your teenager—at least not first thing in the morning. Try luring him from his bed with a delicious smelling breakfast. After all, who can resist the smell of bacon frying? If he's not a big breakfast eater, make his favorite cup of tea or coffee and let him know it's waiting for him in the kitchen. He'll appreciate your loving gesture and be out of bed to drink it while it's still warm.
4. Manipulate Time
It would be cool if you could manipulate time like on sci-fi movies. But, sadly, you can't. What you can do is ensure all family members are up a bit earlier than usual—even if it's only 10 minutes earlier. Those 10 minutes could also mean he'll leave the house on time.
On the other hand, if he's tough to move from his bed then the extra 10 minutes to just lay there before he must rise could be the thing he needs to help his wake up time go smoothly.
Remember—It's Not Your Responsibility
If all else fails, you can remind yourself he's not your little boy anymore. He's a teenager, and you must remember he's old enough to take responsibility for his actions. He's going to be an adult soon, and he must learn the responsibility of being prepared and on-time. It's perfectly fine to help with his morning routine if he has an important day ahead. And it's okay to assist with time-management occasionally.
However, a large amount of responsibility falls on him, not you. If he has trouble getting out of bed for school (or planned events on weekends), then it's his job to figure out how to correct the problem.
If he's continually unwilling to get out of bed in the mornings, you may have a more significant problem on your hands. If that’s the case, set time aside to sit down and speak with him; find out if there are any problems he's having that you didn't know. If there are, then together you can solve the issues at hand.
So give one—or all— of these tips a try. One of them is bound to get your fatigued teen out of bed. Please contact us for more great tips on better morning routines.