A lot of teenagers have trouble getting up in the morning. If you have a difficult, defiant or oppositional defiant teenager, it could be that getting your child up in the morning for school could become a daily chore that you dread.
You go in his room, wake him up again and again, but he does not get up. Finally, you have to force him to get out of bed – cursing and screaming, yelling at one another – all just to get him to go to school on time.
What exactly should you do about this?
First of all we should examine this situation much more closely. Your teenager is supposed to go to school – that means he has to get there on time. It is his job to get there on time. Is it your problem or the child’s problem that he gets to school on time?
If you look at it carefully, it is your child’s responsibility – you have been through school already. It is his job to make sure he gets to school on time and fulfills his responsibilities. The truth is that if you are making it your job to get your child up for school on time and not letting him take responsibility for that, then you have made it your job and not his job.
That is really the problem. It is your child’s responsibility to make sure he is at school on time, not yours. It really is his responsibility. He is the one that has to take detention, is going to fall behind, is going to be late for school, and is going to get in trouble.
It is not your position. You have been through school already.
So what do you do exactly? First of all, let your child know you are going to be doing this and then every morning you go him and wake him up one time and one time only. If he gets up and goes to school on time that is fine. But if he sleeps late then he is going to be late for school and he will have to face the consequences himself.
Your kid is not going to like this. He will probably yell at you for this. But the bottom line is that he will see that you are no longer taking the responsibility of getting him up for school on time.
He will begin to make the responsibility his own. As a parent, this is your job, to teach him how to take responsibility for his actions and also be responsible for his own obligations.
When he is an adult, your teenager is not going to have anyone wake him up for his job or get him to what he has to do. It is up to him to learn how do to that now and that is your job as a parent to teach him to do these things.
At a later time we will discuss what happens if your child does not really want to go to school and that is why he is not getting up. But for now, if your child does want to go to school and is doing okay in school, the way to handle him not getting up on time is by letting him miss school and face the consequences himself.
It is your job to turn your child into a responsible teenager. You do that by teaching him to take responsibility.
Anthony Kane, MD is a physician, an international lecturer, and director of special education. He is the author of a book, numerous articles, and a number of online programs dealing with ADHD treatment, ODD, child behavior issues, and education. You may visit his website, ADD ADHD Advances, and sign up for the ADD ADHD Advances online journal.