Is your teen staying up until three or four in the morning? Sleeping until well after noon? Then, staying in bed until just before you get home from work? Is this normal and I just don’t remember it??? My kiddo does that and it drives me nuts! Whether she’s at her dad’s or at my house, she is up all hours of the night. Her father and I finally put our foot down and told her she needs to be in bed, everything shut down by 1:30am and up by 10:30am.
Granted, I do understand that things are different these days. Parents aren’t home so, we can’t take them places during the day. And, when you get home, they’re ready to go out and you just want to sit down, throw your feet up on the table and order dinner in. But, we force ourselves to do it because they do need to get out of the home.
I’ve compiled a list of things that your teen can do while waiting for you to come home:
- Chores. Give them a list of things to do. This gives them something to do and it’s less you have to do after a busy day at work. I do pay my daughter an allowance for chores. She does things such as:
- Washing and putting away dishes
- The cats litter box
- Taking the trash out
- Cleans her room (not part of chore money)
- Activity. Around this time, they start to decide what they want to do with their lives. My daughter wants to do photography. So, her father and I give her assignments at each home of pictures she has to take during the week and then present to us her favorite 10 pictures. She then keeps her favorite two or three pictures to put in her portfolio. She is actually NOT happy about this. She feels that she is being made to do it and won’t enjoy it as much. Told her, welcome to adulthood. She will HAVE to do photos to pay the bills. This is what she needs to do now to show us she’s serious about it.
- Pets. If you have dogs, put those teens to use! Get them to wash the dogs instead of you doing it. Cats? I have a furminator that I tell her to brush down our cat with to keep her from shedding so much. Fish? Show them how to clean the tank.
- Meals. This is the time that these kids need to start learning. They are going to be leaving your home within five years. We don’t want them eating fast food all the time when they’re off to college. We want to teach them life skills, and cooking is one of them. So, once or twice a week, have them make dinner.
- Jobs. If they’re old enough to drive themselves, and have a car, let them get a job. They will have spending money and you don’t have to worry about them getting into trouble somewhere. This will also teach them the value of money and why us parents don’t want to keep spending it because it’s there. Teach them to save.
- TV. Yes, I know. The good ole electronic babysitter. But, on days when it really is too hot for them to get out of the house, they need something to do, so they aren’t on their devices all day long. Staring at the 7″ screen and tweeting, facebooking, snapchatting, watching YouTube, etc. They can lose so much time doing those. It’s fine throughout the day, but, they really need to step away from social media.
With teens, it is so much harder to find things for them to do. Especially when they are at that stage they just want to exert their independence and find out who they are. As parents, we can only guide them as much as they will allow us, without forcing our will on them.
What have you done to make sure your teen doesn’t stay up all night, sleep all day and then stay in bed until you get home? I’d love to hear your suggestions!