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Would you wake up an older teen for school?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

DS is in grade 11.  He is 16.  He was HSed until grade 10, fwiw.  

 

He is struggling with getting up on time to make the bus.  The bus is at 7:45.  I do not think he minds going to school (there is some stuff he likes and some he does not, but overall the pros outweigh the cons).  I do not think he is trying to avoid school.  He simply has real issues with going to bed on time and waking up in time to make the bus.  Once a week I end up driving him to school because he missed the bus.  Yesterday he missed school  entirely because he missed the bus and I was not home to drive him in (no public transit where we live - although walking (2.5 miles) might be an option.

 

I typically wake up around 8:30, quite a bit after he is supposed to be up and off to school.

 

He has an alarm clock - he sets it, and hides under the covers when it goes off.  We are getting him another alarm clock today and placing it on the other side of the room.

 

I also called the school this morning and asked them to read him a gentle riot act over the issue.  Hopefully that will help.

 

So here is my question:

 

Should I get up early and make him get on the bus?

 

1.  Yes - it could affect his grades, he needs help to learn to be punctual, etc.

 

2.  No - he is 16.5 - he is old enough to get himself on the bus and if he does not he should reap any consequences.  

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 55
Yes, I would wake him up. At his age, in my opinion, getting to school on time trumps trying to teach him to get up on his own.
post #3 of 55
Oh, and 7:45 is pretty late for high school. Around here, first period starts at 7:30.
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyMae08 View Post

Oh, and 7:45 is pretty late for high school. Around here, first period starts at 7:30.

I agree.  I am pro late start time, but I know he has it good compared to some others.

post #5 of 55

I don't know considering you have to get up to wake him. If you were already up, I would definitely say wake him.

 

My mom called me every morning to make sure I was up, or at least gave me a gentle reminder to get up before she walked out the door for work. I only got one nudge (either in person or phone) and if I choose to ignore it I dealt with the consequences myself. The consequences were having to walk to school, probable detention for the missed period, and make up work.

 

However, my mother was not going to wake up at 4:30 am to ensure I got up on time for morning sports practices. I was on my own. So, to me having to actually wake up early yourself to get him up is a big difference.

 

Is there someone else who can give him a nudge, such as his father before he leaves for work? I think at least one effort at waking is reasonable given his age as long as it doesn't involve too much inconvenience.

 

I know. Not helpful at all.

post #6 of 55

This is still kind of a transition time to school from homeschooling I think.

I would continue to have him set the alarm but also support the adjustment period by waking up for a few minutes and making sure he is up and out the door in time to catch the bus.

 

Now if he gets grumpy and jerky about getting out of bed and going to school then I'd let him be on his own.

post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 

Maybe altering my routine for a month or so and ensuring he is up will help him create better habits and then I can ease off.  

post #8 of 55

It sounds like getting to bed on time might be part of the problem.

 

My sons got up to alarm clocks, and one had to put the clock across the room. He had a loft bed, so it was an effort to get up to shut it off, and not too easy to crawl back in!

 

How does your son feel about it? Would he prefer to have you wake him up? Maybe he needs a little Mommy time in the morning before he heads out the door (yes, even teenage boys need Mommy time!)

 

Staying home from school because he missed the bus would NOT be an option in my house! Our school wouldn't stand for it either. 2.5 miles isn't all that far to walk (I walk that far to work sometimes) - though admittedly I wouldn't want to walk it with a backpack full of books. Better for him to get to school late than to not go at all. Does he have a bike?

 

16 is very much a transitional age (my twin boys just turned 18, and started college this year - I've been there!) As a parent, it's a tightrope walk between providing support and guidance, and fostering independence. It's as much a learning curve for us as it is for them to adapt to these changing roles. Last spring I was still nagging one o fmy sons to get his homework dine - now he's away at school, getting things done on his own without my help or interference (and believe me, it's hard for me!)

 

Back to the original question - I would have him get himself up with an alarm, but make sure he was actually up on time. As you said, once he is reliably getting out the door on his own, you can sleep in again.

 

Good luck to both of you!

post #9 of 55

Yes. He might be 16, but he still a child in may ways. And it is a transition for him.

 

My son is 16, he has an alarm, and I still wake him every morning for school.

 

My daughter is 14, has an alarm, and is always up and moving before I have to check on her. Kids are different. IMO, school is important enough for you to wake him for.

post #10 of 55

My initial response was - Yes, I would be the back-up "mom" alarm clock. I say that because I have always been a night owl and sympathize with someone who has a hard time waking up. Sure, he's old enough to take responsibility and suffer any consequences. I probably wouldn't argue with someone else who takes a tougher stance with their kid and left them to their fate. For me, though, this kind of falls within the "isn't this how families are supposed to help each other" category. I appreciate it if DH, or even the kids once in a while (okay more often than that), tells me it's time to get up. 

 

However, I had second thoughts as I wrote out that response. You asked "should I...make him get on the bus". I'm wondering what that would require from you? Do you just have to wake him and he'll carry on? Or do you have to do more, like almost drag him out of bed and keep nudging him along through his morning routine and out the door and to the bus stop? At some point, I'd say you've done enough and he should be on his own. 

 

I'd also set a few ground rules. You are doing him a favour. He may be grumpy but he isn't allowed to grump AT you. If he has trouble being civil in the morning, he should just get up, get ready and go without saying much of anything. You don't have to make him happy either. Just make sure he is awake. (I may be projecting my own bad morning persona here. Maybe he's a lamb when he wakes up and it's a non-issue. If so, ignore.)

post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

 

However, I had second thoughts as I wrote out that response. You asked "should I...make him get on the bus". I'm wondering what that would require from you? Do you just have to wake him and he'll carry on? Or do you have to do more, like almost drag him out of bed and keep nudging him along through his morning routine and out the door and to the bus stop? At some point, I'd say you've done enough and he should be on his own. 

 

 

He is difficult to get out of bed - he needs to be told repeatedly, which is a pain.  I find I spend time running up and down the stairs telling him to get up (I would say he averages 3 or 4 "Ds - get up!" before he gets up.  I cannot yell from downstairs as it would wake up his youngest sister.  

 

Once he is up he is good to go.  He does not drag his feet or anything  (indeed, he usually rushes as he procrastinates getting up to the last minute).

 

He is rarely grumpy about anything smile.gif

post #12 of 55
Maybe change a few things from his morning routine to the night before to give a few more extra minutes of sleep? Like he can shower, pick out clothes, pack bag, make lunch, etc all the night before so he can sleep longer but still make it on time? Teenagers need so much sleep and when he's not used to getting up early for school it can be really difficult to get in the habit.

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post #13 of 55

You are still legally responsible for him and if he ends up in truancy for tardies and absences, they can come after you. While I'm a big proponent of kids being as independent as possible and living with natural consequences, getting to school is a priority... especially in 11th grade when grades are the most important (if he's looking at college.)

 

Teens rarely get enough sleep. My DD first 2 years of high school, I was waking her a couple times a week. Because of the schedule and homework load, she was averaging 6 to 7 hours of sleep on a good night and she's always been a kid whose needed more sleep than typical. She'd sleep through her alarms or turn them off without being truly conscience. She'd be so angry at herself and no consequences natural or otherwise could change the issue. We took her laptop and phone away at night for most of a school year thinking this would help her sleep... no, she just tossed and turned. She really couldn't settle in before 10:30 or 11 (and that only gave her 7 hours at most.) I'll add that she is a dancer and runner so getting tons of physical activity to "wear her out." This year, she transferred into a new school where the earliest she has to be on campus is 9am. She now averages 8 to 10 hours a night and she wakes naturally almost everyday before her alarm. I have only had to wake her once this school year and she was sick. I know, doesn't solve your issue... I just wanted to throw out there that teens that don't get enough sleep (which is most of them) for whatever reason, even with the BEST of intentions, may need help getting up in the morning. Doesn't mean that this will be a life pattern and while totally frustrating, may not be worth getting too angry over.

 

So, my answer, I'd wake him... at least until you find something else that works. It sucks but it's not forever.

post #14 of 55

Same boat.  My DS, 16.5 (today!) also needs someone to make sure he is awake to make it to the school bus.  He has and sets alarms, but truly sleeps right through them.  My bed room is a floor below and I wake up whenever his alarms go off.  I don't understand how this is possible!  He has always been a night owl and never a morning person--his whole life (as is his dad).  I have set limits on lights out, no computer, no phone-- doesn't seem to matter.  He would be late every.single.day if I left it up to him.  We live in a very rural area, a long drive from school.  If he misses the bus, it causes ME to be 'punished'  by paying for extra gas, loss of time (AND he would be in trouble at school).  

 

He will get up with one "Time to get Moving" call up the stairs, but goodness!  I never needed a parent to make sure I got up and moving!!!  He also " uses" calendars and planners about as effectively as an alarm clock.  I am frustrated that he will be taking on adult responsibilities within a couple short years, and yet he seems unable to manage some very basic tasks.  

 

Oh, and my 7 DD year old uses both an electronic calendar and alarm independently.  Is it a guy thing??

post #15 of 55

Yes, I'd wake him. 16 year olds still need a lot of scaffolding to keep their lives in order. Some more than others.

 

However, I wouldn't be driving him. 2 1/2 miles isn't that far. The natural consequence of not getting your butt out of bed in time is that you have to walk/bike on your own to school. My 11 year old walks or bikes a mile to school and back every day, and I can't see adding another 1 1/2 miles being a real hardship for him. Yes, it'll probably take him close to an hour and he'll be late. THAT is his problem and the school has ways of dealing with it. I, personally, would have been livid if my kid had skipped school because I wasn't there to drive him.

post #16 of 55

I used to get up at 5 every morning to get my daughter up and out the door, until she graduated HS. I didn't have to be up that early, but missing the bus wasn't an option - her school is 45 minutes away and I wasn't going to drive her. It was actually nice, as it gave us some time at the start of the day, even if we didn't talk much.

 

Kinda miss that now...
 

post #17 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 

However, I wouldn't be driving him. 2 1/2 miles isn't that far. The natural consequence of not getting your butt out of bed in time is that you have to walk/bike on your own to school. My 11 year old walks or bikes a mile to school and back every day, and I can't see adding another 1 1/2 miles being a real hardship for him. Yes, it'll probably take him close to an hour and he'll be late. THAT is his problem and the school has ways of dealing with it. 

The reason I have not embraced the walk to school thing is because the school is on a fairly busy highway with no sidewalk and barely a road shoulder.  It is a safety issue.

 

I do see kids walk on occasion - and he even walked once last year - but it worries me.  

 

Otherwise I agree with you - it would be a great natural consequence!


Edited by kathymuggle - 10/16/12 at 6:19pm
post #18 of 55

Is this your son who was unschooled until recently, has written output issues and may have ADHD?

 

The vast majority of strategies recommended for kids with processing and executive functioning issues is to scaffold them - give them the support they need to get to their zone of proximal development.  So, get him to his "just right" level of challenge, where he can be successful consistently, then withdraw the scaffolding incrementally.  

 

So I think you do need to get up and get him going. He needs help to figure out a rhythm that works for him - getting to bed reasonably (I get it, he's a teenager), and getting up around the same time.  I have a teen with major sleep issues and we get her up within an hour of school day wake-up time to try to keep her rhythm consistent.  If she sleeps in Saturday, she stays up late, etc etc.

post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

Is this your son who was unschooled until recently, has written output issues and may have ADHD?

 

You have quite the memory!  Yes, that is him.

 

I would no longer say he has written output issues (I think he was just a very late bloomer).  He writes really well (it has turned out to be one of his strengths) although he is a little slower at writing than others, and his handwriting is atrocious.  <=  This is just a OT update smile.gif

 

I don't disagree with your post - or anyone elses, for that matter - it is just hard for me to wrap my head around the fact a 16 year old needs help getting to the bus on time.  This is a person who can learn to drive, vote in 2 years, go to college, live alone, etc.  I guess that just adds fuel to the fire of helping him master this skill.

 

Jpiper - I do not know if it is a guy thing, but DD (13) has no issues with getting herself on the bus.  

post #20 of 55

kathy it isnt a guy or gal thing. its a personality thing. my bro had no problems and yet i struggled and my dad would always wake me up with the radio.

 

also what would really help is to have 2 or 3 alarms going off every 5 mins. even today i am not a get up as soon as the alarm goes off. at the first alarm i change sides. at the second alarm i open my eyes. at the third alarm i get out of bed. and i am up.

 

he has been getting up now for a couple of months right? its winter and waking up to see darkness outside is just not easy on a usually not morning person. i can so relate to your son. 

 

i see it at just two more years is as long he has to a kind of freedom in life. in two years all that will be gone if he moves and lives alone. then he will have no choice. in 2 years he will be like one of us and a chapter of his life will have ended forever. i'd wake him up. 

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