16 answers

14 Year Old Son Can't Wake Himself up in the Mornings

Ok.. for those of you who have teenagers, I have a question! I have raised 2 daughters already and they were fairly easy when it came to waking up in the morning. Still, I remember them being 15 or 16 before they could wake themselves up for school. My son is 14 yrs old and in the 9th grade. My husband and I disagree on whether he should be responsible enough to wake up at 6:15 on his own every morning. So last night my husband told him if he didn't get up on his own that he would be grounded from his computer (the 1 interest he really has). So of course, like a 14 yr old boy.. he overslept this morning and my husband woke him up and proceeded to ground him. So when my son left for school.. i had a talk with my husband and told him i think positive reinforcement is better.. rewarding him some way for waking up on his own rather than punish him for not. He felt kinda bad after my long discussion with him and he text messaged our son to tell him we'd figure another way to motivate him and for now he is not grounded. My question... if you have teenagers or if you remember being one, at what age did you or does your child wake themselves up or wake up to alarm clocks on thier own to go to school? I am wondering if I am being to easy on my son.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your comments. For more information, my son has had 3 alarm clocks for at least the last year all placed around the room in different locations and none within arms reach. His room is down the hall from my 5 and 7 yr old daughters and they wake up to his alarm clocks. All three are different sounds.. screeching, sirens, beeping. I hear them from the master bedroom downstairs as well. But when you enter the room he is SOUND asleep as the alarm clocks blare. If you speak in a normal voice and say, Tyler.. get out of bed.. you overslept. He jumps out of bed confused! So I have decided to find an alarm clock that I can record my voice on so that it has "me" waking him up in the morning. Also we have talked to him and explained that we are trying to teach him responsibility for when he has a job etc. There is no reason we can not wake him up because we are both here when he leaves but defeats the purpose if the alarm never wakes him up! I'm just going to keep plugging.. but not ready to punish him for his inability to sleep. I'm an insomniac and I feel thankful that my son can sleep at all! I've already passed on the "lack of sleep" syndrome to my eldest daughter who is a workaholic and never sleeps. I think that sooner or later he'll start waking up. Especially when he has a job.. and you don't get paid unless you get there on time. Thanks again! W.

Featured Answers

Try setting a larger reward for getting himself up in the mornings. My nine yr old daughter has been getting up with an alarm clock for a yr and a half now. She misses the bus about once every two months, then we set bedtime back 30 minutes and tv off (she can have tv on all she wants as long as she gets up on time). Her motivation is that she will get a weekend this summer with her best friend if she keeps perfect attendance. All the responses now have me worried that 8 was too young to give her the alarm clock!

More Answers

I think this is a situation that calls for more natural consequences. He is probably old enough to wake on his own (unless there's some extraordinary circumstance). My parents always told me that if I acted like an adult, I'd be treated like one. I could go to bed whenever I wanted but if I didn't wake on time for school, then THEY got to choose my bedtime which was usually 9-9:30. For a teen, that stinks! Maybe try to tell him that even if he doesn't fall asleep, all lights and electronics are off at ____ time if he doesn't get himself up.

Good luck!

W., you have my sympathy. Getting teenage boys up is almost Imossiable. I remember trying everything to get them out of bed. Yelling, turning on the radio really loud, ice, water, pulling off the sheets. Itried everything short of a cattle prod. They do eventually get where they will get up on their own. All I can say is keep trying. Mine get up all on their own now! Not much choice they are both in the army now. Good luck I never did figure out how to get them up on their own. Maybe someone here has a husband that is a drill seargent who could give suggestions!

Try setting a larger reward for getting himself up in the mornings. My nine yr old daughter has been getting up with an alarm clock for a yr and a half now. She misses the bus about once every two months, then we set bedtime back 30 minutes and tv off (she can have tv on all she wants as long as she gets up on time). Her motivation is that she will get a weekend this summer with her best friend if she keeps perfect attendance. All the responses now have me worried that 8 was too young to give her the alarm clock!

Growing up it was our responsibility to wake ourselves up. Granted I have 3 other sisters and learned to sleep lightly. Sleepover pranks were a common thing at my house. The only thing I can suggest is like you said positive reinforcement for his waking up on his own and on time.
What type of things do you have in his room to wake him up? Does he have an alarm clock? Could you get one that is FAR away from his bed so if he wanted to hit snooze he'd have to get out of bed to do it? Maybe put more than one alarm clock in his room and have them all go off in 5 min intervals, place them around the room so that he has to get up and move around to turn them off.
I don't know if those suggestions would help, but that's all I have in my bag of tricks. LOL
Good luck!
W.

Well I was waking up and getting my older sibling up when I was 11 yrs. old (maybe even before that). But I did wake up to an alarm clock. Maybe you should suggest to your son that he go to bed a little earlier, so it won't be so hard for him to wake up. But do it in a cool way like "let's do an experiment" for like a week or two just to see how things go. Of course he probably won't like the idea. But if he could think of it like homework for school and if you say for 1 week or 2 weeks he has a beginning and an end. Who knows, if you talked to his Science teacher, they may let him write a report with a chart or something for extra credit. Then he might have more incentive to do the project. Anyway, good luck!

Okay, this may seem odd, but it really worked for my son, who now at the age of 12 gets himself up. This was a kid who fussed every morning until just enough time to throw on some clothes, brush his teeth, and barely catch the bus. Try changing the direction his head points when he's sleeping to the West. I didn't understand after we moved why he started getting up so much easier, with his own alarm clock, then I read a book about Feng Shui. According to the book, "The Western Guide To Feng Shui Room by Room", directional sleeping can help with many different areas, South: enhances intuition and can stimulate dream and memory recall, North: your health and vitality are strengthened, East: tends to speed life up, lifting sluggishness and depression, and West: tends to slow life down and is helpful when the stess of life causes restlessness or insomnia. Hope this Helps!!!

S.

When I was 12 or 13 my dad bought me an alarm clock and told me that I needed to start waking up on my own. I kind of blew him off. The first morning I wasn't awake with everyone else I got cold tap water on my head. I did ok for awhile. The next time I slipped it was a trickle of ice water with a warning that next time it would be the whole cup. I don't think it ever happened again under his roof. But good luck, teenage boys can be more difficult in the area of sleep priorities.

Personally, I think that 14 is too old...he should have been waking himself up. I woke myself up every since I learned to tell time, my mom would just make sure that I was in fact up. There were times where I would oversleep, but after having to go to bed an hour early every night for a month, I learned to get up! I do agree that positive reinforcement would be better, but then again it all depends on your son. For me, taking away my freedom was devastating! For others, it might e just the opposite!

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