How to Get Your Teen to Sleep Through the Night (A Homework Story)

How to Get Your Teen to Sleep Through the Night (A Homework Story)

So my teenaged daughter hates doing her homework at her desk. Big surprise. Who enjoys sitting at a desk, really? Especially when that’s pretty much all you’ve done that day? She sleeps in the top bunk of a bunk bed, so naturally it’s the perfect little fort to hang out in. And it’s where she always ends up doing to get your teen to sleep and do their homework

This hasn’t really been going well, in the opinion of the parents.

Why? Because most nights, she has fallen asleep on her bed, surrounded by her books, her laptop, her phone, random snacks and whatever else she hauls up there, while doing her homework.

Then, the Husband or I go in to check on her, see that she’s sleeping and either wake her up and make her get ready for bed, or turn off her light and let her continue sleeping, and she may or may not wake up in the middle of the night and get ready on her own. But if we do try to wake her up, the chances of her following simple directions are hilariously slim. Case in point:

Me: “Sweetie. Sweetie? Wake up, you need to clear your bed off and brush your teeth.”

the Teenager, sitting bolt upright: “Hmm?”

Me: “You need to get up and get ready for bed.”

the Teenager: “Hmm?”

Me: “You fell asleep. Honey?”

the Teenager: “Hmm?”

Me: “Can you get ready for bed?”

the Teenager: “Hmm? Okay.”

Me: “Okay…do you understand what I asked you?”

the Teenager: “Yeah, mmhmm.”

I back slowly out of her room, go back to whatever I was doing, and then notice 10 minutes later that I haven’t heard any bathroom noises yet. I go back into the Teenager’s room, and sure enough, she’s fallen back asleep as though nothing happened. Of course, she has NO recollection of these conversations, the next day.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Soooooo new rule: no homework on the bed. Anywhere but the bed. It worked for a while, and then the holidays happened, and old habits came back, and sure enough, we had more of the nights I just described, these past few weeks. So we reminded her of the rule, said we’d be enforcing it, and so there she was yesterday afternoon, wrapped in a cozy blanket, doing her homework on the floor of her room.

And there she was, an hour later, wrapped in a cozy blanket, napping on the floor.

All I could do was laugh.

This story originally appeared on The Joy of Cooking (for Little Assholes) here.

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Glynis Ratcliffe

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