How To Help Your Teen Wake Up in the Morning

Teaching Responsibility at the Crack of Dawn

teen boy asleep in bed
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Teens have a hard time waking up in the morning. You may have to remind them 5-10 times that they need to hop in the shower so they can catch the bus. It's a common parenting problem and it can really make mornings rough on you!

There is a point in their young lives when every teen is going to have to get out of bed and start the day on their own. They won't be able to rely on you when they have a 9 a.m. freshman comp class at college, so it's best to help them get in the habit early.

Why Teens Need to Get Out of Bed on Their Own 

Getting up on time every day is a time management skill that teens need to have to be successful in their lives. It is a habit that they need to learn because, as we all know, the adult world requires it!

It's true that teens struggle with sleep and they often don't get enough of it. Their bodies are growing and they really do need more sleep, but it's also true that they need to learn responsibility.

It won't be long before he is living away from home and that comes with making mature decisions. Getting yourself out of bed in the morning, just happens to be one of the easiest.

How to Help Your Teen Wake Up

Get an Alarm Clock

It is easy to use your phone as an alarm, but if your teen is struggling with waking up, an old-fashioned alarm clock may be the thing he needs! It is too easy to turn the volume down or ignore a phone. A screeching alarm clock all the way across the room?

That's hard to ignore.

  • Purchase an alarm clock with big numbers that can be seen from your teen’s bed.
  • Be sure it comes with a loud annoying buzzer.
  • Read the directions of the alarm clock with your teen. Go over how to use it and be sure your teen is capable of setting the time and the alarm.

Talk to your teen about his morning schedule.

Ask these questions:

  • How much time does he need to get ready?
  • What time does his bus/ride come or how long does it take to walk to school?
  • What is the last possible moment he can get up and still make it to school on time?
  • What privilege would your teen like to earn when he is able to get up on time on his own for the week? (An hour added to curfew on Friday night is a popular option.) 
  • What consequence should you impose if you have to wake him up at that last possible moment?  (No computer for that day? That will get him up!)

Mom Is Not Your Alarm Clock!

Require that your teen begins to use the alarm clock. Clearly state that you will no longer be waking him up after this talk. Use a parenting contract if necessary and make sure he knows the consequences if he's late for school.

Stay Strong!

Be prepared for your teen to test your resolve a bit at first. Do not give in! Wait until the agreed upon time to wake him and impose the consequence.

More Morning Tips for Teens

  1. Make getting up in the morning something your teen wants to do – or, at least, something he doesn’t dread. Smiles and a simple ‘good morning’ will go a very long way to uplifting everyone’s morning spirits.
  2. If your teen gets into the bad habit of turning off his alarm and going back to sleep, place the alarm clock further away from his bed. In having to get up to turn off the alarm, your teen will awaken and, hopefully, start his day .
  1. The alarm clock should not double as your teen’s radio, and it should not play all night long. This desensitizes a person to the noise and makes it harder to wake to an alarm clock.

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