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Jun 14, 2012

Teenagers ~ Arise & Conquer!

MaryAnn Gaver

   It's morning, and as you sip your coffee, you reflect on the day ahead knowing that there's a ton of stuff on the agenda. Well, at that moment, you hear the kids' alarm go off -- beep, beep, beep, beep.... but nothing's happening. Then the alarm is silenced.  You don't hear any footsteps or movement.  Now what? Go up and yell, "Everyone wake up!" or say nothing and let them sleep? Here's what I did.....

   First, I need you to know that I'm all for the appropriate amount of sleep. I definitely realize that young people who are growing like weeds certainly need lots of rest, and I'm all for that.....but I'm talking about how we (as moms) can encourage the proper balance and help our (younger) teenagers get up at a decent time that coincides with the rest of the family. Hopefully, older teens have this nailed down. Basically, I'm for the idea of putting the extra sleep on the going-to-bed-earlier side of the equation! 

   Second, I love teenagers. In general, I think they can be exuberant, interesting, and fun to be with. I just think that sometimes they need to be encouraged to shun laziness!

   So this leads to a discussion of the various tactics that we moms take. Okay, when Austin and Justin were in the 13 - 15 age category and wouldn't wake up at the prescribed time, first I had Jay (my husband) talk with them that night after dinner. Usually that did the trick. Also, I would  occasionally reiterate that we had a specific wake-up time, and that if they couldn't wake up, then they would have to simply go to bed earlier -- an idea that didn't sound too appealing. Also, I had them read Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.

   A positive habit that I got into over the years was putting on music such as Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Joshua Bell (absolutely brilliant) or some other famous piece of music. Okay, I admit that once I did play John William's Imperial March. That got everyone going! Honestly, I've always liked to have music on in the morning whether it's classical guitar or beautiful, inspiring Christian music. Of course, I'm not saying that it helps people wake up. I'm just saying that it's pleasant, and that's it's nice to wake up hearing good music.

   Another thing that's helpful is having a good breakfast to look forward to! That always helps everyone want to wake up. So, whatever appeals to you probably will appeal to your kids. We always looked forward to having warm french toast with tons of syrup.

  This summer we can encourage our teens to wake up at a decent time and work hard even when school's out. I mean, at around the ages of 14 and 15 -- this is major! Take heart, and keep working on this if it's an issue for your household.

   May the Lord bless your mornings this summer! Keep being a great mom.

   ~MaryAnn  

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