Everyone knows that tweens and teens need their sleep. It's during that age span where the most growth, and resting from growth, happens while getting some shut eye, and it's been a problem school officials have been dealing with for decades. Should classes start later? Should there be less homework so teens can get some sleep?
The simple act of dozing in bed is actually one of the most important things a growing child will do all day, so when I heard that some parents were waking their teens up in the middle of the night to complete chores they'd promise to get done, but didn't, I had mixed feelings.
On the one hand, there's probably no greater frustration as a parent than being ignored. You tell them to clean the bathroom 10 times, yet nothing? Oof. Serenity now. After you've burned your way from kind requests to heated threats, waking those little jerks up in the middle of the night to teach them a lesson and get the chore taken care of seems reasonable (if it's on a weekend night, or during vacation).
On the other, depriving them of sleep is almost like depriving them of food. It's something they desperately need to stay healthy and grow into young men and women -- can't a chore wait until they're awake? Plus, stirring them is akin to waking a hibernating bear -- the results are often shrouded in the anticipation of a full-on attack that's a matter of when, not if. Why create a tired, groggy, angry monster when the monster you were dealing with already was more than enough?
I'm all for creative ways to get through to kids, but I don't know if forcing them to get up at 1 a.m. to clean their rooms is the best solution ... even if an air-horn to the ear of someone who hasn't been listening to me does sound more than a little fun. HONNK!
Would you wake your teen up in the middle of the night to do their chores?
Photo via rileyroxx/Flickr