Getting a 13 year old up and ready for school

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Samantha - posted on 10/22/2013

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Okay, got it. I have an almost 13 year old girl myself; she's pretty good about getting up in the morning. We live in the country too, so I completely empathize with having to drive her to school. The first question is, is she sleeping well to begin with/goes to bed at a decent hour. A lot of girls (including my daughter) like to "go to bed" but sit up on their computer or phone all night. We have a rule that at bedtime (yes, she still has a bedtime) no electronics but the radio for white noise. As you know, there are a lot of changes going on at that age; my daughter will be fine one week then just drained the next. These weeks she is a little harder to get out of bed, but not impossible.

If she's having trouble sleeping, my daughter makes herself a nice cup of tea and plays white noise (like ocean waves or rainfall) in her room. This might sound corny, but it really does the trick! Also, if it's a really bad night, she'll have a tiny dose of melatonin to kick her sleep off. It's a natural hormone your body makes, and at certain points in our lives we need the extra boost to get us off to sleep.

Do you think she may have anxiety about school? Things like failing grades and bullying really keep a child from getting up in the morning let alone going to school. There is a lot of pressure at school (especially at this age). My nephew had a panic attack because he was having trouble with an assignment! (he is a major overachiever though, like stresses way too much.).

Maybe at night before bed you could have her get all her things together for in the morning, that way, there is no "I can't find this" or anything like it. Make the excuses completely impossible.

It's really hard to say. I think an option might be to just look over all the areas of her life and see if there is anything that is disrupting her (friends, inability to sleep, school work, etc.) In the end, and this may sound barbaric to some, if she is simply a lazy child and wont get out of bed; there is nothing better than an air horn and squirt bottle in the morning ;)

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Jodi - posted on 10/22/2013

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I would be having her go to bed earlier. Even if that isn't the issue. I have a 16 year old, and he knows that if I have to wake him in the morning, then as far as I'm concerned, he isn't getting enough sleep.....In the last 12 months, I have only had to wake him twice and both times, I removed his electronic devices and enforced lights out earlier. The once he missed his bus, he had to find a public bus to get himself there.

It sounds like you probably don't have a public bus, but maybe "charge" her for your services. What is the cost of your time?

I also agree with the suggestion that there may be anxiety. I have a student that age who spent 3 weeks not coming to school because of anxiety about friendship groups. They are particularly vulnerable at this age. It may be worth having a chat to her on why she is avoiding going to school (if that is what the problem is) and even having the school counsellor talk to her.

Susan - posted on 10/22/2013

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We can't get her to wake up. She misses the bus everyday then we are late for work We live in the country so it is miles to school so walking is out. We lived in town for awhile she would have to walk when she missed And she might get there by lunch. It was only 2 miles then she thinks of every excuse there to not go or to get ready We have run out of things to say or do

Samantha - posted on 10/22/2013

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I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Are you having trouble getting your child up for school? Need help with a morning routine? If you could be a little more specific I would love to offer any help I could :)

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