15 yr old son late for school almost daily.

Elaine - posted on 02/03/2013 ( 25 moms have responded )

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OK so I have a problem with my 15 year old son. His school day starts at 8:10am. It's when he needs to be sitting in class. He has been having a hard time getting up, out & in class for that time. He is late almost everyday. I start my work day at 6am. So I cannot get him up or take him to school. I have tried everything: grounding,cell phone you name it and still nothing. Anyone have any advice. Have you experienced this before?

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Dove - posted on 02/03/2013

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You could wake him up when you have to leave for work... If he's not responsible enough to get up and get himself to school on time.... he can have the bedtime of an elementary student and Mom can wake him up super early.... Might not solve the problem, but it 'might' annoy him enough to get him to take the responsible route. ;)

Joy - posted on 02/15/2013

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Well, I was one of those teens and now my 17 year old daughter was as well (She still struggles a little). I can say that the reason I was late to school a lot was primarily because I very much disliked school, I was very small for my age (graduated HS at 92 lbs.). I was often picked up in the hallways by the jocks, just to see how light I was. I was bullied. Not badly, like others would be; but in retrospect this hurt my pride and I hated it. Being carried around school was another factor to being late. Being taken to a hallway nowhere near my class, caused me at times to be late in between classes. I finally dropped out of HS and got my GED before I went off to college. There may be underlying problems with your son as well, don't just dismiss it as laziness, or disinterest.

As an adult I tend to be late, as well, generally when I don't want to go to where I am going. I finally realized that I have an anxiety about going out in public. This, I thought to be odd, because I love to be a social creature; however, I have a fear of being measured up or judged by strangers. I think much of this roots back to the way my mother would judge people quietly to me when I was a teenager, "Oh my look at her hair, doesn't she have a mother who loves her, or good friends to tell her better?" Another factor was the being picked on by others. Finally, if I hated my job as an adult, I would drag my feet even more. I think with the hopes in the back of my head that I would eventually get fired, or something, just to force me to make a change. I'm not quite sure how to express exactly what was going on, altogether, but I know it was due to my own dissatisfaction in life.

With my daughter, as with me, punishment did not work, it made me more defiant to do worse, as a way of letting my parents know that I could not be controlled, I was about to be a woman, and I didn't want to confirm to what they thought I should do or be. Thus, with my daughter, I tried positive reinforcement, because I see, she too is just as headstrong and defiant. So, each progress report and report card, we would reward her with money for her grades and attendance. This worked great, and the money spent was well worth it, to not have to repeatedly reprimand her. When we would reward her, we would express the importance of punctuality and how proud we were of her efforts to be on time even though, we understood how difficult it was at times for her. Once she started to create the habit, it became more and more easy for her. I only wish my parents had done something similar for me, to break the cycle earlier. I still struggle with my own tardiness, but I am glad my daughter is doing much better, than I.

The reward doesn't have to be money. It should be something that truly interests your son, whether it be video game time, hanging out with friends a little later (extending curfew), whatever it takes.

Hope this helps.

Bonnie - posted on 02/15/2013

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I think some people are just programmed to be like this though. I am. It's been a struggle for years. I'm 31 and I still have to make a conscious effort to get up and get going on time. I would say though, if he's interested in broadcasting, have him talk to a college guidance counselor about what he needs to be doing now in order to be successful in college and in that career field.

Shawnn - posted on 02/11/2013

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Elaine, they're all thickheaded at that age, but at 15, he should be more than able to handle his basic responsibilities!

What I've done with mine (on the rare occasions when I'm not in the home when it's time for him to get up and ready) is CALL HIM on a schedule. Every 15 minutes is a good time frame. Yes, he'll get irritated. Yes, he'll get moody. But, he's not being age appropriately responsible for his actions.

It flat out pisses my son off! But, he's never been late or missed a day of school because I wasn't in the house to get him going.

And, when he does get to suspension because of his actions, I'd do exactly what Dove suggested. Including the report.

Elizabethe - posted on 02/18/2013

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I've had this problem with my 13 year old so I set all the clocks an hour or two ahead and turned all the TV's off for a month and took the cell phone away it worked for me I just had to remember for myself the time difference. Once I had it consistent I started setting it forward in 15 minute increments and I still keep the clock 15 Minutes fast. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit.

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Gwen - posted on 03/20/2013

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I have experienced this from your sons position, in Washington state a new, FREE public high school alternative is offered that's all online. I'd HIGHLY recommend it, as I too suffered from over sleeping thru first period for most of high school. If he's interested, and you give it a shot, I bet you'll see his grades improve post haste as well. Just food for thought. Good luck!

Julie - posted on 03/14/2013

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Is he getting good grades? Is he responsibly in most other areas of his life? Does he get a daily consequence when late, or a weekly reward/privilege for no tardiness?
I don't have teens yet but I have seen a documentary on brain development and the teenagers brain development happens while sleeping, it's said studies show the brain of teenagers specifically are programmed to be awake until midnight and sleep until 10 am. It proved the "lazy" label and "up all night" annoyance as the teenage brains development cycle. While our children need to learn how to conform with society I find it frustrating that society can not conform with the development of children.
Being tardy in public schools ultimately decreases the school funding, this is the real motivation behind the threatening letters, in my opinion. Unless the tardiness /absences are interfering with his grades and performance, chose your battles.

Andrea - posted on 02/18/2013

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does he have younger brother or sisters? If so, you can always have the younger one babysit the older one, every where he needs to go. I did this with my ex brother in law when he came to live with me and his brother at the age of 15.. he and a few other of his friends threw rocks into traffic which ended up busting a window in a school bus, to avoid the brother going into the court system their mother spoke to a judge and was granted permission to move him in with us in another town,,,anyway he was explained the rules of the house and had to sign an agreement, I had four younger children at the time, ages 3 to 7, one of the rules was he was to attend school and get passing grades, since he rode the bus he was not able to be late, well I found out around Thanksgiving he was skipping school, so since he broke some of the rules, he was grounded for about 2 weeks after that if he had to go somewhere or I needed him to watch the kids or run to the store across the street, my 7 year had to either go with him or was left in charge due to the 15 yr just wasn't mature enough to do it.. after about a month of having to explain to his friends as to why his 7yr old niece was babysitting him, and she was to tell them that, he straighten out..

Anne - posted on 02/18/2013

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Set an annoying alarm on the other side of his room so that he HAS TO get up to turn it off.
I remember once when my parents were gone for a few days, my younger brother was 15 or 16 years old. My parents asked the neighbor to ring the door bell non-stop until he opens the door. to make sure he gets up for school in the morning.
My brother hated it, but it was VERY effective!

Lorie - posted on 02/18/2013

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Is your son drinking alot of soda or energy drinks?? It only takes 2 or 3 a day, I know, seems harmless but he could be "crashing" while asleep and then can't get up even if he wants to. Keep a food journal of everything he eats AND drinks for 1 to 2 weeks, a lot of the time we don't realize how much salt, sugar, and caffine we ingest. If that isn't the culprit, then it's time to see his Doc and make sure he's not suffering from a physical illness. Anemia (not enough Iron in our blood) is a common thing among teens that the main symptom is being tired all the time. Good Luck to you & your son.

Elaine - posted on 02/17/2013

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Ok so UPDATE. Lots of great advice ladies..thanks and i will look into finding that book. He has been given the chance to do all day CO_OP. Which he is very excited about. So hopefully this will get his butt in gear.....lol He may even do it at the store i work at but I am not too sure how I feel about that. I will keep everyone posted.

Kristin - posted on 02/17/2013

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I highly recommend the book "Have a new Teenager by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. He has a very good answer for exactly this situation.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/17/2013

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I had the same problem in high school (and still do to an extent). It was physically difficult for me to wake up--like trying to stay awake when you are drugged with a sleeping pill. I was a good student, liked school, and never got into trouble, but I got detention for being late. Punishment, physically dragging me out of bed, nothing worked because it was biological! I wasn't doing it in purpose and I didn't like being late.

I would suggest acknowledging how hard it is for your son and possibly consulting a sleep specialist to help shift his sleep/wake rhythms. Ferber the baby sleep expert actually has a chapter on adolescent sleep in his book. If he can be a part of the solution you might have more success.

Katie - posted on 02/17/2013

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My kids are younger but I would wake him up before you leave for work. Other options would be to have somebody come by when he needs to wake up, give him a wake up call plus a few more to make sure he is out of bed and getting out of the house on time, put and set an annoying alarm in his room, make him go to bed at 7pm maybe 8pm (my bedtime in high school was 8pm) so he is awake by 7am.

Susan - posted on 02/17/2013

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Melatonin at night, about an hour before bed. No TV, games or other electronics in his room, and a note to his school, from you, stating that they have your permission to do whatever they usually do for kids who skip or are late for school.

15 is old enough to accept the consequences for his actions, even if that means he misses playing a sport, or can't go on a trip.

There's a book called, "How to have a different kid by Friday." It doesn't really work that quick, but it gives you all kinds of tips for allowing a child's behavior dictate its own consequences.

Melissa - posted on 02/17/2013

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Try changing the clocks to make him think that it is later than it is. It's worth a try.

Michelle - posted on 02/16/2013

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I have a 17 year old daughter in The 11th grade. She goes to bed early like 7 or 8.
She gets up like 5 a.m. Gets ready fixes her breakfast and off she goes to school. I recently had a triple bypass surgery and I'm 41 now. It's been hard but we work it out.

Elaine - posted on 02/11/2013

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Hi Liz..well as someone that (at the moment) works as a supermarket shelf stacker. I would not want that for my son. He has great ambitions to go into broadcasting. Which requires a very good high school education. I just need to get into his head about the importance of high school. Too thick headed for his own good.
@Dove...yea most of the time I work weekend...and many a times have I tried that route of putting him in his room. Im lucky there is "No Frills" in his room. So sending him there isn't much of a chore. I do like the idea of writing out a report on the importance of education. Use to do something like that with them when they were younger.

Liz - posted on 02/11/2013

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The way I see it, he's old enough to understand that living in your house and benefitting from all of the things that you provide for him is a privilege. His end of the deal is to use his opportunities, including that of education, to their fullest extent. If he doesn't want to do this and just wants to waste his life, he can live on the minimum, no frills, no luxuries, no gadgets, until such time as it's legal for him to attempt to live on his own on the salary of a supermarket shelf stacker.

Dove - posted on 02/11/2013

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If the school gets to the point of him getting suspended.... you will have to hire a 'babysitter' to watch him while you work because apparently he's not mature enough to get himself to school on time, so he's certainly not mature enough to stay home alone all day... And he can do chores around the house the entire time he's suspended... and write you a report on the importance of education to his future.

Dove - posted on 02/11/2013

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Do you work on the weekends?

If not.... maybe try stripping everything 'fun' out of his room and tell him if he is late for school even one time in a week he will be spending the entire weekend (except to eat and use the bathroom) in his room. If he's late more than once in a week he'll spend a month of weekends in his room....

I don't know. That's all I've got.

Elaine - posted on 02/11/2013

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Great ideas girls but since I leave so early he would probably go back to bed. And to your question about school doing anything about him being late. They have just started a new program that if the child/teen is late so many times he is given detention..does it again he is suspended.

Jodi - posted on 02/04/2013

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And, yes, I agree with Dove. I'd be waking him when I left for work and make sure he was awake and out of bed. Which probably needs having to go to bed earlier at night....right?

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