Time for school!
Getting your teenager ready for school in the morning can be stressful – getting them out of bed, forgotten homework, missing buses – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to help you and your teen get a great start to the day.
Early to bed, ready to rise
In adolescence, your child’s sleep and sleep patterns start to change, so teenagers often go to bed later at night and struggle to get up early in the morning. But if you have to drag your teen out of bed every morning before school, they might not be getting enough sleep. Check out the Raising Children Network for information about sleep for teenagers.
Teens in charge
By the time they are in high school, your teen should be able to do things like making their own breakfast and lunch, and managing their time. Encourage your teen’s growing independence by giving them responsibility for getting ready for school themselves. Talk to your teen about how you can support them in the mornings (for example, by giving them a wake-up call) – but let them know that they are in charge of getting themselves up and ready for school.
You can take the pressure out of the morning routine by encouraging your teen to get prepared the night before. Anything that doesn’t need to be done in the morning can be done the night before – finishing homework, making lunches, packing bags, etc.
Keep it simple
Encourage your teen to keep their morning routine simple on school days, and to save non-essential activities and distractions for afternoons and weekends. If they struggle for time, encourage them to to keep breakfast simple too – quick nutritious options like wholegrain cereals, fruit and yoghurt can be eaten on-the-go if needed!
Make a plan
Some teenagers find it helpful to develop a morning schedule with key times when they need to get things done, especially if they tend to get distracted or lose track of time. Help your teen to think about what they need to do in the morning, how long each task takes, and what time they need to leave to get to school on time. Then get them to plan out their own morning routine (including wake-up time) to make that happen. Encourage them to build in some extra time in their schedule for emergencies, and stick to the plan!
Use visual prompts
Putting a copy of your teen’s school timetable up where you and your teen can see it will give them a visual reminder of what subjects they have each day. It's even more powerful if there's also a calendar with due dates for homework and assignments. Just remember that you want your teen to be taking responsibility for themselves, so don't use these prompts to remind your teen what they need for the day. Instead, if (and only if) you need to, remind them to check the timetable and calendar for themselves.