Sweating the small stuff or a battle worth fighting?

(12 Posts)
chocoluvva Thu 17-Jan-13 11:07:46

DD 16 won't ever go to sleep at a reasonable time. Even when she goes to bed at a sensible time she'll text till 11.30 at the earliest and often till 1am.

She's doing scottish highers this year and in danger of not getting the grades she needs for the courses of her choice. She studies a bit, but not very much, presumably not helped by the late nights and endless texting.

She just gets to school on time, but would sleep for the whole weekend if she wasn't doing other things. She won't wind down with a bath or a good book either.

I'm very lucky with her - we have few arguments now that I'm getting the hang of biting my tongue and not sweating the small stuff - but she won't be told what to do. Not that it's often required as she's luckily not into drinking/wild parties/offensive clothes/'unsuitable' friends etc and I know I'm lucky as she's a kind, nice girl with lovely friends.
However she really hates not getting to make her own choices although I'm not strict with her - eg, she had a lot of freedom with her, now ex boyfriend. I've told her she'd do better if she got to sleep earlier but to no effect.

I think she'd feel deeply aggrieved if I imposed sanctions on her for late-night texting- which I know about through the itemised bill - which she hates and it does feel like snooping, though I don't know who she's texting. BUT she'll regret it if she doesn't get into the uni courses she wants - highly specialised and vocational and not really academic even though done through university-accredited institutions. She's bright but not interested in much academic so she has no plan B. I think she'd find something else to do by way of exercising her right to make her own choices if she was prevented from her late night texting but maybe she WOULD be glad if she didn't have the opportunity to text till midnight.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Numberlock Thu 17-Jan-13 11:11:36

I have a "no screens in bedrooms" policy in my house and my sons are 17, 17 and 14.

chocoluvva Thu 17-Jan-13 11:16:40

I'm envious Numberlock.

DD doesn't hide herself away in her room endlessly fortunately - laptop, but no TV in her room.

How do you enforce your "no screens in bedrooms" policy? How are your teens otherwise?

Numberlock Thu 17-Jan-13 11:36:41

Hi choco. I just mentioned the 'no screens' thing as I presumed the late night texting was your main concern about not getting to sleep at a reasonable time.

I've had the same problems as you with my youngest son - if I let him he would text/laptop/PSP all night! Whereas now if he can't sleep, he has to read instead as there's no screens in his room. (The punishment in the past has included me taking the XBox controllers to work so he can't play on it the following day/evening.)

His elder brothers are totally different, very self-disciplined.

I can sympathise but I think reading your post it sounds like you have a lovely daughter. Time will tell on the exams - what are her predicted grades?

chocoluvva Thu 17-Jan-13 13:47:11

Thankyou Numberlock.

Yes there are a few issues there!!!

Inability to relax/wind down

Lack of sleep

Distraction from studying.

Her mocks start next week so predicted grades then.

dabdab Thu 17-Jan-13 13:52:57

We have a younger child (11) but there are two rules - computer must be downstairs and phone is given over after dinner, so not up with her in bedroom. Otherwise she would be up very late! If there is a struggle with giving phone over, it is confiscated for the next day (something I really try to avoid doing!).

Numberlock Thu 17-Jan-13 13:53:06

I presume the mocks don't count towards the final grade? Hopefully they will serve one of two purposes:

- to reassure you that she's on track for good grades
- to give her a wake-up call that she needs to work harder to get good grades

Good luck and let us know how she gets on.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 14:00:51

Lights out at around Midnight, sleep all weekend?

Surely that's what all DCs age 13-21+ do. Unless they have a job or activity that gets them up at a weekend.

I did, DD1 does, clearly your DDs friends do or there'd be no one awake to text.

Yes she needs to work for her exams, but sweating about bed time at 16 is stupid.

She needs to be working not texting earlier in the evening, what she does to chill out after 9-10 pm is her business, she isn't 6.

Agree with startail. She is old enough to choose her bedtime and to sleep all weekend if she wants to and this is not the real issue here.
You really don't have any major problems with DDs behaviour it's her academic achievement you are worried about. I don't think stopping her texting is entirely the answer.

Not sure what Highers are for a 16 year old, are they same as GCSEs which are done at 16 in England? Or A levels which are done at 18?

Mocks tend to be a wake up call to those who have not put the work in and if she does badly there will be time to catch up and school will no doubt put support in.

Perhaps you could try and compromise on the lines of " I leave you alone about the texting if you prove to me you are working hard"?

flow4 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:57:48

Lights out at around Midnight, sleep all weekend? Surely that's what all DCs age 13-21+ do...

To be honest, it's what I do too, if I can get away with it! grin Which is not often enough for my liking!

If her mocks show she's on track, do nothing... And if she's tired, that's her problem... If they show she's under-achieving, address this issue with her, not the bedtime one. smile

chocoluvva Fri 18-Jan-13 19:30:32

Thankyou for your replies.

That would be a majority vote for "don't sweat the small stuff" then!

flow4 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:29:22

smile Yup, looks like it!

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