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Teenagers bedtime

(23 Posts)
flibbles Sun 21-Aug-11 06:29:20

My oldest daughter is in the sixth form now Her grades have dropped off a bit - now running a B average, down from consistent A/A*. Its probably not a coincidence but her bedtimes have gotten very out of control - at weekends and holidays she goes to bed at 6:30 am and gets up at around 6:30 Pm.

I would like to try to do something about this - she is 17 and we cant make her go to bed but my other half is opposed to doing anything. I have talked to my daughter but I would also at least like to turn off the Internet and Sky TV at night. But the message I get from my parter is that I am being controlling. Am I really being a control freak? To me it just feels I am trying to be a parent and my other half is just not willing to tackle a difficult issue.

iscream Sun 21-Aug-11 06:53:28

Control freak? No, you support her, so she needs to keep her grades up in school. A few all nighters during summer vacation during school break is one thing, but if it is so much that she is sluggish in school, that is another.
She needs structure, during the school year. I assume you pay for the sky tv and web? Her school is important, I would do what you feel is in her best interest.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sun 21-Aug-11 07:08:39

If you are getting up for work, you need a good 8 hours sleep behind you if you are a teenager. So I had a midnight cut off for bed. Fortunately, both of mine are logical and saw that it made sense, in the same way they understand that not eating properly a couple of times a day makes you grumpy and snarly.
DD is now at uni and keeping reasonably good habits during the week, although nocturnal at the weekends and holidays. A balance.
How will your OH react when her grades drop further and she's doing retakes?

mumblesale Sun 21-Aug-11 08:40:54

We have a rather nocturnal child. He doesn't have a tv in his room but plays his computer games and watches stuff online so DP has rigged it to turn off at 10pm on school nights.

How is she staying up till 6.30? If she is going out till late I would be concerned what she is up to.

I think your DH is being very short-sighted. Does he want to be seen as a cool dad or something?

catgirl1976 Sun 21-Aug-11 10:09:52

You can't make her go to bed?

Erm - she lives in your house so she follows your rules no? If she wants to pick her own bedtime she needs to wait until she is grown up enough to live in her own house.

Failing reasoning with her, if I had a late night as a teenager and tried to have a lie in my dad would play his Beach Boys albums at full volume and my mum would hoover my room.

Hard to lie in with that going on.

mummymeister Sun 21-Aug-11 10:17:38

Agree with Catgirl. You are doing her no favours by allowing this to carry on. it is your house and your rules. Sit her down today/now. tell her that this is not the way you expect her to be and explain why - the importance of her grades and how cross she would be if she missed out on uni by one mark. turn off sky, internet at midnight. when you wake up at a reasonable time in the morning do not tiptoe around to make sure she stays in bed. she is getting into a sleeping habit that will be difficult to break in Sept but she should be able to sort it out if she starts now. Sorry if i get flamed for this but you only have to read the heartbreaking posts on the A level results sites with kids distraught for missing their grades and wishing they hadnt gone out so much/worked harder etc.

pigletmania Sun 21-Aug-11 10:22:09

YANBU at all! I would take the SKY card out and turn off the internet at a certain time so she has no incentive to stay up all night. You are looking after her best interests, and teenagers don't know that now, but will understand in years to come. Its your house, your rules.

flibbles Sun 21-Aug-11 11:22:23

Afraid my daughter doesnt go out at all. She has just decided to live in an alternate time zone to get as much personal space as possible. I think my OH really knows this is bad for our DD but having opposed tackling the issue till now doesnt want to face up to the implications. BTW I am the dad here, the OH is my wife.

Shakirasma Sun 21-Aug-11 11:30:53

She's done 1 year in 6th form. How long ago did her grades slip? Cos that could just be her finding her natural level. A levels are extremely difficult compared to GCSEs and as the course progresses they become even more so.

As long as she is doing this only at weekends and holidays I wouldn't worry. She is still getting 12 hours sleep. It may be antisocial but she is obviously a hard worker and vey academic to get grades like that. Everybody is entitled to a bit of rebellion.

Theas18 Sun 21-Aug-11 11:33:49

That's a bit odd flibbles. She doesn't get up till evening and doesn't go out at all? Depressed?? Eating ok?? - you wouldn't set in out house if you weren't there at family meal times...

Sky off, net off at midnight- I'd also look at what phone she has and who you pay for- is she on bb messenger all night?? I'm afraid I'd be controlling that too, at least till we got to the bottom of why she is so socially withdrawn.

Madlizzy Sun 21-Aug-11 11:34:29

Why doesn't she go out at all? That's not healthy. Do any of her friends come round to see her? I think that's quite an issue and involved with her nocturnal life. Agree that A Levels are a massive step up from GCSE, and she's doing well.

LeBJOF Sun 21-Aug-11 11:35:11

I agree with Thea- I'd be worried something else is going on.

hocuspontas Sun 21-Aug-11 11:40:21

If she does this at weekends, how does she get up Monday for school? Surely it's like constant jet-lag? Are you sure she's not depressed/anxious? 17 year-old girls should be out having fun at weekends! Poor thing. Definitely turn the Internet off at midnight for a while but obviously explain to her why you feel it's necessary. Have you spoken to the school in case they have noticed a change in her behaviour?

MoominsAreScary Sun 21-Aug-11 11:47:17

Agree with shakira A levels are alot more difficult than gcse's and if she isn't doing this in the week when she has school I wouldn't make to big an issue of it, it's probably just a phase.

Tbh I'd be more worried that she isn't using the weekends and holidays to go out and meet friends even if just for a few hours in the day, my teenager isn't a big one for going out but does usually spend a few hours at the weekend with friends.

I don't see how you can change it, if it was me at that age and you took the sky card etc I'd just be up all night reading! We do have a rule in this house that when we go to bed ds1 has to go to his room as his brothers are alot younger and he is a noisy sod.

lels99 Sun 21-Aug-11 12:00:34

Perhaps a Saturday job would teach her a lesson or two? Would also restrict her sleeping?

flibbles Sun 21-Aug-11 13:18:19

Well a large part of why she doesn’t go out at night is that she goes to a selective girls school. Judging from her friends and my other daughter it just doesn’t seem to be part of the culture. Probably has something to do with the size of the catchment area - most girls find their friends are spread across the county. They still do sleepovers though.

Its fair to say she has always been socially reserved though not sure how much that can be changed now - its how she is. Regarding the grades, at this school a 'B' is well below average for any girl of her ability .

Thanks for all your thoughts.

janelikesjam Sun 21-Aug-11 13:30:55

Letting a 17 year old stay up till 6.30 a.m. and then sleep all day sounds self-indulgent to me, or else removed from reality. If it were me I would be (a) worried and (b) lay down the law.

SmethwickBelle Sun 21-Aug-11 13:31:56

If she's happy, and if her only rebellion is staying up all night then you're probably getting off very lightly! Being socially reserved is fine, and she is still so young, plenty of time to stretch her wings socially if she wants to.

Saturday or weekend jobs are good for fostering confidence as a teenager, I worked as a chambermaid from 15-17 and it was saturdays and sundays 8am-4pm, (alongside A-Levels) and it was a great laugh actually, bit of socialising as well as earning money.

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 21-Aug-11 13:35:59

Do you really mean going to bed at 6.30 am? As in, first thing in the morning? If you do, then frankly that is stupid. I'm amazed she's getting the grades that she is!

I have a DS1, who is 19 and currently at work, before he goes off to university in September. He takes responsibility for himself and goes to bed when he sees fit. But he goes earlier if he has to get up earlier.

DS2 is 16 and we are more prescriptive about his bedtime. During term time and during the week he has to be in bed with the lights off by 10.30pm and we get him up at 7.00 am.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sun 21-Aug-11 13:40:04

In the original post, the flipped times are only at weekends and holidays, which is very like my DD on occasion.
As is the needing time alone.
Not everyone has children who revel in the social melee, but I do agree that if you let it get established through the summer it will be very hard to change come the start of term.
She needs a purpose to get out of bed, my DD is woken and up by 10am. If she chooses to then slump and read, it's up to her.

happygolucky0 Mon 29-Aug-11 18:36:05

another vote for a weekend/hoilday job. I work nights and wouldn't recommend the changing of sleep pattern for anyone who didnt have a great need to do so. It is hard on the body/ person as a whole. It is difficult to break though. Meaning on days when I am not working the nights I want to be awake but its time to sleep. grrrrr. Probably do her good to try and start adjusting now for the school term.
is there a library nearby for her to have some space at? or a nature place/ beach much more healthy imo.

mumeeee Mon 29-Aug-11 19:04:37

I wouldn't worry if the late bedtimes are just at weekends. A lot of teenagers do this. But if you don't want her to be on the Internet all night . You could always put it on a timer and set it to go off at midnight or whatever time you think is reasonable. Our 's used to go off by 12,30

cheekydino Mon 29-Aug-11 19:24:12

I second those who say you need to establish a bedtime on school nights (I'd say 10 30 at the latest, and a few hours later on weekends/holidays) and back it up by turning off sky/Internet/ taking phone etc. My step mum used to unplug my tv and make me leave the plug outside the door when I was a teenager (before the days of the Internet/phone obsession!) and although I hated her for it at the time I was so grateful a few years later. I am now a teacher and find it really sad to see all the really clever students who waste their potential for things as silly and easy to rectify as staying up too late and playing too many computer games etc. It is most often the clever and not hugely sociable ones who let this happen, whose parents don't discipline them as in every other way they are lovely children and don't cause any problems at home! It doesnt seem to happen to the really sporty ones or the ones who have weekend jobs (as someone mentioned) as they have other things to fill their lives with and need their sleep! Might also be worth seeing if she is a bit depressed?

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