Aahh!!! My 13-year-old won't go to bed!!!(36 Posts)
I've just had another battle with my 13-year-old ds: it got to 11pm and he was still nowhere near going to bed but started trying to mend his school bag, which is ripped to bits, but he insists on using instead of a brand-new rucksack as "nobody takes a rucksack to school". It happens every night and very often ends up in a shouting match while his father just goes to bed and leaves me to it. It's a real struggle to get him up in the mornings and he's permanently exhausted. Do I just give up and ignore the fact that he's still faffing about at 11pm (the shouting matches clearly don't help) or what?
Any advice gratefully received!!!
I agree with flow, this is about how you and your dh parent and the fact that you don't have a united front. Is your dh not concerned about the letter from school? If your ds is late and tired he is going to do badly at school, surely that matters to your husband?
My ds is also 13. He goes to bed at 9pm, lights off at 9.30pm (even in the holidays unless we are doing something special). No debate. When he started to faff around we told him that if he got into bed late then we would send him to bed earlier in future. But it was an approach that dh and I agreed together and ds knew we meant it. He also knows that he needs his sleep and that it's not an arbitrary cut off.
Totally agree that your DH is actually making things very difficult for you. If you were a single parent, you would be the only one dishing out the rules and there would be consistency.
It's not that you're rubbish at dealing with kids, it's that you've got your DH undermining you!
He's the real problem here and I suspect it's not just this issue he undermines you with meaning your son is left with little respect for either of you, so fully intends to make up his own rules at 13 yrs old.
Sorry for not replying to the last few messages - have been too busy to go on Mumsnet for the last couple of days.
Well, DH did agree to have a talk with DS about this - I would have preferred it if we could have spoken to him together but there was no way DH would agree to that - and he did admit that he should go to bed earlier and relinquish his phone sooner, and things have been a little better since (bed at c.10.45 rather than 11.30pm).
He is now struggling with headaches and flu-type symptoms due to his lack of sleep, over-busyness and end-of-term-itis and even was in bed just after 10 tonight which is a miracle for him! Unfortunately he can hardly ever have a lie-in at weekends as he has activities on Sat and Sun mornings, so that doesn't help.
Flow4, we do actually have a copy of Raising Boys - DH bought it for me! - but he's also read another book about teenagers (can't remember what it's called) which basically says let them do what they want and they'll regulate themselves, which he thinks is great. He's always treated DS like he was a lot older than he is and I think if was aimed more at older teenagers anyway; ds was about 11 when he read it so I was hardly convinced that it applied to children of his age anyway.
Oh, I forgot to say that the main reason that dh agreed to talk to ds was because he was worried that my shouting late at night would disturb the neighbours! Whatever happens, dh always makes me out to be the one in the wrong and it riles me so much.
The idea of going off for a few days and leaving dh to it does appeal, but he would NEVER admit that he was wrong about anything relating to childcare.
Your DH would no way agree for you to all have the talk together?
Does your DH have any respect for you? Any at all?
I don't quite getwhy your dh wouldn't speak to your ds together. Without both of you presenting a united front you might as well give up. I'd kick your dh into shape fiirst as he's the real problem. Your ds is 13 now and this is a relatively minor issue god help you when you need to discipline your ds over something more important when he's older
If you have a copy of Raising Boys already, ask your husband to re-read the bits on men supporting their partners with parenting, because he's clearly forgotten them. He doesn't have to admit he's wrong - in fact it sounds like your best bet here is to say "OK. I'm struggling with bedtimes/whatever else. You know best, so you take over. I'll see you in the morning/next week/every other Wednesday/whenever"...
Sorry if this sounds harsh. But from here it looks like your son is being a bit of an arse because he's being shown exactly how. I think you need to work out how to be 'adult' in this situation; it must be hugely tempting to behave like an arse too...
Hmm. I also have a 13yo DS. He is in his PJs in his room by 9 without fail. Granted now he is on summer hols he isn't turning his light out much before ten and spends the time reading and texting, but in term time it is lights out and phone downstairs at 9.30 or very close. But this is because he has always had a set bedtime and DH and I enforce the same rules.
As others have said, your problem isn't really the bedtime...
My mum was advised when I was a kid, to make me be responsible for getting myself up etc. I set my alarm, I got up when it went off. If I was late (never happened) I faced the consequences of missing the bus/teachers mouthing off about it. If I didn't bother to do my homework I faced the consequences from the teacher.
Tell your son he can stay up till 11:00 ONLY if he does housework the entire time.
I was told on MN that homework means nothing in secondary, sanctions are puny & it counts nothing towards final marks. .
So who drove you to school when you missed the bus? Coz parents get fined now if their DC miss school too much. They can't easily be uninvolved & let their kids take all the consequences.
I can do anything but turn off the mains electricity & DC will still stay up very late, on occasion (have resorted to removing lightbulbs, but it's a huge faff, I have to get out of bed early to put them back!). Not sure about turning off mains electricity to get them to go to sleep; I'd have to get a battery-operated alarm clock myself in that case.
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