Regular lateness and stress in the mornings - how would you deal with it?(16 Posts)
We've had 2 years of difficult mornings with dd (difficult other times too but don't want to address that now).
Our mornings often go like this:
She needs to leave at 8am to guarantee getting to school by 8.50.
I go in to her room, switch her light on at 6.45 and tell her the time. Go make a cup of tea. Come back 10 minutes later (she's still in bed) and tell her the time again. Tell her she needs to get up. She tells me to leave her alone and that she won't get up if I'm standing there. So off I go. 10 minutes later DH goes in and tells her to get up. She says she will and maybe sits up. He leaves the room and she goes back down under the duvet. He goes back in and reads the riot act and usually she gets up.
However, having got up she then spends so long getting ready that she's rarely ready to leave before 8.20. Sometimes 8.30. She has once or twice got to school in 30 minutes so now thinks that's all the time she ever needs to leave to be in school on time.
She is late at least one morning in 3. This week she missed a big chunk of 2 of her GCSE mocks, because she arrived late.
I need to find a way of dealing with it because after 2 years of it I'm incandescent with rage and am finding it hard to control myself when dealing with her in the morning.
The school is now setting detentions for 2 or more latenesses a week, so most weeks she does a detention. She doesn't seem to care. Her punctuality has been flagged up on reports and the reference for her college course - they've still offered her a place (it's very much a 'bums on seats' college and I don't think there's a lot of competition for places on the BTEC she's applied for).
So far, to her, what are the actual negative consequences of her approach? She's still got into her college, and I assume your rage is water off a duck's back (or even something that secretly makes her feel powerful).
Maybe try the alternative approach - wake her up once then leave her to it. Let her take the rap when it comes.
I've got no advice I'm afraid but it does seem to be a common problem at this age. My dd3 is 15 a similar age as your dd I think, as she has mock gcse coming up. To be fair my dd has to leave at 7 and always gets up in time, only because she knows how much trouble she would be in at school if she's late. Our problem is that she comes home from school and disappears into her bedroom for a 'nap' this can last up to a couple of hours, this results in her being wide awake half the night causing havoc because the rest of the household wants to sleep. Strange creatures teenagers
I would buy her an alarm clock and leave her to it.
This has become a control issue and all the procrastination is now just habit.
Most people learn punctuality because not doing so has negative consequences - at some point she will get this wake up call too.
Tell her you can't stand the morning stress, and take a step back. You nagging achieves nothing because she gets up when she wants to anyway.
Alarm clock then leave her to it.
Don't get ragey. Smile and tell her it's her look out.
Buy her an alarm clock, tell her it's up to her to get herself up and to school on time, and leave her to it.
Don't go in, just literally don't engage with her of a morning until she's up and about.
Doing what you're doing currently isn't working, and the unfortunate side effect is that you're starting every day off enraged by her. So try something completely different. Explain to her why you're doing it and just leave her to it. It's got to be worth a go.
I have a teenager of the same age, I go into her room once and wake her up around an hour before I leave each morning, she knows that I leave at 8 and if she is ready I will take her to school, if not she can catch the bus. I am prepared to treat her like a mini adult and if she is late to school she has to accept the consequences.
What will be the repercussions at college if she is late? Has she disengaged from school but is looking forward to college?
My DD is a monster in the mornings - growls at me and hides back under the duvet. She's been much better since she started setting an alarm and not relying on me to wake her any more. However she does really care about being on time for school, so if your DD doesn't then that's really the problem. Could you fine or bribe her for whether she's on time or not?
The only consequence for her being late is a not very long detention at school.
Her school won't escalate the problem, or any problems apart from the most extreme, because they don't want to exclude her. Her behaviour has been so bad since year 9 that if she'd been at another school she probably would have been excluded by now (rudeness to teachers, very poor attendance her first year, walking out of lessons, refusing to leave lessons when asked, not doing homework, not turning up for exams/coursework support sessions...). The really bad behaviour that resulted in her spending a lot of last year and the year before in internal exclusion has stopped for the time being, and she is going to school regularly and doing some work in some lessons, so we're on the up, but the situation with her punctuality is still ongoing.
I think you're right that we need to step back.
And maybe do it now before her real GCSE's start.
I think from your update that it'll be hard to step back, now she's doing better at school and you obv want to keep it that way.
I have a year 9 DD who hasn't been behaving that well at school, but is improving. A few weeks ago I got fed up with the nagging to get out if bed and ready for school, so left her to it ..... the result being she didn't go at all. Her reasoning was that being late was worse than not turning up.
Our school fines if you're late too often. My 15 yr old has no detentions left and we'll knows that he'll he paying the fine out of his own precious money.
If your school isn't bothered. Don't bother with the cup of tea. Just go in, take her quilt and open her Window without a word.
Root I had this problem and it was hell. It stressed me so much I thought I would have a heart attack as I was driving to work following another major scene. Think screaming, threatening behaviour (her not me) truly horrendous.
I eventually got to the stage where I woke her and just left for work because she just caused mayhem when I woke her up. Eventually after quite a long time the school contacted me. I explained what was going on and the principal had a word with her. She improved slightly for a few days and then back to her usual routine.
I assumed the school would get back on to me but they didn't for another 6 weeks or so. I spoke to the Principal again and she asked me if she could come around to the house there and then. I work nearby so ducked out of work (made up a story) and met the Principal at my house. We went in and she walked up the stairs and woke my DD up. It was 3pm incidentally.
My DD flipped. By the time she left the Principal had told her that if she didn't commit to being there for assembly every day she would be expelled.
Nowadays I wake her and leave regardless of whether she is up or not. She is in upper 6th and almost 18. I have told her that if she leaves school she will be paying full board and if she doesn't I will leave myself and rent out our house and she can find somewhere to live for herself. I think this has worked because she pretty much gets up and goes. I didn't do this lightly, there have been lots of other behavioural issues.
Your DD is younger than mine and the only thing I can recommend is that you tell the school over and over. They have a responsibility to address the situation. I really feel for you. It is such a stressful start to the day.
Does she love her mobile phone? If so, remove it on the proviso she can only use it whilst she's on time everyday. If not a phone...anything else (clothes, pocket money, etc) that she couldn't bear to be without. Use it.
Have you sat down and had a conversation with her about why she does this? Does she struggle to get out of bed in the morning because she is tired? Is she up all night on Facebook? Is she struggling to sleep? Would a 'no electronics in the bedroom' rule help in the evenings? One of those SAD alarm clocks that wake you up gradually in the mornings? Has she got used to ignoring the 6:45 wake up because that's too early and could you agree a 7:15 call (so an extra half hour in bed) if she agrees to get up straight away?
Or is she just deliberately being a pain in the arse in which case taking a step back would be better for your blood pressure?
Go in , switch the light on, wake her and then set a really loud annoying alarm to go off in 2 minutes on the otherside of her room. She will have to get out of bed to switch it off. If that fails , take the duvet off her, if you can without a struggle.
The other option is to take her phone when she goes to bed and she can only have it back once she's dressed in the morning.
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