As a mother of two teens I am always on the look out for tips and advice on how to raise well-adjusted, sensitive (to the world and able to empathise) and happy human beings. When I was pregnant with my first son my Zulu mother Zane was the one giving tips and advice, she was my rock when the baby came. I didn’t know what to do with this tiny person who loved sleeping but couldn’t be bothered with his crib at night. For the first two weeks he slept on my chest; he then moved on to resting his head on my arm. Yes, for almost 16 years I have been responsible for the sleep health of three little people. Read on for some tips I’ve found.
I was disappointed – but mainly pleased, I suppose – when my son reached his teens and also when my daughter followed, tolearn that television was misleading us. These teen people don’t just eat and sleep. Far from it! One time my daughter said she’d forgotten to do something and I found her lunch in her bag. They are just too busy sometimes, which is why one of my responsibilities as their mother is to make sure they eat, the get where they need to be and that they sleep.
Be warned, these tips might be viewed by your teen as you policing them and trying to ruin their life. Wear the badge proudly!
No to bad habits
Sit your teen down and have the drug talk and explain how smoking and drinking can disrupt their lives. I have found that this talk begins with peer pressure and the need to fit in with the crowd – let your teen know that life is about making choices. My son is a sportsman, so the talk wasn’t that hard to have. Don’t contradict yourself, don’t leave alcohol lying around in the house – know when you’ve had your limit. I am strict about stimulants in my house, this includes coffee and sugar.
Have a siesta
To my children’s friends my house is known as the tranquil zone because on the weekend you can find teens playing video games and an hour later there are teens napping all over the place. Give your children a chance to wind down – however they choose to do that. At my house you’ll find my daughter reading, my youngest playing a video game or building lego and my oldest sleeping or listening to music.
Make the bedroom inviting
I am always accused of being a neat freak when I suggest that everybody keep their bedrooms clean and fresh-smelling. It is unlikely that they’ll do it because you tell them it is nice, insist on it anyway – they will grow to appreciate it.
Bedtime and Wake up Time
It is very easy to keep changing your sleeping schedules according to the days, but this doesn’t do much for body. Try to maintain a consistent sleep routine during the week and on the weekend.
As a side note I would like to say that you can’t expect to establish routines and rules in the teens – start them young.