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Bed Time Battles with a 12-year-old

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM
  • 7 Replies

Ok, I need some input from other moms. Here's the story:

My DD is a night owl by nature. She is not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I, however, am a morning person. That's point of contention #1.

Point of contention #2 -- She's 12!

Her current bed time is 9:15, but then she can use her laptop/texting until 9:30. But because she's a night owl, she's full of energy and wants to hang out, play with me, dance around the living room, etc. at 9:30. It is very hard for her to settle down. We've tried everything, but her body clock is just that way. Fortunately, she's usually asleep by 10.

However, come morning (she has to be at school by 7:55), she is very difficult to wake up. She wants to get up on her own, but she never hears her alarm. But then she gets mad when we have to wake her up -- and she wants to take her sweet time getting ready. But God forbid we are late for school -- somehow it ends up being someone else's fault.

I know this is pretty normal 12-year-old stuff, but my childhood was far, far different and I don't how to relate to her sometimes. I am trying to find a balance between making sure she develops into a well-adjusted person and giving her room to be herself.

Any advice fellow Tween moms?

Wife to Ken
Mom to Mackenzie and Bob


by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM
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by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:07 PM

First of all, ditch that screen time before bed.  That is the absolute worst thing that you can do if you have a hard time falling asleep.  Replace it with reading or some other quiet activity that doesn't involve electronics.

As far as getting up in the morning.  Set multiple alarms in her room to see if that helps.  Have one near her bed and then another on the other side of the room for 5 minutes after the one one near her bed.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:20 PM
My daughter is the same way. I feel like I have to yell at her to get her to go to bed. Then I feel like I am being mean. I like the idea of getting them to read before bed. I think I will try that myself. Hopefully the other moms will have some good ideas we both can use.
by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:02 PM
Honestly I think the screen time before bed is a no no. Especially if its in bed. That isn't helping her calm down. Stop screen time an hour before bed and encourage her to read, write or draw quietly. But considering her behaviour I would also start sending her to bed about half an hour earlier to see if that makes an improvement in the morning. If not then I would also (on top of sending her to bed early) would wake her half an hour earlier than necessary so that by the time she *needs* to be awake and alert she is and hopefully your morning runs smoother
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM
My is DS is 12 and is also a night owl. Has been from the day was born. He goes to bed around 11 and gets up around 6:30. He was hard to wake up in elementary school but now that he's in middle school, I don't have any problems, he's more into school and enjoys it more. Usually it catches up with on Fridays and he might fall asleep after school (like today but he was also sick all week).
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by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

My dd (also 12) is also NOT a morning person, but is somewhat a nightowl.    I start getting dd ready for bed at like 7-ish, power down the electronics, play a family board gamr(it's just her and I here though) and then have her shower, get a snack, brush teeth and by that time it's already 8pm. She has to be in bed by 8:30, to help her, I have "nature music" playing on her boombox, i will usually stay in the roon(otherwise she's up on her ipod). Once the nature music goes on, she's usually asleep by song #7 or 8 they run about 4-5 minutes long.  Lately, though..we have been having problems..she's got alot of anxiety about all the tests they seem to LOVEto keep giving, (she's got 5 academic classes a day) and she usually has a test in at least one or two of those classes about twice a week.  I feel if they just TAUGHT the material instead of TESTING them on it..maybe she wouldn't be so all so ya know..tore up and wore up about it all. We are test haters! The only thing they seem to be proving to US is that they SUCK at their JOBS!

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM

You definitely have to ditch the electronics- about an hour before bed. The light they give off tells our bodies that it isn't time for bed so our natural melatonin production doesn't start like it is suppose to, that is why she has so much energy. Let her read a book with a dimly lit lamp (not so dim it will cause eye strain) and play soft music or something soothing. You can also use some lavendar oil on a cotton swab- it relaxes the body as well. You may also want to move her bedtime back a little because she isn't waking up when she needs too. If her body is getting enough sleep she will wake up with no problem.

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Review the morning rutine-- why does it take her so long to do everything? My kids get up at 7 and the two oldest are ready to leave for the bus at 7:40. If she can streamline it a little, then the later bedtime won't be a big deal.

And I agree with other folks about shutting off the laptop and phone. 

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