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When Teens Refuse To Get Up For School

Hi Mark,

I have a question regarding my 14 year old son who has chronically been sleeping in for the last 2 months. He refuses to go to bed at night---or goes, then sneaks down to the computer or out to a friends house at night. He has missed over 30 days of school and now we are heading back after the holidays and do not know how to break this pattern. Repeated calls in the morning to get up do not work. He responds in loud and foul language to leave him alone. What do we do?

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Here are some tips:

1. Flick the lights on and off a few times.
2. Pull the cover off of him.
3. Push him out of bed, gently.
4. Say "breakfast is on the table” (don't say this if it isn't true).
5. Set an alarm clock. It should have a noticeable ring, but not deafening. Set it for the time he needs to get up and put it by his bed.
6. Shake him a bit and say "rise and shine" … "time to get up" … or something like that. Use his name and mention something specific that is going to happen that day like a test in a particular class.
7. Turn on a television or a radio loud enough that the talk will interrupt his sleep (but not so loud that it’s going to hurt his ears or annoy the neighbors).
8. If he sneaks out of the house late at night – call the police and report him as a runaway.
9. Disable the computer so he cannot get on it through the night.
10. Use the strategy outlined in session #3 – online version of the ebook – entitled “When You Want Something From Your Kid.”

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