When The Teens Won’t Go to Bed

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My oldest is in matric this year. We are all so proud and hubby and I feel spectacularly old and just grateful that we got to be his parents. That we got be parents to all three of them. Children just grow up so quickly! Not long ago both my teens were in bed by 08:30 PM, then in a blink of an eye we had to extend the bedtime to  09:30 PM then there were no longer any bed times just TV switch off times and curfews.

My son is dedicated to getting great marks in his final year of school because not only will they be used to judged him for the rest of his life but he also wants to prove to himself that putting in great effort can yield great results. This is the boy who's been a B student without breaking a sweat, same boy we've never really pushed because he did so well at school, sports, was a good friend and great brother.

The first thing to go when he rearranged his priorities was his cricket. He's kept his rugby because it keeps him fit and gives him something to do on Sunday mornings and the team doesn't demand too much for him because it's a social team. He's also kept his soccer because  -- just like his little brother -- he loves it.

He  also had readjusted his sleeping time by cutting back to  just nine hours. This worried me because he's always been at his best with at least 11 hours of sleep. Now he's staying up an hour and a half later and waking up a half hour earlier to do school work.

My first reaction was to be protective and get him to sleep the usual amount and find the hours to study during the day but I realised that it's his decision. That all our kids need from us it a "hey buddy, the alarm went off five minutes ago, I've made a pot of tea." All it takes is support. Even his dates with friends are no longer called "game sessions" but "Biology study group."

I'm now doing by best to stand on the sidelines and offer support and not boss him around. How to help your teen going a stressful time

1. Offer comfort

2. Make sure they know that you're there to help

3. Listen out for the snooze button

4. Make tea (or coffee)

5. Give them space

6. Don't hover.

7. Allow them recovery time on their Sealy beds.

Do you have any more tips for helping a teen who's going a stressful time? Please share.

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