Got Teenagers? Tips for an Easier Morning Routine

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my problem to deal with. No one else seems to care.

When The Girl leaves the house to meet her carpool, yogurt smoothie in hand, she’s doing exactly what she’s supposed to do, just not the way I would do it.

The Boy couldn’t be more different from his sister. Like me, he’s a clock-watcher. Unlike me, he’s a little more relaxed about the clock. He rarely gets up right when I call him at 6:55, but by the time The Hubs makes a second call, around 7:10, The Boy is usually ready to go. (If he’s not, I swing by his bedroom on my way to get my breakfast and remind him of the time. This always does the trick.) He takes his ADHD meds, eats some breakfast, watches a bit of the Today show. When 7:40 rolls around, he heads to his bedroom to dress for the day. After that, because he’s still waiting for his meds to kick in, some combination of the following takes place: he brushes his teeth, plays with the cats, combs his hair, notices the cat hair on his shirt, uses the lint roller, gets the dog to do her tricks, gives her a treat, opens the blinds, takes out the trash or the recycling. Mo matter what else is going on, at precisely 8:05, The Boy reminds his father that it’s time to hit the road.

Which is not to suggest that The Hubs is always ready to leave the house at 8:05. Oh, no. Of the four Foodies, The Hubs is by far the least conscious of the clock. The early years of our marriage featured many heated discussions about the virtues of being on time (read: ten minutes early) vs. the merits of not wasting time on waiting for other people to show up when you could, instead, have spent that time at home, getting ready. Over the 24 years we’ve been together, though, we’ve negotiated a peace treaty. It goes something like this: if you’re the only one who will be late, be as late as you want. If you’re going to make someone else late, you need to be on time. And, to The Hubs’ credit, The Boy has never once been late for school. He’s walked through the door of his first class exactly as the final bell is ringing, but he’s never been marked tardy.

When I was an exhausted parent of toddlers, a friend with teenage sons once told me “I know this is hard to believe now, but the day will come when your biggest challenge is getting your children out of bed.” I dreamed of that day. Now that it’s arrived, I try to face that challenge while keeping in mind what’s really important: starting the day on a peaceful note and looking forward to coming home again in the evening, to a home where each person is respected and loved.

This post is part of BlogHer's Rush Hour Tips editorial series, made possible by Got Milk?

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