How to Get Your Teenager to Use an Alarm Clock in 5 Easy Steps

I’m convinced there are some hidden evil forces behind the fact that most high schools actually start in the middle of the night. Or in the least, bus service to taxi teens to high school starts in the middle of the night. Why this is still the case- even after study after study about the nocturnal body clocks of adolescents continues to prove that we’ve had elementary and high school school start times conversely wrong for decades, is beyond me.

Diehards will claim it’s all about the abundance of after school sports in high schools, part time jobs, and other activities that have long forced high school tardy bells to promptly start ringing at or before 7 a.m., but I’m not buying it. Since educators are all about innovation for the sake of a better educational environment, can someone please try to adjust high school start time to better suit the needs of the brains and bodies that are sitting in high school desks?

Teen waking up to an alarm clock
Shutterstock/ VGstockstudio

I digress, because until such changes happen, you’ll continue to find parents all across the country turning into human alarm clocks for their bleary eyed teenagers for FOUR WHOLE YEARS.

Yes, parents are continuing to disrupt their own morning routine by having to wake up their teenagers for school for FOUR WHOLE YEARS- as in, their entire high school career. 

But listen closely parents, because it doesn’t have to be this way. We have this newfangled thing called AN ALARM CLOCK, and I’m going to tell you how to introduce it into your teenager’s life. Just follow these five easy steps to teach your teenagers what alarm clocks are all about (a.k.a. what personal responsibility really looks and feels like), and you should* be good to go for all of high school. *Disclaimer; should be. SHOULD. BE.

1. Blow their minds and tell them alarms clocks still exist.

The first thing that’s going to happen when you tell your teenager you’re going to buy them an alarm clock, is them confidently claiming they don’t need one of those “antiques” because there’s a perfectly good alarm clock on their phone. See #2.

2. Blow their minds again, and tell them they can’t trust their phone.

“But Mom! My phone alarm works fine!” Uh huh, sure it does. And also, phone batteries never die, and you never, ever misplace your phone either, right? Well here’s the thing, alarm clocks rarely end up in the backseat of your BFF’s car, or in the pocket of your jeans  (which are now in the washing machine BTW.)

3. Then go buy one.

Usher them down the clock aisle at your local Target, but first make sure they can tell time. Yes, you read that right. Apparently there is an entire generation of kids walking around who don’t know what the little hand and big hand do, so be prepared for a time telling lesson first. After that, go ahead and just get a regular old digital one, because hands are hard, yo. Get the one with a battery back up too, and when they ask where the USB charger goes, just laugh and laugh and laugh…..

4. Teach them how to set it.

They’re going be shocked and disheartened to realize they can’t talk to this type of alarm clock requesting it set itself. Total. Bummer. Mom!  Rather, they’ll have to push down buttons for several minutes in succession to set the actual real time. Don’t worry though, because these kids possess superhuman finger tapping strength. Because texting.

5. And go for it!

The night before the first day of school, explain to them how this whole alarm clock thing is going to work. It will only take one sentence to do this, and it goes like this, “Remember to set your alarm for school every night and when it goes off,  GET UP.”  That’s about it. These are kids that have mastered being able to use 25 different apps on their phone at the same time, so don’t for one single second think that using an alarm clock is a difficult task for them, or asking too much of them,  because it’s not. I repeat, IT. IS. NOT. TOO. HARD. 

Parents, it’s high time for you to go cold turkey on waking up your teenagers for school. Don’t do it anymore. If you’re like me, and waking up a teen daily ended up with one or both of us in tears or screaming at each other, CUT THE WAKE UP CORD ASAP.  I’m so glad I did. Will there be days they fail?  Of course there will be, but those days will become fewer and fewer, I promise. They can do this, and you can do this! You can thank me later.


Why Teens Need More Sleep 

Moms of Teens, Here’s the Letter You’ve Have Been Starving For 

About Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer and adjunct librarian at Pasco-Hernando State College. Find her writing all over the internet, but her work mostly on the dinner table. Find her on Facebook 
and on twitter at @melissarunsaway

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