EL PASO, Texas -- This is the last week of summer vacation for the vast majority of Borderland students. That means kids will have to get used to that early morning alarm, especially after a year of virtual learning, which could be a difficult transition.
Dr. Sarah Martin, Chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso, said if you have young kids the best thing to do is implement a consistent sleep schedule.
This is easier for the little ones, according to Dr. Martin. Based on her experience, younger kids are also more compliant and cooperative with your plan to have them wake up especially on the first day of school.
"The biological clock of a younger child is they like to get up, they naturally, for the most part, like to get up early and then go to bed early," Dr. Martin said.
Plus, Dr. Martin said, younger kids follow directions much more easily from their parents compared to teens.
"Telling an eight-year-old it is bedtime, because we have to start practicing getting up at seven o'clock because you need to be at school at 8:30, is a much simpler process than with a teenager."
She said teens will likely still go to bed late during the first week so school adding that it's just not a priority for them based.
The best thing you can do as a teen parent is give gentle reminders. Try to convince your teen to maybe go to bed one hour earlier, one day at a time, until they get to a normal schedule. But the biggest tip Dr. Martin recommends for all parents, be patient.
"Teenagers need just as much sleep as younger children," Dr. Martin said. "You can give them information and then hopefully, they will prepare and they'll start getting their sleep schedule, like awake during the day and sleeping at night, on track. But really, they have to do that themselves especially if they're in high school."
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