Teens and Bedtime: Why You Should Call the Shots

by | Sep 17, 2023 | Parenting Style, Setting Limits, Wellness | 0 comments

Navigating bedtime with our Gen Z teen daughters can be quite the challenge. We might think that being lenient about bedtimes is a good step towards giving our teens more responsibilities or freedom. While I think it’s super important to give our teens more responsibilities but bedtimes is not the best way to start.

In fact, ensuring they have a firm and strict bedtime is one of the most crucial steps we can take. It’s so important that our digitally connected Gen Z teens get the sleep they need. Teens need at least 9 hours of sleep. You probably heard me talk about your teen’s brain being under construction. Well, most of that construction is being done during their sleep. However, most of the teens I know are sleep deprived. Apart from the effect in their learning this also has a huge effect on their emotional health.

But it’s unrealistic to rely solely on teens to independently manage their bedtime. With the addictive nature of scrolling on screens and being on social media, it’s almost impossible for teens to put their devoices away themselves. They need our help.

Playing Video games with your teen

Tip 1: Establish Non-Negotiable Bedtime Rules

Setting a consistent bedtime is essential. It provides structure and ensures that your teenager gets the right amount of sleep. That’s why I think bedtime rules should be non-negotiable. Don’t get me wrong; I am a big believer in negotiating with your teen, also about household rules. In my digital product, “How to Respond When Your Teen Breaks the Rules,” I delve into the art of how to negotiate with your teens [there are worksheets, cheet sheets and what to do and not to do, including how to respond when your teen breaks the rules]. But I also think parents should have a few non-negotiables. And I highly recommend having bed time rules that are non negotiable. Sit down with your teen and work out bedtime rules together, empowering them to have a say in their bedtime routines while understanding the importance of a good night’s sleep.

How to Respond When Your Teen Breaks the Rules

The Self-Care Starter Kit

Tip 2: Encourage a Calming Bed Routine

Encourage your teenager to replace screen time with a calming bedtime routine. Reading a book, practicing relaxation exercises, or listening to soothing music can be great alternatives to scrolling through their phone. The goal is for your teen to look forward to their daily quality alone time before sleep. Stress the importance of mindfulness and solitude as tools to quiet their overthinking minds and reduce stress. We all know our teens need this. Suggest practices like reading, journaling, or meditation as part of their nightly routine. Let her use apps like Calm, Headspace or Smiling Mind to explore mindfulness exercises. And use my “Selfcare Starterkit for Teens” [a collection of empowering printables designed to reduce stress, boost mood, and foster self-love] to help her prirotize her mental health.

Tip 3: Help Your Teen to Unplug

Talk to your daughter about the importance of a good night’s sleep and discuss the benefits of putting the phone away, such as less overthinking, less anxiety and improved focus. Establish clear rules about phone usage in the bedroom. Make it a household rule that phones should be put away at a specific time before bedtime and yes that includes all of you πŸ˜‰ Designate a charging station outside the bedroom where she can leave her phone overnight. This removes the temptation to use the phone when she should be sleeping. Buy her an alarm clock to shut down her argument that she needs her phone to wake up. Even a turned off phone impacts her sleep (strange but true).

Tip 4: Transform the Bedroom into a Sanctuary

Encourage your daughters to transform her sleeping space into their own cozy sanctuary. This could involve fun DIY projects like room decoration, selecting comfy bedding, or adding calming elements like fairy lights. Make sure to use black out curtains so that the room is dark at night. When they’re involved in creating their sleep haven, it becomes a place they want to retreat to. This year we redecorated my daughter’s room and changed it into her own comfy cocoon, including her own dreamy bed nook. I wrote about this in this blog.Β 

In conclusion, moms, when it comes to your daughter’s sleep routine, remember that firmness can be your ally. Bedtime isn’t a negotiation; it’s a necessity. With a sprinkle of humor, a dash of parental authority, and a whole lot of understanding, you can help your teen embrace better sleep habits.

So, go ahead, set those non-negotiable bedtime rules for your daughter, create her sleep haven, and lead by example. By prioritizing her well-being, you’re not just ensuring she gets the rest she needs; you’re also teaching her valuable life skills.

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Hey there, IΒ΄m Marielle

As a parenting coach and life coach for teen girls, I have seen firsthand the impact that a strong mother-daughter bond can have. In my blog, I share my insights, experiences, and tips to help mothers create deeper connections with their daughters, navigate the difficult moments, and feel more confident in their parenting journey.

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