I have the privilege of being home all summer, and this stay-up-late-sleep-forever schedule can drive me nuts. Especially if I want to go out and do something fun. If I worked during the summer and knew my kids were home sleeping half the day away, it would still drive me nuts. Shouldn’t they get up and do something productive?
When I confronted my children with this question a few years ago, they came back with a question of their own: “Why?” I sputtered a little over a reasonable answer, and the questioning continued: “Why should we get up unless we have to go to work? What difference does it make if we sleep past noon?”
The best answer I could think of was, “Because by the time you get up it’s too late to do anything fun!” To which I received the perfectly logical reply, “Just tell us the night before if you want to go somewhere, and we’ll be sure to get up.” I couldn’t come up with a good argument to that.
When they were younger (middle school age), I did have a rule that in order to play any video or computer games, they had to be out of bed by 10:00 (they managed to stretch this to 10:30). This plan was only partly successful: yes, they would get up, but then they’d sit groggily on the couch, staring at whatever was on TV (seems like we watched a lot of “How It’s Made” during those summers).
I finally agreed that as long as their chores were done whenever they got up, I would leave them alone unless there was a good reason for them to be out of bed.
Besides, once my husband leaves for work, I have the whole (quiet) house to myself!