16yo son’s habits are driving me crazy!
I could use some practical advice to influence my son’s increasingly unproductive habits. Since SIP, he sleeps/ wakes up later and later. And when he is awake he is sooooooo lazzzzyyyyyyy! He’s 16 and strong-willed, so forcing him to get up and be productive is a recipe for disaster. Can I do it? Yes, and I have. Took his phone (I still take it overnight), gave him extra chores to “drive” productivity, etc. But it was miserable all the time and our relationship was breaking down — hasn’t actually fully recovered from that period of ongoing conflict and anger.
A typical day:
- He wakes up at 1 or 2 pm. I laugh at the days I was so dismayed that he would sleep till noon!
- Attends whatever he’s forced to wake up for — we have him set up for enrichment and volunteer stuff that he selected. An hour and a half MAX. If the appointment starts earlier he’ll most certainly go back to bed.
- Eats, gets on his phone — usually in a supine position — for a few HOURS, and sometimes actually goes back to bed to “rest” (from what????!!!!!!!!!)
- Practices basketball for an hour and a half between ~6-8
- Eats dinner
- More screen coma
- I take his phone at midnight. No screens in his room overnight. That’s our rule since forever. On the rare occasion I forget to take it he can stay up til 4 AM
- He still stays up until at least 2 AM, which of course guarantees he won’t wake up till 1 or 2 pm the next day: showering, applying his face routine (he’s obsessed with managing his acne), sometimes does exercises which of course keeps him revved up — essentially doing all the things he should be doing during the day.
- Sleeps for 12 hours. 12 HOURS!!!
I am acutely aware that his habits might trigger me more than most because I am a classic Type A. However, this routine can’t be a good thing right? I feel like he’s living half a life and it kills me to watch. I’ve asked if he’s depressed and he’s made it quite clear that the ONLY thing that makes him feel bad is when I judge his choice to exist like this. We’ve discussed all the different opportunities that open up through the simple act of being awake when the rest of the world is active. It’s exhausting and frankly just disappointing to watch him waste his youth and energy. More than anything I’m very worried that these habits might take root in such a way that influences his lifestyle in the long term. Such a lethargic way of existing rarely leads to contentment, right?