So how do you turn ‘a tween who sleeps in’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch this teachable moment here.
[00:00:00] How do you turn a tween who wants to sleep in into a teachable moment? Let’s find out.[Music].
[00:00:17] Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is that channel where I talk about sex education and help you get more comfortable with talking to your kids about love, sex, relationships, and growing up. Once a week, I share a teachable moment and this week is about teens sleeping in. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a daughter who’s twelve and I’ve noticed she’s starting to sleep in a lot more. So, how can you turn that into a teachable moment?
[00:00:49] Well, there are a few things that you can do. You can talk about the importance of sleep, and that the brain is growing and developing. It might be one size now, but it needs to be way bigger. For that to happen, a whole lot of work needs to be done, so it’s important for your body to have enough sleep. Because when you sleep, the brain does a lot of its working and sorting out.
That’s one of the ways that I explain it to my daughter. I keep it simple and don’t worry too much about being completely accurate. You might have more conversations about this later, so you can explain it differently each time. Once, you might explain it one way, another a different way, you might simplify it when they’re younger, then add more information as they get older. I’ll talk to my daughter often about the importance of sleep. She’s at the age now where I need to remind her that during the school night, she does need to get to bed earlier and if she’s having trouble sleeping, we try to look at why that is. It could be that she’s in the other room on her screen.
[00:02:02] A part of this conversation and opportunity is for you to start bringing in rules about devices. The golden rule that people recommend is, ‘No devices in the bedroom.’ Why? Because if they do, they could be up all-night messaging people or looking at videos. Devices are addictive.
I even find myself stuck to my phone or checking Facebook a few times a day. So, how could I expect my kids not to do it as well? It’s a good opportunity to talk about what’s expected in your family regarding devices. Make sure that if they are going to bed that they haven’t snuck something in.
[00:03:05] I was reading a blog post the other day and the author was talking about how kids will even put the phone onto charge and then sneak it out later. You can trust your child, but you still need to check on them because it’s normal for them to make mistakes. We need to allow them to do this but also make sure we catch them and help them make better choices when they do.
Talking about how their internal clock is changing is also important. For example, my husband works in the mining industry and he gets up at four, every morning, without fail. Talking to my daughter about the fact that we get into patterns is important since when we go through puberty, your patterns change. This means their internal clock changes and they’re wired to stay awake later at night and sleep in more during the morning.
[00:04:25] It’s good to be aware of that and to be able to explain it to your child. Say to them, ‘Yeah, I know it sucks you don’t get up in the afternoon and go to school,’ because how many high schools do you know that actually take this into consideration? None of them do. Often, it’s all about what suits teachers, not the students. There’s so much research that says that teens should be starting school mid-morning to lunchtime because of what’s happening to them biologically and chemically. But, it’s a great opportunity to talk to your child about the fact that they’re fighting nature. It sucks but it’s a fact of life.
[00:05:16] So those are some of the options. If your younger child is just starting to go through puberty, it’s a beautiful opportunity to start talking to them about all the other changes that are happening so that they’re prepared and ready for it. You must do it early since you’re not going to talk about pubic hair when they’ve already grown a beard, or they’ve had a forest of hair for a couple of years. You want to talk before the changes happen because then that way, you’re preparing them for their changes. They will know that they can ask you questions and get answers because you talked about it with them.
[00:06:00] So that was how to turn a tween who sleeps in into a teachable moment. If there’s anything that you think you could add to it, I’d love to hear about it because sometimes, I think of things later or you might even come up with a different idea. That’s what teachable moments are, finding the opportunity, grabbing it then seeing what you can do with it. Okay, have fun.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.