How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. This month, learn about setting proper sleeping and waking hours during the summer Read More..
How To Be a Better Dad: "Proper"
Sleeping Hours During Summer
How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting
section on SingleDad. This month, learn about setting proper sleeping and
waking hours during the summer
My name is David and I am a 46-year-old divorced dad, with
one very tired 15-year-old son. I have joint custody of my son. I’ve been
divorced for about more than 2 years. During summer whenever my son goes to his
mom’s house he stays up really late and sleeps in really late during the
mornings. Two problems: How do I approach my ex without sounding like a nagging
ex-husband? How do I approach this with my son, setting proper sleeping and
waking hours during the summer?
-David in Danger
Dear David in Danger,
begin with, you NEVER want to sound like you’re coaching your ex! Acting as if you’re better than her or
have a superiority of some sort above her will only lead you two to more
arguments, rather than solutions.
Instead, cooperate with one another and work together to come to a
compromise of something that you both can agree upon. The best way to approach this would be to simply ask for
help, and engage your ex in an honest and open conversation. Do not demand – ASK to AGREE! For instance, I would say something along
the lines of: "Let’s make a plan together" and "I’d really enjoy hearing your
input." Another approach would be
to propose your ideas and then ask for her opinion. Parenting is a two-way street, even if the couple is still
no longer married – something vital to remember as you guide your son through
adolescence and into adulthood.
One method I have found to be helpful has been to transform a small,
normally individualistic problem into a family problem. By making it everybody’s problem and
asking for help in finding a solution, you are then able to distance yourself
from the immediate situation.
when confronting your son there’s really two routes you could choose to take:
tough love or rewards. Personally,
I prefer the tough love method – although both may work depending on your
relationship with your son. The
tough love method is basically stating that your son does not have the right to
do whatever he wishes whenever he so pleases, but that he must abide by the
house rules if he wants to do or get something. You’re not being an entirely strict parent, but you are,
however, putting down your foot when the time calls to guide your son in the
right direction. The rewards
method is exactly what it claims to be: rewards. You reward your son when he has done something you are
pleased with and decide is worthy of reward, and punishments are also made when
he does something you dislike – such as disobeying the schedule set for
sleeping in the house rules.
Additionally, there is a third method by which you sit down
and have a heart-to-heart talk with your growing boy. Relate to him; show him that you’re not there to ruin his
summer but there to teach him vital life lessons that are needed in the everyday
adult world. I would mention how
you remember what it’s like to be his age, soaking in every last beautiful drop
of summer slumber before school starts up again. Then propose something to do in the morning together to get
him up earlier, such as going out to breakfast together or walking your family
pet in the morning. Find a reason
to create some interaction, and give him a reason to wake up in the
morning. This will not only make
you happier because your son won’t be rolling out of bed in the late afternoon,
but it will also help strengthen your relationship as you spend more quality
time together. Good luck, and keep
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