Build-A-Story: Help us find sleep-deprived parents of teens
We've all heard about how teens don't get enough sleep. But less is said about how hard their parents try to change that--with some moms and dads literally patrolling dark hallways during the wee hours for signs of light through the bedroom door. I write a lot about what I think of as the sociology of family life -- the way we live, our daily habits, how and why we do the sometimes funny things we do-- and I've heard stories about bleary-eyed parents who set their alarms to midnight or 1 a.m. so they can prod their teens toward bed.
It's all more complicated in the digital age, when kids sleep with cell phones and when laptops are open on bedside tables. It's almost impossible for some kids to unplug. Parents also feel conflicted about whether to insist on sleep when kids have more homework to do.
So what is life like for parents who find work midnight shifts as sleep cops? Are parents sleep-deprived, too?
Research on sleep deprivation among teens is pretty convincing. Only one in five gets enough sleep. Some parents have resorted to taking away cell phones or computers at a certain hour. One mom lamented that, while everyone expects parents of newborns to be tired at the office the next day, few think about the poor souls who are raising teens. What about you? Are you tired as you read this, and how do you deal with a son or daughter burning the midnight oil? Please email. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donna St. George
| August 17, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
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