Advice on waking a teenager

November 23, 2012

Please note this is how I wake my teenager up and advice may not be applicable to all teenagers as they are individual and temperamental.
Step one, we have appointment at 2pm so the waking process begins at 9.30 any later and disaster may befall you. I generally start with a cheery text with xx’s sent whilst I’m walking home from work, it is safe as there is considerable distance between me and slumbering youth.
Step two the phone call 15 mins later also done before I have reached home, this is also a relatively safe method as there is no way that the phone will be answered.
Step three entering the house making as much noise as possible to alert teenager of presence to prevent alarm and possible extreme reactions.
Step four, another phone call there is a slim possibility at this point that the phone might be answered and your task is completed by having an awake teenager. Ha! In your dreams.
Step five. 10am is the cut off time if teenager not awake by 10am you are never going to make 2pm appointment and you know it. Step five is the moment you realise you may have to breach the bedroom! Take time to calm yourself.
Step six, time to tackle the stairs one sometimes useful option before going up the stairs is to call their name, a delicate balance has to be found here, you mustn’t sound angry or too cheerful both may initiate violent or angry responses. If you are really really luck you will achieve a verbal response that sounds coherent enough that you can retire to living room job done, however….

Step seven, climbing the stairs ,this must be done cautiously loud enough to warn teenager of imminent bedroom incursion but not so loud as to indicate hostile action. Once again if you are lucky this alone will initiate a verbal response indicating they are awake. Warning the verbal responses can range from the defensive ‘ok I’m up’ to ‘fuck off’ this you have to deal with as you feel appropriate.

Step eight, the door knock very similar to step seven and will generally initiate the same responses. This step is your last hope if this doesn’t work you will have to enter the bedroom. I tend to give the door knock several tries as it’s easier to retreat than enter

Step nine, first check you have suitable footwear, sturdy hard-wearing with good thick soles, make sure you have your escape route memorised. Concentrate on the job at hand, which is to wake up teenager for appointment, do not! I repeat do not once in room become distracted by mess, odours or suspicious articles. Get in and get out with as little negative interaction as possible. Find your calm centre, fix neutral smile and enter.

Step ten, let’s be honest whether you choose to call out first then poke, prod or pull covers off you are now taking your life into your own hands in this moment. Not only this but how you behave has a direct correlation to the mood your teenager will wake up in and this mood will affect how quickly said teenager will get ready. Your mood will be reflected back to you ten fold.

Step eleven, fake it like you’re after winning an oscar, smile, encourage, gently joke and bribe if necessary. Arguing is for fools, early heart attacks and worry lines. You can always go for a jog or get drunk later, and there is always the possibility of revenge once you are a grandparent, or even at meal times when you force feed them salmon.

Remember if you make it to appointment at 2pm it’s a win regardless of what had to happen to make it happen. Other methods are available.


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Caroline Criado-Perez

A Pox on the Patriarchy


Lady things, explained.


"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

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