What to Do When Your Tween Wakes Up Grumpy

2 years ago

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My pre-teen daughter wakes up so grumpy every morning.

It ruins the whole morning before she leaves for school. I miss the days when she was little and woke up singing. Any ideas to get her out of her morning funk?


My Daughter is Grumpy

Image: Helga Weber via Flickr

Dear Grumpy's Mom,

I'm not an expert on sleep patterns, but I believe that the only people (over the age of four) who wake up in the morning singing are those created by the Disney animation team. Because the rest of us have to deal with the harsh reality of getting on with our day, which unfortunately often involves abandoning the comfort of our beds and heading into the cruel, cold world, and/or school.

Even so, I, personally, usually wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (like a rabid squirrel), so you should probably consider trading in your daughter and having me come live with you instead. Please confirm which exotic locale I should report to for this exciting cohabitation opportunity.

But if you're one of those "helicopter moms" who's attached to her daughter and wants her to continue to be part of the "family," you're going to have to try a different approach. Good luck figuring out what that is!

Oh, wait, I'm supposed to provide one, right?

Is it possible that she is not getting enough sleep? The solution could be as simple as adjusting her bedtime a bit, and I know there's not a child in the world who doesn't welcome an earlier lights out!

If your daughter's grumpiness manifests itself in noncommunication, count your blessings. You can tell her that you understand that she's not a morning person, and there is nothing wrong with that (white lie) but that you expect a certain standard of civility.

Even in the morning. Even years before her first cup of coffee. Set up a routine where part of breakfast is saying good morning when she comes into the kitchen.

If the grumpiness is more along the surly lines, you can insist on civility. Not being a morning person is not an excuse for rudeness.

Make clear to her what kind of behavior is acceptable and what isn't and have clear consequences.

But have that conversation in the evening.

Good luck!

Marinka, TMH

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