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Why not try behavior modification?

By Staff | Aug 29, 2014

In reading much of the “research” that has been released in the past week or so on the issue of starting school later for teenagers, I find I am just not fully convinced we should all change everything to allow these kids to sleep later.

How about the kids go to bed earlier? There is a novel idea. One of the articles from the Wall Street Journal indicates that teens tend to stay up later studying or using electronic devices. Easy fix: study earlier and turn the phones off.

As a mother of two teens (and two more who have grown beyond), I see in our home that if they go to bed earlier, they get up with no problem. Having breakfast is always a good thing, too, to give energy for the school day. And I can attest to the fact that if there is something going on my kids want to do early, they have absolutely no problem getting up and being successful at that activity.

The studies also give statements of fewer car accidents involving teen drivers when school starts after 8:30 a.m. My answer to this is: why are all these teens driving? We pay excessive amounts of taxes for school systems which include buses. Here in Jefferson we are spending $3 million on a new bus garage over the next year. Let’s put the kids on the buses!

We have become a society of parents with the mindset of “give” and our kids have the mindset of “expect” and “mine.” That’s where our changes need to be made. There is no need for so many teens to drive to school everyday. And if there concerns over accidents and unsafe driving practices, then parents need to step up and curtail so much vehicle use.

While the call will now go out about afterschool sports and activities and the need for students to have cars-that’s where our school system can step up and provide activity buses. Yes, a little more cost, but if the concern is safety of our kids, then cost should not be the deciding factor.

It just seems so easy to look at an issue and call for change rather than call for responsibility. Nothing will ever suit anyone if the “studies” constantly show that change in anything but personal responsibility is called for. A little discipline and structure in the home could be a more easy fix.