DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage son just came home from camp, and all he does is sleep. He has been home for a few days now, and literally I cannot get him out of bed until after 12. I know he had a rigorous schedule at camp, but I feel like I am missing out on enjoying time with my boy before school starts up again. Should I be worried? What can I do to entice him to get up? I don’t want to resort to punishment, which is my girlfriend’s strategy. I do want him to get up before midday. -- Wake Up, Cleveland
DEAR WAKE UP: Give your son a week to acclimate to life at home. He is probably grateful to be able to sleep in for a few days. At most camps, children are up and out of their cabins by 7 or 8 a.m. and are “on” all day and into the evening. His body could be in real need of simple rest.
After a week, you can let him know that it is time to get back into a regular routine. Make it clear that you expect him to get up earlier each day. This will ease him back into a school schedule and also give the two of you time to reconnect. Be aware, though, that as a teenager, he will probably wake up wanting to spend more time engaging with his friends than with you. That is normal. Establish a balance by appealing to his heart. Make it clear to him that you miss him and want to spend some time with him.