Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Teen Daughter Takes a Nap Every Day After School

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is an A-student in her high school. She is conscientious about her work, and she helps a little bit around the house. In general, I think she is doing a good job. My concern is that this semester she comes home from school and wants to take a nap for at least an hour before starting her homework. She does get up and complete her work, but it worries me that she naps virtually every day. The only days she doesn’t nap are when she has her after-school clubs. If I want her to do her chores, which are minimal, she claims she’s tired. How do I reconcile letting her nap and making sure she has a well-balanced life? I think that studies, rest and responsibilities at home are all important. -- Napping Teen

DEAR NAPPING TEEN: Taking a nap before doing homework may be a great idea in that it gives your daughter a refresh from her full day at school. This could even be a contributor to her doing so well in school. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens do need more sleep than adults. It’s best for them to have eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, but because of homework and other factors, they often sleep less. Taking a brief nap after school is considered to be an effective way for teens to fortify themselves. So, yes, your daughter’s nap is likely beneficial to her.

That doesn’t mean that she should get a pass on household chores. Since she is doing so well in school, create a chore schedule for her that is complementary to her overall schedule without taking too much time from her studies. Make sure she knows that chores are requirements, too.