It may take a while, but if you have asked the hard questions and your child is beginning to see a pattern, there is hope. After you and your child identify what habits are not working, you can move on to the next phase, which is changing the behavior.
- Choose one piece of the problem to work on at a time. For example: if they need to go to sleep at 9pm AND they need to get up at 6:30, but they have been going to bed at 11pm and getting up at 9am all summer long. Have them begin a night time routine at 8 with lights out at 9pm. The morning wakeup time will flow out of the nighttime rituals.
- Establish a reward system for the length of time that they choose to do the right thing. So if they have lights out at 9 for the entire week, they get to stay up late and watch 2 movies on the weekend. If they do it for a month, they get to go to their favorite store and pick out a prize.
- Help your children understand the consequences of refusing to change their behavior. It is okay to take away privileges and prizes if they decide not to make wise choices.