Teenagers can be very unpredictable and have been the cause of great stress for many adults. It has been said that these mysterious beings can be moody and volatile. I once heard of one man who came across 3 teenage girls living in his basement. He was completely caught off guard as all three simultaneously began giggling, laughing, cackling, singing, shouting, crying and blubbering...all in a matter of 30 seconds. He was so shaken that he immediately fled the home to the safety and quiet of the local dog kennel.
I met one woman who found a male teenager coming out of a room on the upper floor of her home. She was convinced that the being was a zombie…as only something dead could cause the smell that was wafting out of the space behind him. Even after the zombie left the home, the odor remained. The woman entered the room and found a green sock stuffed inside a water bottle. Her husband eventually found her passed out on the floor when he arrived home from work. When she revived, all she could say was…“It used to be white.” “It used to be white.” To this day, no one knows exactly what she meant.
Perhaps the most dangerous situation that you may stumble upon is that of a sleeping teenager. If you happen to find yourself living in a home with one or more teenagers here are 15 simple steps to rid yourself of a sleeping teenager.
Step 1: Counter the awakening. It is extremely beneficial if you can engage the teenager before they fall asleep in your home. Prevention is 95% of the success. It may, at first glance, seem reasonable to not allow the teenager highly caffeinated drinks like coffee or Mountain Dew. However, if you can keep the caffeine flowing, any sleep may not occur until the teenager is at school…in which case then, the sleeping teenager is someone else’s problem.
Step 2: Empower the teenager. If caffeine is not an option, I would suggest that you calmly, (note: teenagers can sense fear), suggest having the teenager set an alarm for themselves. Caution: this may result in an irrational response from the teenager. “Ah! You always do this to me! You don’t know what it’s like! You just don’t understand what it is like to be a teenager! Why are you so mean to me?”
Step 3: Refrain from reacting: Do not attempt to rationalize with an irrational teenager. This will do nothing but raise your blood pressure, and you will potentially find yourself hospitalized for heart palpitations, eye twitches, or perhaps, even a broken tooth or filling caused from aggressive teeth grinding.
Step 4: Ask the teenager what time they need to be awake. You should record their answer, as you may need it when you are accused of wrong doing. (You will be accused of wrong doing).
Step 5: Affirm the teenager: State, “I will try and make sure you are up by then.” Note: if the time is 6:00…the wake up process should either begin 30 or more minutes before the necessary time, or 30 minutes after the suggested time, but never right at the time. If you should choose the 30 minute early option go to step 6. If you choose the 30 minutes after option…then this is not your first encounter with teenagers and you are likely trying to teach the teenager a lesson. Decent idea, but it is not going to work…go to step 6.
Steps 6-12 should be performed at, roughly, 5 minute intervals.
Step 6: 30 minutes before the time of the awakening: Gently knock on the door and say, “Hannah, (the name is totally random and should not be thought to be referring to anyone in particular…especially not referring to my first born,) time to get up.”
Step 7: Gently open the door and say, “Hannah…you really need to get up now.”
Step 8: Open the door and speak loudly, “Hannah…get up!”
Step 9: Throw the door open, flip on the bright ceiling light and yell, “Get up!” At this point names are no longer necessary as anyone in the house should be aroused by the occurrences in the home.
Step 10: Approach the blob that is beneath the comforter and shake it, “Get up! You are going to be late”
Step 11: Jump on the blob.
Step 12: Shake the blob. Jump on the blob. Then, rip the comforter free from the blob.
Step 13: 15 minutes AFTER the needed wake up time. Throw the door open…again. Turn on the light…again. Shake the blob…again. Jump on the blob…again. Pull off the comforter…again. Yell, “Get out of bed! You fell asleep again! You only have 15 minutes left to get ready.”
Step 14: Cold water. Nothing more needs to be said…except, “School starts in 5 minutes.”
Step 15: Endure the next 5 minutes and listen to the teenager’s inevitable words, “Dad! I am going to be late for school! Why didn’t you get me up!”
It is inevitable, that if you happen to have a teenager living in your home, you will likely need to engage in some steps to wake…and reawake them on at least one, if not every, school day morning. Let’s be honest with ourselves…we all follow similar patterns in our own lives. We often ebb and flow in our choices, our commitments and in our relationships. Sometimes we need to be “reawakened,” especially in our spiritual journeys. We need to be reawakened to the goodness of God. We need to be reawakened to the beauty of His Gospel. Thankfully He is standing near us…ready to help…and if necessary…He may have a bucket of cold water.
Luke 13:6-9 gives us an amazing picture of a loving God, leading the way to reawaken our hearts toward Him. He cares, He digs, He fertilizes. He takes the initiative to reawaken us to bear fruit, to bear goodness, kindness, love, peace, joy, patience and self control.