Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
That’s because it is during this period that teenagers undergo significant development in their body and brain. Moreover, the transition to adulthood entails changes that impact their personality, emotions, family and social life, and academic performance.
Teenagers who get too little sleep are vulnerable to excessive drowsiness and lack of concentration, mental health disorders, and serious illnesses like diabetes and long-term cardiovascular disease. What’s more, they tend to suffer from poor decision-making while exhibiting high-risk behaviors, like drunk driving.
These teenagers are also more likely to get involved in drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, risky sexual behavior, and violence as a result of poor sleeping habits.
Sadly, most teenagers in the U.S. get 7 or fewer hours of sleep every day. Alarming as well is the rate of insomnia among them, at 23.8%!
This is why experts are urging parents to give more attention to their teenage kids and their sleeping habits. Among their recommendations are putting electronic devices away 30 minutes before bedtime, providing them with comfortable mattresses and pillows, creating a pre-bedtime routine that will help them relax and fall asleep fast, and avoiding giving them caffeinated drinks.
Unfortunately, in the case of this teenage girl, her problem is her two younger unruly brothers who always disturb her studies and sleep. And her even bigger problem is her parents, who couldn’t understand her need for privacy and quality sleep.
Her mom even wrote about her on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum with the title, AITA for not letting my daughter have locks for her room?
Yes, she told her parents that she wanted locks in her bedroom. But her mom and dad don’t think she needs them, as OP related on her post under the username u/VegetableAd9619, “My (43f) daughter Lara (17f) has been struggling to focus on her studies with her brothers Kyle (12m) and Ryan (9m) constantly disrespecting her privacy. A few days ago, she was yelling for Kyle to come to her room. I asked her what happened. She explained that Kyle flipped all her items upside down. I called Kyle to come and flip everything right side up. Yesterday, Ryan was running into her room and kept stealing her stuff while she ran to get it back. On the night of the same day, Lara was trying to sleep when the brothers suddenly barged in and ran through the room, resulting in her screaming at them to stay out and close the door while she was sleeping, to give a few examples.”
Poor Lara. But her parents insisted that having locks in her bedroom was not the solution to the problem with her unruly brothers. Instead, OP made her daughter a promise that she would not let her two sons barge into Lara’s bedroom again.
Did things improve? They just worsened, with her brothers further disrespecting Lara by destroying her things, intentionally disturbing her sleep, and making a total mess of her room.
What did OP do? She wrote in her post, “I told her if they ever go into her room, she needs to go to me. Then Kyle starts saying that they had the right to go into her room while she was trying to sleep because they were playing. Lara yelled at him, then said that she couldn’t wait to move out soon so she no longer has to deal with them. She also called me an awful mother for not giving her her bedroom locks.”
Whom between mother and daughter has the AITA community felt more compassion for?
Reddit users were so furious with OP and her husband for their absolute insensitivity and heartlessness toward their teenage daughter.
This reaction from janewilson90 says, “YTA. And what exactly are you doing to stop your sons acting like a–holes? They wreck her room, ignore her right to privacy, and barge in when she’s sleeping. What exactly have you done to impress on your sons that this behaviour is not acceptable? They’re old enough to know better, so why don’t they?”
Another eye-opening reaction from dramaticpotato92: “I work in a kindergarten, I’ve had 3-year-old kids KNOCK on the doors to rooms they’re well within their rights to enter and ASK if they can join an activity I’m having with a group. Neither of the boys here has an excuse. Rather, their only excuse is the adults in the house, who apparently cannot parent them properly. If there exist 3-year-olds who can knock and ask for entrance into rooms they are allowed to play in, a 12- and 9-year-old can stay out of a room they have no right to be in. I feel terrible for the daughter; I hope she can get out of there soon.”
Meanwhile, des1gnbot also has this important thing to point out: “People don’t just automatically ‘grow out of’ bad behavior. They learn from the consequences of it, both direct reactions and more subtle cues, as well as watching others screw up and face consequences, and we call the cumulative effects of this, ‘growing out of it.’ In this case, they won’t ever grow out of it, because their parents are punishing their sister for their bad behavior — what they’ll learn is that they can get away with anything. YTA, mom. And your husband too.”Whizzco