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Mom Fears Chronically Late Kid Might Be Late For College

Man sleeping under blanket on bed in the morning ** Note: Shallow depth of field

Dear Harlan: My son is always late for high school. I’m worried he will sleep through class in college. What can I do to help? Do you have any suggestions? — Helpful Mom

Dear Helpful Mom:  Let him be late. That’s what happens in college. Next year, don’t call him. You’re not a wake-up-call service. Please, promise me you won’t be that mom. Some parents actually do this. This is a true story. I’ve had college students tell me about the parent who calls the roommate EVERY single morning to wake up her child. They will call every single day. They disguise their actions as doing their child a favor by getting him or her up, but it’s never about the kid. It’s a way for the parents to check in and know their kid is in his or her bed. It’s comforting to know. But that’s not a parent’s job. Buy him an alarm clock. He can set it just in case his cellphone battery dies. Then your kid can get up or not get up. If he misses class, he can talk to his professor and explain that he overslept. The same thing will happen after he graduates (assuming he makes it to class). This will be good practice for when he has to get up for a job. Hopefully he’ll figure out how to get up without you. Let him learn. You’re off the clock.

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