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Need an Opinion Please

A friend and I are having a disagreement on something I think is fairly important.

A friend of mine is a single parent of a 16 year old boy who is on the spring track team. Yesterday, he decided he was too tired to get out of bed and attend the track invitational his team was participating in.

My friend purposely got up on a Saturday morning around 7AM-ish to take him to the school where the team was meeting to get on the bus. She couldn't get her son out of bed...said he didn't want to go because he was too tired.

Now, he was not sick, was feeling fine. Was not sick during the week. Was not up late the night before (he was home).

So what does she do? She lets him continue to sleep to 11:30AM.

I said to her if he made a commitment to a team that he should go whether he wanted to or not. If he were my child, of course I wouldn't physically force him to go but I sure as hell would not let him sleep late either as a reward for not going, especially if I had to purposely get up early to take him there. I would have made him get up and do something productive around the house or homework.

I told her all she did was reward him for his actions by letting him sleep as late as he wanted (after all, that was his goal), and she was sending the message that it is okay to be lazy and not live up to his responsibilities and commitment to the team.

She agreed with the commitment part but she said that she didn't see anything wrong with letting him sleep so late, and he would be punished in other ways like finding his own transportation to places he wanted to go in the future (I don't really view this as a punishment), and doing extra chores around the house. She also said that had she forced him up early, he would have been "grumpy" all day. But her way, at least he was pleasant without incident. I said that is just too bad if he would have been grumpy, he should get up.

Just a side note, I personally think it is a waste of day to let a kid sleep that late anyway, especially for no reason.

Just so you all know...he is a pretty good kid. Doesn't drink, smoke, is fairly responsible, has good grades, and is not a trouble maker.

So how would my fellow DP'ers handle this and what do you think of the way she is handling it?


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I'd let him sleep

Of course, I'd know bettter than to offer to get up early and help him out in the future, and I'd certainly let him reap the just reward for violating his commitment. I'd trust him less and respect him less and I'd let him know how I felt, but if I had already anticipated his NOT being up and around the house for that particular morning I would have no problem with letting him sleep.

That sleep was no "reward", that sleep was an offense against his team to whom he had (presumably) given his word. He'll pay for it dearly enough. No reason for me to pile on.

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Just curious Gene

do you think letting him sleep to 11:30 promotes laziness? I am not saying I would have made him stay up from 7AM....I may have let him sleep another hour or so, but not to 11:30.

I was in track at that same age

Became very tired, just couldn't get up, felt weak. Finally I was sent to the Dr and it turned out I had mono. The blood tests showed the mono had caused liver damage, I was flat out in bed for 2 weeks. This may not be the cause, but don't over look a medical problem.

He is fine

Just didn't want to go. Not sure how good on an early riser he is.

I also had mono as a HS kid, though it sounds as if you had it worse.