How can I balance all of the activities my son wants to do with making sure he gets enough sleep? He constantly complains of being tired in school (and has fallen asleep in class a few times), but doesn’t want to give anything up.

Though it’s not mentioned explicitly, it may be that part of his problem is an inability to put away his digital devices before bedtime. The glow of the screen has been known to disrupt sleep; adolescents commonly say that they don’t want to – or can’t – miss out on the latest discussion with their peers. The best solution for the hamster wheel of digital participation is to disrupt it with non-screen activities and a sympathetic and supportive (and non-digital) ear.

If the problem does not lie with the quality of your son’s sleep and digital devices, consider whether your son is old enough to decide whether he should give up anything on his activity roster? No one can do everything and do everything well, and growing up is about making choices. Understanding the motivation behind his decisions may guide your son to achieve greater balance. Be aware, however, that many teenagers will choose to remain overbooked, – even at the expense of being tired – and will need your support to manage their time.

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