A few decades ago, teens fought with parents about phone use and curfews. Now, Facebook and texting have joined the ranks of subjects that will cause friction between parents and teens. Encouraging your teen to get off Facebook and get adequate sleep will require establishing a sleep routine and some basic ground rules.
First, try to avoid placing computers in the bedroom. Younger teens benefit from supervision while online, so place the computer in a common area in your home. Your teen should have a specific time when he or she must stop using electronics each night that allows him or her enough time to complete any necessary tasks before sleeping.
Doctors who issue sleep advice recommend that each individual create a sleep routine. This routine is a series of small actions that are completed every night in the same order. For a teen, the first step should be turning off the computer. Nightly hygiene and picking out clothes for the next day can follow. The purpose of creating a routine is to signal to the brain that it is time for sleep. This will help your child fall asleep consistently each night.
Older teens who have their own computers in their bedrooms should be encouraged to police their own habits. If your teen's grades remain consistent and he or she does not seem noticeably fatigued during the day, it may be reasonable to let your teen monitor his or her own Facebook use. However, if your teen's grades have fallen, you may want to remove the computer from the bedroom to help ensure adequate rest. Keep in mind that most older teens will go to college in a few short years. Encouraging your teens to develop good sleeping habits without extensive parental involvement will only aid them in the future.
If limiting your teen's Facebook time before bed has become a parenting tug of war, you should consider talking to a pediatrician who specializes in teens. Teens and sleep can become an acrimonious issue, especially if the teen attempts to assert his or her own burgeoning adulthood by refusing to conform to the family schedule. You may find that getting your teen off Facebook may be less about sleep tips and more about an ongoing power play between you and your teen. Your doctor may have suggestions to diffuse the situation while still ensuring your child will get the sleep he or she needs.
Keep in mind that the most successful teen parenting often involves reasonable negotiation. By listening to your teen, you can develop a plan together that doesn't sacrifice sleep or appear to be a punishment. Even if you're unwilling to negotiate on this issue, explaining your concerns to your teen can help allay resentment. After all, getting your teen off Facebook and into bed without a shouting match will let you both sleep better.