Parenting Rules: Nightly Routine for Teens

Hello readers!  I know nothing can be as rough as trying to tell a teenager that they have to go to bed.  Many teens will fight harder than a toddler when it comes to being tired and ready for bed.  Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for this one, other than to put your foot down and be the boss of the house.  I know that this can be tough, but I also know that a healthy nightly routine for teens is just as important as one for toddlers and kids.  Here are a few things that should be a part of a teen’s nightly routine.

1. Dental Hygiene
This, of course, is a very important part of any nightly routine.  Brushing one’s teeth thoroughly helps prevent dental issues like cavities or future problems like root canals.  It also helps with bad breath and tooth decay.  To add to that is the use of floss.  This is also a nightly must.  Flossing is like brushing in places where your toothbrush can’t reach.  And it can really help with tooth decay as well as with bad breath.  Food can get trapped in between the teeth or in those hard to reach places and can begin to rot, causing foul breath and other problems.

As much as everyone claims to have the best toothbrush out there, you should only focus on one thing: that it has the right bristles for your gums.  You don’t need a fancy sonic brush.  You don’t need one with special bristles.  A simple one will do, and your dentist is more than happy to give you one if you ask.  Me, personally, I like the Wave toothbrush from Oral B, which is relatively inexpensive and works fine for my teeth.  And for toothpaste, anything with fluoride does fine.  I personally like Crest products, and I use their Deep Clean plus Whitening formula.  Of course, that’s for teens and children.  For children under two, try to use a toddler paste as most areas now add fluoride to the water supply and giving a toddler too much fluoride can be harmful.  If you are ever concerned with this, reach out to your pediatrician for information.

Now, as for flossing, any product will do.  I personally prefer Oral B’s Glide floss.  My jawline and mandible have always been a little small, and my teeth are slightly crowded, so the space between my teeth has always been a little to tight for regular floss.  Glide does wonders for my teeth, and it’s a very comfortable product.  Those three products are all you need, and they play a vital role to a healthy and clean mouth.  This is a very important step for teens to develop in their nightly routine to help prevent further (and expensive) issues later on.

2.  Face/Body cleaning
No one likes to be the stinky kid in class, and no one likes to be teased for acne.  Washing one’s face and body can do wonders.  I know how difficult it can be if you have dry skin, especially since I suffer on borderline eczema all the time, but I still make it a priority to shower every day and clean my face every night.  I actually take my showers at night because it takes my hair so long to dry and blowing it creates a puffball above my head.  My husband Ryan, on the other hand, suffers from combination skin and wakes up with oily hair regardless.  Anyway, we both have dealt with these conditions since our childhoods.

Having a clean body and clean face can do wonders for lifting the spirit.  So, I recommend a shower/bath every day for teens, and they should wash their faces every night before bed.  I personally love Dove soap for my skin in the shower, and Suave has a great product out there for people like me with dry hair.  I love their Professionals Moisturizing Shampoo and Condition because it works as well as Pantene Pro V, but it’s half the cost.  For my face, I do use a more expensive product.  I love Clinique’s Face Cleansing 3 part system for dry skin, especially their Clarifying Lotion.  Regardless, your teen should find a product that best suits their hair, skin, and face.

3.  Clean room.
This is just as important as proper hygiene habits.  Not only do your teens need a clean room in order to feel emotionally healthy, they need it for preventative reasons.  A cluttered or dirty room can impede any emergency needs, such as a fire evacuation, an earthquake, or any medical emergency.  So, I strongly recommend a clean room every night.  It doesn’t need to be spotless, but the floor should be relatively clear, the bed clean and made before they sleep, and the surfaces clear of clutter and debris.

Now, it may be tough to clean their rooms, but your teens should be made responsible for its cleanliness.  Seriously, they make the mess they need to clean it up.  I know your teens will fight you tooth and nail about cleaning their space, so I would highly recommend removing favorite toys to inspire action.  Unless your child pays every cent of their electronic devices and their cell phone contract is in their name, take it away until their room is clean.  Same with the computer, the XBox, and the rest.  Even if they pay for it themselves, you still pay the mortgage, the utilities, and the insurance.  Now, I know that it’s tough because they own those things, but they don’t need those things to survive.

4.  Adequate Sleep.
This is probably the most important part of a teen’s nightly routine.  They need an average of eight and a half hours of sleep each night.  Lack of sleep leads to a lack of focus or performance in their studies.  This means that if your teen needs to be up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready for school, they need to be to bed by ten o’clock at night at the latest.  I know a few parents who will say that even this is too late for their house, but it is factual that this is the latest your teen should stay up.

With that being said, I will emphasize that this is the latest they should get to bed.  I honestly believe 9 1/2 is a better time frame for sleep, which would mean to bed at nine.  Still, you should allow them to stay up later than younger siblings, and the latest should be when you go to sleep yourself.  They should also have all hygienic tasks done before going to bed, so they should prepare for bed no later than a half hour before bed.


And these are my rules for teen’s nightly routine for bed.

Until next time,



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