[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

Beating the Rise and Whine Blues

Parents who dread the school-day ritual of rousting their children out of bed in the morning may want to stop playing alarm clock. Getting up and ready for school on time should be a child’s responsibility, says Mona Shevlin, an assistant professor from The Catholic University of America.

By the time children are 8 years old, they should be getting up by themselves, says Shevlin, an educational psychologist who counsels children and families in her private practice.

"Kids have to learn to be accountable. I find a lot of parents will drive their kids to school because they missed the bus. You have to look at the message that sends to kids."

In many cases, children who struggle to rise and shine simply need to go to bed earlier. Or, they simply may not be enthused about going to school.

Shevlin agrees with current research indicating adolescents have a physiological drive to sleep later in the mornings than early schedules allow. That biological urge often is compounded by busy schedules filled with extracurricular activities, sports and homework, she said. "Most of the kids I work with are only marginally awake for the first two periods of high school," Shevlin says. "That’s why I always suggest that they never select any classes that are too demanding first thing in the morning."

Parents who run into resistance can consider "accountability tactics," such as not providing a written note or excuse when their child is running late. It may mean detention, but that may be what it takes to teach the value of being on time.

"Always explain the consequences ahead of time, not when you’re mad," Shevlin advises. "You might explain to the child, ‘If you have enough energy to go to soccer or to play at a friend’s house, tomorrow you’ll have to have enough energy to get up in time for school.’ Then they’re free to make the choice. Which is what life’s all about."



For interviews, contact Mona Shevlin at 202-319-5809.






Register as a Bone Marrow Donor During Black History Month

Representatives from the American Red Cross will be at Catholic University from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 29, for a bone marrow donor drive to test those interested in signing up for a national donor registry.

Minority donors are particularly needed, said Karen Williams, assistant director of Multicultural and Special Services at CUA.

The drive is one of several activities being held during Black History Month, which CUA students are observing with cultural activities, fellowship, soul food and philanthropy.

To follow is a listing of events open to the university community. For more information or to sign up for the bone marrow donor drive, contact Ms. Williams at 202-319-5618.


Black History Month 2000

Ongoing — Black History Bulletin Board Competition, Residence Halls

Ongoing — Sign-ups for the bone marrow donor drive and Open Mic Night. Contact Karen Williams at 202-319-5618 for more information.

Feb. 26 — A Black Composer's Concert and post-concert reception will be hosted by the Office of Multicultural Students and Special Services at 3 p.m. in Ward Hall.

Feb. 27 — An African American Film Series will be held from 12 to 6 p.m., in the University Center main lounge. Refreshments will be offered free of charge.

Feb. 28 — A Fraternity and Sorority Information Session and Stepshow Exhibition will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. in the University East Main Lounge.

Feb. 29 — The American Red Cross will be testing potential donors for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University East Lounge. The testing proceedure consists of a quick blood test, said CUA sophomore Ann Hines, a bone marrow transplant recipient who organized the drive.



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Revised: July 1, 1999

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