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Curfews for teenagers
We all know that we have to allow our teenagers to spread their wings and learn responsibilities and one area that is constantly on parent’s minds is curfews and how much freedom they should allow teenagers to have. The main queries we get from parents is how late their curfew should be and what to do if they break the curfew.
Let’s look at some of the issues and explore solutions. With regard to how late you should allow your teenager stay out, this depends on many factors. One is their age – obviously you won’t let a 14 year old stay out as late as a 16 year old. The actual curfew time can vary by age, where they are going, how they are getting to/from the venue and who else they are going with. You may have a curfew time of 10pm for your 15 year old during the summer when they are simply ‘hanging out’ with friends. However, during school term and darker nights in the winter, you can change the curfew time to be earlier. This is perfectly reasonable and you should discuss the curfew time with your teenager and agree the time. You may also want to insist that they must have their mobile phone on so that you can contact them to check in that they are okay. If explained to your teenager, i.e. “you need to be home to get good rest for school and I need to be able to check that you are safe and okay by being able to contact you” then it should be easier for them to understand and realize that you are not setting the curfew to be a spoil sport but to help to keep them healthy and safe.
Think up a consequence that you will have for breaking the curfew rules and communicate those to your teenager. For example, if they are between 5 and 15 minutes late, they have to be home 15 minutes earlier the next night. This can be escalated, so more than 15 minutes later means curfew time is brought back 30 minutes. It may be that being more than 30 minutes late means that they...