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16 year olds and curfews

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I'm sure this has been discussed here before but since I'm jumping in I'll ask!

Again dd1. Very popular, very social. She drinks, we know she drinks. She has one or 2 coolers and that's it. We're not happy about it, we don't allow it in our home, but it's either that or have her lie to us.

Now she is pushing the curfew thing. Her curfew on weekends is midnight, 10 on school nights although she is almost always home on school nights.

Quite a number of her friends have no curfew! As long as the parents know where the kids are, they have no curfew

This makes it tough for us.

So do we reward her for her honesty and responsibility and let her set her own curfew?

I just can't do that in good conscience.

On the other hand, I am really tired of arguing with her.

The other issue is that we are frequently the ride home, so for us to stay up past midnight so she can socialize burns me a bit. Other kids walk, bum rides, take cabs, but I like to know exactly how she's getting home.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 48
Thread Starter 
Is there an older thread on this that someone can direct me to?
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenAB View Post
Is there an older thread on this that someone can direct me to?
There are a bunch... from the forum main page (here) click on Search This Forum in the upper right, and than type "curfew".

I have a 15 year old, and she's never had a curfew. I guess I'm one of the parents who makes it tough for you but it's always worked well for us. I do tell her sometimes that I don't want to be driving out to pick her up past a certain hour because I want to sleep (although sometimes plans go wrong and in that case I'm always willing to go get her and/or her friends, just as I would drive to pick up one of my friends in the same siutation) and I do like being kept in the loop and knowing where she is and what her plans are... but an actual curfew never seemed necessary. She is good about spending the night with someone or getting a ride home if she's going to be out late.

What do you think would happen if you didn't set a curfew?

Dar
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
I don't really know what would happen, she would probably be home by 1 or so, I would just like to know how she's getting home.
post #5 of 48
I can understand both sides. My daughter is 15 so she's just now going out with friends more...mostly sleep overs and such. I want her to have a curfew. For me, it's more about knowing when she's home because like my parents before me, I will wait up on her. Not knowing would make me worry more. Not to knock anyone else's parenting but again for me, it's about respect and also, what in the world does a 16 year old need to be doing that a curfew is not required? I think extending it to one o'clock on the weekends is enough.
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
It's really tough to know how much to give and take.

I found when I was parenting babies and toddlers and even school age kids, I felt confident in my decisions.

With my teenagers, I question everything, I want to make sure they are safe but I also want to make sure I'm being fair.

It's tough!
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goingon2 View Post
Not to knock anyone else's parenting but again for me, it's about respect and also, what in the world does a 16 year old need to be doing that a curfew is not required?
Well... my daughter goes to shows, or movies, or hangs out with friends. I don't feel that this is disrespectful of her, but maybe I'm missing something? Again, she is very good about keeping me in the loop - she might call me at 10:00, for example, and tell me that she's going to the Loop to get some food with Paul and Steve, and that Paul will make sure she gets home safely, probably by one or so... that's what I do with her, generally, and it seems to work fine both ways. I feel respected, anyway.

She doesn't go to traditional school, so maybe that's a little different - she's always been unschooled and now takes community college classes 4 days a week.... but her earliest class isn't until 11 or so. Still, even when she was taking earlier college classes last year we didn't have a curfew.

Dar
post #8 of 48
My children never really had "curfew" either. Most of the time, parties or activities broke up about midnight, but as long as they called, I had no problem with them staying later. Sometimes the party is really fun, sometimes they just started watching a movie and wanted to see how it ended, etc. My kids each had a close circle of friends, and they socialized in homes where a parent was on the premises.
post #9 of 48
My mom was the type you're rolling your eyes at -- as long as she knew where I was and when I would be home, she was fine. It worked beautifully. I knew how much freedom I had, and I didn't want to abuse it, so I was diligent about calling her if plans changed. She still laughs at the fact that I would call if I was going to be even 5 minutes late. Trust is a great thing, and I plan to give my children the same freedoms unless or until they abuse my trust. I hope they'll take after me!

Frankly, an arbitrary curfew doesn't make sense to me -- nor do most arbitrary things, I'll admit! What's the harm in allowing her to set her own hours, with the knowledge that she must call if plans change? She's practically an adult -- it's time to start treating her like one so that when she is legally free to do as she wishes, she has the experience and ability to do it!
post #10 of 48
I never had a curfew as a teen. I did however always tell my parents when I would be home, and I was expected to be home at the time I said. I almost never stayed out past 11:30 or 12:00 though because I just needed too much sleep. Anytime I stayed out later it was just because I lived in the country so far away from everyone and it would take me longer to get home from a late movie or a party. Generally, if I was going to be later than 1 a.m., I would stay the night at friend's house anyway.

Also, not only would I call if I would be late, but I would generally always call with an update. If I said I would be home at 12, I would call around 10 just to let my mom know I would still be home at 12. I would also always call if I changed locations (not from dinner to movie but if I left a party and was going to hang out at someone's house).
post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 
I think the calling is critical, and as long as we know how she's getting home.

In 18 short months, she'll be an adult and I guess she has to learn how to make the right choices most of the time; so far, so good.
post #12 of 48
Aren't there laws in your states that dictate a "curfew?" There are in mine. A 16 yo cannot drive past 11:00. They also can't be out and about without a parent past midnight. They also cannot have more than 1 non-family member in their car, ever. Under 18 and you cannot legally work past 10 to get home before the state curfew. That pretty much negates Paul and Steve getting her home safely. Unless Paul and Steve are brothers. But even that doesn't make it safe. Far too many accidents have happened out here in the country by teens being stupid and/or trying to be cool that it's ridiculous. The one that comes into mind is trying to jump "blind hill" 6 girls in the car 3 died 3 were critically injured at about 10 at night. That road is right by my house so I drive it a lot and the accident goes through my mind every time. That accident was one that helped to get the 1 non-family member limit to pass. Now under 18 and you can't use a cellphone while driving. Teens are not nearly as responsible as you think they are. Believe me I was one not that long ago. The stuff I did was down right stupid. My parents were not strict at all.

I would also let my daughter know of the life long consequences of being caught with alcohol underage. I wouldn't lecture or boss or anything but there are definitely things that will haunt her forever if she gets caught now. My sister did at 16 and well she still has it on her permanent record because her license was suspended (she wasn't driving or in a car either). That means that she can't do my job because she can't be on the company car insurance because you can't ever have had your license suspended. My car is owned by the company and it would still pop up that that happened. She also would have a hard time getting the security clearances that I need to do my job. And those are things that never went through my mind while getting my degree (I didn't know I would need the numerous security clearances to do this job in college) or being a dumb teen. Not to mention I'm totally different now than when I was a teen so the things I thought "I couldn't care less about that" at 16 I was thinking "phew, I'm glad I didn't get caught doing that when I was 16 (21 or 23 for that matter)" years later. But having limits later in life just to be cool at 16 would have totally sucked.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Well... my daughter goes to shows, or movies, or hangs out with friends. I don't feel that this is disrespectful of her, but maybe I'm missing something? Again, she is very good about keeping me in the loop - she might call me at 10:00, for example, and tell me that she's going to the Loop to get some food with Paul and Steve, and that Paul will make sure she gets home safely, probably by one or so... that's what I do with her, generally, and it seems to work fine both ways. I feel respected, anyway.

She doesn't go to traditional school, so maybe that's a little different - she's always been unschooled and now takes community college classes 4 days a week.... but her earliest class isn't until 11 or so. Still, even when she was taking earlier college classes last year we didn't have a curfew.

Dar
Like I said - not knocking anyone else's parenting style but for me and mine...a curfew will be required. I will be the one waiting up and I will be the one worrying (it's my nature) until she's home. And again, what really is there for a 16 old to do all night? Sure, go here and there and hang out with friends but all night? Just my parenting style. You've got yours, I've got mine.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukedwifey View Post
Aren't there laws in your states that dictate a "curfew?" There are in mine.
There are, but we consider ignoring them to be a matter of civil disobediance - laws that discrimate by age are one of my pet peeves. Rain also has two college IDs and looks 18 easily, so practically speaking she's unlikely to be arrested for violating curfew.

The friends who drive her places are generally over 18... Paul and Steve and 21, I think (they live downstairs from us). We also chose to live in an area with great public transportation and lots of neat stuff to do within walking distance, and I feel comfortable with them walking her home at night. I would feel comfortable with a cab, too... I think the OP mentioned walking and cabs as potential ways for her daughter to get home.

Quote:
Teens are not nearly as responsible as you think they are. Believe me I was one not that long ago. The stuff I did was down right stupid. My parents were not strict at all.
Some teens are very responsible. It sounds like you weren't... but some are. I think teens in general get a bad rap, and a lot of the generalizations out there about teens are unfairly negative, and sometimes it's useful to take a step back and look at your actual kid, rather than the societal represenation of teens. If there are reasons why your particular kid needs a curfew, then clearly you should have one, but I think it's something parents should look critically at... just as we looked critically at societal assumptions and made different choices when our kids were little and didn't have a crib because they coslept or were "still nursing" or weren't being put in time out...

Dar
post #15 of 48
I have to join in with those who didn't have a curfew at 16 (well my mom had one for me when I was at her house, but I lived with my dad). My dad made it clear that he expected to know where I was going, what time I expected to be home, call if I thought I was going to be late, and be responsable about how I would get home. What did I do? Hung out with friends, played gigs with my band, went to movies.

Quote:
Some teens are very responsible. It sounds like you weren't... but some are. I think teens in general get a bad rap, and a lot of the generalizations out there about teens are unfairly negative, and sometimes it's useful to take a step back and look at your actual kid, rather than the societal represenation of teens. If there are reasons why your particular kid needs a curfew, then clearly you should have one, but I think it's something parents should look critically at... just as we looked critically at societal assumptions and made different choices when our kids were little and didn't have a crib because they coslept or were "still nursing" or weren't being put in time out...
That is a pet peeve of mine. That all teens get painted with the same brush as an irrisponsible few. Like around here, they are trying to get a law that makes it illegal to drive while on a cell phone... but ONLY if your under 25! What is the use of that? Plenty of over 25s do the same stupid thing but they aren't being given the same treatment. You really do need to look at the big picture. In fact, I think theres a similar thing going on with a lot of teens that mirrors the observer-expectancy effect or the pygmalion effect. Adults expect certain behaviour from teens and in turn the teens exhibit the behaviours because they follow what is expect of them.
post #16 of 48
Neither of my teens have curfews. But... All of the parents have pretty uniformly agreed that none of the ones of driving age are allowed to drive anyone unrelated, nor that they need to be out and about past midnight. So evenings that are going to extend past that are at someone's home - and is a non-coed overnight. Otherwise (with some exceptions), they break up by 11:30/45. None of the kids have an issue with it, either.

Quote:
There are, but we consider ignoring them to be a matter of civil disobediance - laws that discrimate by age are one of my pet peeves. Rain also has two college IDs and looks 18 easily, so practically speaking she's unlikely to be arrested for violating curfew.
Wow.
post #17 of 48
I still live by the old saying, "Nothing good ever happens after midnight."

So, no, I don't think my teen needs to be out later than that.
post #18 of 48
My kids have never really had a curfew. There are days I tell them they have to be home by a certain time if there's something going on the next day, and on school nights they always had a bedtime at a certain time till the end of grade nine only. As long as I know where they are and they answer their phone if I call, they're pretty much allowed to be out with whoever they want to be, doing whatever they want to be.
post #19 of 48
My kids (17, and almost 15) have never had a set curfew. We just discuss where everyone is going and thoughts on when we'll be home. If I have any concerns about the time or place I share them, they respond, etc. My son frequently goes to the store up the street well after our city curfew, but he's a really big guy with a beard so the cops just think he's over 18.
post #20 of 48
No curfew for my teen. However, we live in the city so I don't have to worry about her driving or being in cars with other teens. Thank deity for that!
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