16 year olds and curfews - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there an older thread on this that someone can direct me to?
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#3 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 05:28 PM
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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?

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#4 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#5 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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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.

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#6 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#7 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 06:06 PM
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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.

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#8 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 48 Old 10-07-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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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!

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#10 of 48 Old 10-08-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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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).
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#11 of 48 Old 10-09-2008, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#12 of 48 Old 10-09-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 48 Old 10-09-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 48 Old 10-09-2008, 05:24 PM
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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.

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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...

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#15 of 48 Old 10-10-2008, 02:57 AM
 
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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.

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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.

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#16 of 48 Old 10-10-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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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.

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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.
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#17 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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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.

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#18 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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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.
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#19 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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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.

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#20 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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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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#21 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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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.
Wow really? I had so many good times after midnight as a young person and I still do. Being at the park with friends, sitting on the swings and picnic tables or just the grass BSing. Or walking to the store to get nachos and soda. Playing hide and seek in the field. I wouldn't trade any of that for anything. :

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#22 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Wow really? I had so many good times after midnight as a young person and I still do. Being at the park with friends, sitting on the swings and picnic tables or just the grass BSing. Or walking to the store to get nachos and soda. Playing hide and seek in the field. I wouldn't trade any of that for anything. :
Amen to that. I had some great times after midnight as a teen. Its like your the only people out there cause its so easy to find a place that's completely deserted.

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#23 of 48 Old 10-14-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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About couple of months ago dsd and her bf were talking about this in regards to their future kids. He was saying there is nothing wrong with allowing them to be out late at night, and her point was "are you crazy, don't you watch local news? it's unsafe!" kind of attitude. Funny enough, I can't really recall a discussion on this subject in our house. So... While we don't have a curfew per se, I really can't think of the time she came home past 11.

We discuss things on a case by case basis. Movies - sure, do you need a ride? Friends house - sure, let's just get friends' contact information first. If she wanted to go to a party that ran until 1, and was really fun, and included people we knew and trusted, then maybe okay... Other than that - I can't really imagine her at the park past midnight. Somehow I think it's mutually agreed upon - it's not her cup of tea, and it's not something we would say okay to.

In general, I am not opposed to having set rules, as long as they are discussed and reasoning behind them is clear. I think every child is different, every living situation and neighborhood is different, and therefore people are bound to have different outlooks and rules for what fits their particular case.

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#24 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Wow really? I had so many good times after midnight as a young person and I still do. Being at the park with friends, sitting on the swings and picnic tables or just the grass BSing. Or walking to the store to get nachos and soda. Playing hide and seek in the field. I wouldn't trade any of that for anything. :


We used to go play on the jungle gyms and swing at about 3am. Really good memories.
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#25 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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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.



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Wow.
Dar wasn't talking about fake IDs. Her daughter is enrolled in community college classes, and has legitimate IDs from them.
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#26 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 10:13 AM
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Dar wasn't talking about fake IDs. Her daughter is enrolled in community college classes, and has legitimate IDs from them.
Oh. Thanks. The idea that they were fake apparently went right over my head... yeah, she has real, valid college IDs.

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#27 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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Their validity won't help her much if the cops show up at one of the parties she's at. She'd still get an MIP or MIC.
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#28 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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I havent read all replies, but Im one to say the cerfews you already have set seem perfectly appropriate to me.

She should be aware that reaspecting the law is also important, and know that there are true consequences for underage drinking and being out past legal cerfew. In my state it is midnight until age 18. I see no reason to be out past that at 16.
I understand your thing about her responsible behavior and not having a true reason to deny her request, but she should have respect for you as well.

She shouldnt be asking you to stay up all night until she feels like calling for a ride. She should expect you to give her your full blessing to break the law either. Maybe you should try talking to her about that as well. If she is really the good kid you say, she should be open to your feelings if you explain it along those lines.

and mostly you need to go with your gut. If you want to keep the cerfew, you should

just my two cents

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#29 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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Their validity won't help her much if the cops show up at one of the parties she's at. She'd still get an MIP or MIC.
Because we all know the only thing teenagers do when they go out at night is party.

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#30 of 48 Old 10-15-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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Wow. I am glad I am not in your shoes. My 16 yr old (17 next month) has no problem with her 11:00 curfew, doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs and in fact wouldn't hangout with anyone who does. Yes, she is popular, in sports and student govt. None of her friends do either. In fact as we speak she is down stairs with her boyfriend baking. Maybe it is because we live in a small town (1200) or better yet I probably just got lucky. Have you ever asked her why she drinks? As for curfew, you need to remember, you are the parent, not her friend. You know the consequences better than she does and you also are responsible for anything she does legally. Something you may want to keep in mind.

Me namaste.gif, DH teapot2.GIFmarried 24 yrs.,DD #1 treehugger.gif(89), DD #2 blahblah.gif(91), DD #3 weadopted.gifafro.jpg(05), and DD #4 baby.gif (6/11/11)

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