Curfews have always been a controversial issue. We know there are pro and cons to everything in life. Let’s view it from both sides.
Curfew Pros and Cons
|1. Freedom||1. Safety|
|2. Less independence for teens||2. More parental control|
|3. What about emergencies?||3. Less opportunity for crime|
For teens, a curfew makes them feel childish and controlled in a time when they want more independence and trust.For parents, it’s a way to get your child out of the street and out of trouble.
Yet, a curfew is more than just that. It teaches that punctuality is an important part of life and will benefit the teen long after he’s on his own. Of course for a teen it means a messed up social life. How can you deal with it?
Teens, think of this: Would you refuse a driver’s license thinking, ‘If I can’t have unlimited freedom I rather not drive at all’? Think: ‘Don’t I have more freedom now than I did as a kid’?
See your curfew as an opportunity. If you handle it well now you will receive more freedom later. If you just don’t understand why you have to be home so early, talk to your parents about their reasons. Try to talk, not just fight. You may be surprised—maybe the reason is that your Mom just can’t go to sleep until you are home safely. You don’t want to have an argument with a Mom that hasn’t slept in a week because you were late every day to prove something. You will not win. Remember, only if you gain your parents’ trust will the ‘leash’ get looser.
How to get a later curfew: Bring up the subject at a time when your parents are relaxed. Build a good track record by being on time. Ask for extension on trial basis. Learn to live with your curfew and you don’t have to be miserable all your teenage life.
How to Handle My Teen’s Broken Curfew
What should I do? Just let it go? Ground him/her for life?’ Don’t go to extremes—you can turn a broken curfew into a powerful tool. Take into consideration the teen’s age, responsibility, and maturity.
1. First, you may not want to discuss the matter in the heat of the moment. You may want to sleep on it.
2. The next day you may want to sit and talk at eye level. This will reaffirm your intentions of handling the matter in a mature level.
3. Listen first, for when there was a valid reason for being late. If it was a flat tire and there is proof of this it would be wise to consider this.
4. Review the reasons for the curfew and the consequences of failure to comply. Then, enforce those consequences.
5. Make it clear that after a broken curfew, the next time out their curfew will be shortened by 30 minutes, but if they build a good record of punctuality the curfew could be extended on special occasions. Make them set their own goals.
6. Give them a chance to repair the damage. Make them think of ways to make it up to you. This will show that all actions have consequences. They will have to deal with this and learn to come up with ways to fix it.
7. Do be reasonable. Allow for suggestions or requests. Then take them into consideration if, for the most part, he or she has demonstrated responsibility. Communication will be smoother if your child sees that you at times give consideration to his or her wishes if they are reasonable.
Some teens will comply with their curfew with little no problem at all, while others will want to test the boundaries on a regular basis. Be sure your teen knows that there are consequences for ignoring curfew rules, and that you will enforce these consequences when necessary.