If you want your teenagers to stay out of trouble, you must establish a curfew for them. Teenagers will make many unwise choices when you let them choose when they are to return home. When you give your children a curfew, it communicates to them you have quality standards you expect them to meet. Too many parents allow their children to determine when they’re going to come home from a friend’s house. How much sense does that make? As a parent, it’s your job to resolve a curfew for your children—it’s not your children’s job. Be clear about the time you expect your children to return home.
While it’s important to give your children some freedom, you shouldn’t grant them the liberty to decide their curfew. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hearing how children feel about a curfew. Parents must, however, be the ones who ultimately create the curfew.
When you set a curfew for your children, this is a great opportunity for you to engender some guidelines for your children to follow when they’re not going to be at home. Don’t just give your children a specific time they must come home without telling them other essential things they must do before, during, and after they leave home. Make sure you know where your children are going when they leave home and who they are going to visit. If possible, drive your children to their destination to enable you to survey the milieu in which they will be meeting their friends. Warn them against inappropriate behavior and inform them about the consequences of inappropriate behavior.
You need to learn more about your children’s friends. Meet with their parents to find out what type of people they are and discover their values. You don’t want your children hanging out with the wrong type of people who may have imprudent values.
Too many children are dying because they lack structure and discipline. Many parents across the nation have to do a better job of parenting. It’s the hope of this piece to offer some suggestions for improving parenting. We need to keep our children safe and establishing a curfew for them is a vital part of good parenting.
Do you feel it’s necessary to give teenagers curfews? Why or why not? What are some other things parents need to do to keep their children safe?
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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I think its a teenagers need curfews. Why? I think it will give them a sense of responsiblity and it builds trust between them and the paents. I never had a curfew, but somehow managed to always get in trouble for coming in too late…. shrugs I don’t know.
A line of communication goes a a long way. If kids are able to talk to us, that helps them in many ways. My daughter is only 10 and I talk to her about the dangers of walking to the bus stop by herself, I tell her what to look for, if something doesn’t seem right, its probably not…etc.
Absolutely. Teenagers need to know they have parents who they can talk to about virtually anything. Your daughter is fortunate to have you as a mother. Too many mothers are not talking to their children about the dangers lurking out there for them. It’s not until something horrible happens that many parents want to have serious discourses with their children — that’s the wrong time.