June 24, 2011,
K.L. asks from Memphis, TN on December 08, 2008
14 Year Old Thinks Rules Too Strict - NO MORE RESPONSES PLEASE. THANKS for ALL!
My 14 year old daughter seems to think a few of my rules are too strict. So, she asked me if I’d get the opinion of other mothers – particularly those I don’t know personally – and who have daughters her age. The rules she disagree with are as followed:
My daughter can only attend two outings per month.
Note: This includes things like going to the movies, hanging out at the mall, birthday parties, etc. This also includes spending the night away from home.
My daughter thinks she should be allowed to do more each month and that the two a month rule makes her feel like a 10 year old. I think the rule is fair because she still has a family and home chores to consider.
My daughter has a weekend curfew of 10pm.
My daughter thinks she should be able to stay out later. I totally disagree and I believe 10pm is late enough.
My daughter is only allowed to buy a new pair of tennis shoes (with her own money) every three months. If this rule were not in place, she’d spend all her money on tennis shoes (if she had it to spend). I made this rule so that she does not get caught up in the hype of “having things” and so that she can learn the value of her dollar by saving and not spending so aimlessly and so quickly.
My daughter is not allowed to go out after 7:30 pm. For instance, if the movie starts at 8, she can’t go. This rule is because, the later you go, the later you’re out and since the weekend curfew is 10pm, you need to ensure that you are done by then. My daughter also doesn’t understand that her safety can be compromised at any point and that the curfew is in effect to protect her.
We have several other rules, but these are the ones that she hates the most. Let me know your thoughts. If you have suggestions let me know.
4 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I am literally overjoyed by all the responses. Thank you all! I will share them ALL with my daughter and we will have a discussion and I may let up on the tennis show rule and the no outings after 7:30 rule. I think that alot of you read too much into the outing rule, which only includes outings with friends (like hanging out at the mall and going to the movies or skating). Church outtings or special occasions are addressed differently.
I got a lot of responses from parents whose rules are much more relaxed than mine, but I feel strongly on the curfew and the outings rule. This world is a dangerous place and it is my responsibility to do what I can to protect my children. I have ensured my daughter that as she gets older and grows more responsible (and more obedient) she will have more freedom.
P.O. answers from Nashville on December 09, 2008
I think that a 14 year old should have rules and these seem pretty good to me. I have a 12 year old boy and we are testing the waters with what he wants and what I feel comfortable giving. My mother let me do pretty much anything I wanted, and I did. I wish she would have set limits, as that would have helped me say no to people when I knew it was wrong, but I didn't know how to get myself out of certain situations. You sound smart and reasonable, and you will know when to extend the "leash" and let her do more. So will she.
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B.R. answers from Raleigh on December 09, 2008
I'm with you. I don't think the rules are too strict. If it were me, they would also be supervised outings ... somebody's mom would be there at all times.
T.T. answers from Wheeling on December 09, 2008
The one that stands out with me is the one with only 2 outings a month. I think that is a little rediculous. All months are different and some are busier. If she had 3 birthday parties in a month you wouldn't let her go just because they fell in the same month? You should let her go unless you have a family event at home or it has been a while since she has stayed home. Just hanging out with friends should be skipped if something needs to but not the organized social events (parties, dances, sleepovers)
I think the other rules are fair and should be slowly eased as she gets older every year. Hope this helps!
M.S. answers from Louisville on December 09, 2008
I am a mother of 5 and I really think that your rules are "very" GOOD. She is lucky to have a curfew of 10p.m. When my kids were at the age of 13 to 16, their curfew was 5 p.m. They cannot go out on weekdays, Friday, Saturday is the only time they go out but they have to be home by 8 p.m. If on weekdays, when they are supposed to be home by 5 p.m. and they are late for 30 minutes, they are grounded for a week, which means they lose their Friday and Saturday night out with friends. My children are all very good and respectful children. There ages are now 24, 22 and 20 and with regards to my 12 year old son and my 8 year old daughter, the rules are the same. They do not complain because they see what good it made their brother and sisters. Children here in the United States grow up to be spoiled brats that do not have any respect for their parents, I am not talking in general, I know there are still children out there who are good ones but rules have to be implemented for them to know to follow the rules. I always tell my children, you live in my house, you can't follow the rules, you are always welcome to leave. You would not believe but to this day, all my children still lives with me and when they (the older ones) are home, they try not to come home late, if they are late, they call and let me know so I will not worry. You are a very awesome parent to implement all those rules and I applaud you for that. Keep up the good work. Good luck.
3 moms found this helpful
T.A. answers from Nashville on December 09, 2008
If you don't let her prove to you that she can be responsible, then she will never be able to do so. I don't suggest changing all of your rules, but why not compromise on one or two? If she is not able to prove that she can handle it, then that rule stays in place. Life is a series of adjustments. If you are too rigid, something is going to break. On the other hand, she is very lucky to have a parent who is thinking about her safety and her well being. So many parents just let their kids run loose.
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S.D. answers from Nashville on December 09, 2008
Outings - We let our teenagers go anywhere that they ask to go that is within reason. We have children that are social butterflies. My only condition is that they have their homework done. They typically go places once or twice a week that include sleepovers with friends, movies, bowling, skating, sports events at their school. We have good kids and we trust them to behave appropriately.
Curfew - The curfew for our teenagers is 10 p.m. through the week and 11 p.m. on weekends. Our older son can stay out until midnight if he has a good reason to be out that late--such as an out of town ballgame that he is attending.
Purchases - We let our children buy whatever they want with the money they earn. We think it is a good way to learn to budget and save your money if they are allowed to make mistakes now while they are young. When they need money for something and have none because they have wasted it that is a valuable lesson to learn the hard way.
Going out after 7:30 p.m. - We let our children go out after 7:30 p.m. Sometimes we let them go out to eat at Waffle House after football games that end at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.
When it comes to safety my preference is that they use the buddy system and do things with at least one friend and preferably a small group of friends. I ask lots of questions about where they are going and who else is going with and I check in with the other kid's parents and confirm that what they are telling me is correct.
When it comes to teenagers and rules we have very few rules. Part of growing up is learning how to make good choices. When you have too many rules there are no choices to be made. When issues come up we talk things through and make decisions together. It teaches them to learn to make good choices.
My oldest son is in college now and he is making good choices every day and I am very proud of him. His friends that have very strict parents with lots of rules are pushing all the limits. One of his friends was arrested for public drunk the first night that they were on campus. Another one of his friends goes home every weekend and spends the weekend with his girlfriend and his parents don't even know he is home. My son and I have talked about how his friends are going a little wild their first year in college and my son thinks it is because they had too many rules at home and don't know how to handle having the freedom to make your own choices.
In 4 short years your daughter will be 18 years old and she can move out of your house and go to college or get a job and an apartment. Give her the freedom now to make some of her own choices and help her learn how to make good choices. That does not mean that she will always make the choice that you would have prefered that she make. And it doesn't mean that she will not make mistakes. But, letting her make mistakes while she is living under your roof in your protected environment is much better than having her turn 18 and go a little crazy for awhile. I have found with my children that they may stray a little, but they always seem to come back to the values that we have instilled in them.
Being a parent is the toughest job we will ever have. Tell your daughter to be gentle with you. You love her dearly and you are doing the best job that you know how to be her mom. Being strict and having rules just means that you love her.
My preference is to set realistic boundaries and then let them make choices and then discuss their choices with them. It is all about helping them grow up to make their own good choices in life.
2 moms found this helpful
M.T. answers from Raleigh on December 09, 2008
I have 2 14 yr old girls and the rules are different for each. It depends on their behavior and how they follow the rules given in the first place.
First for the curfew. I tell them 10PM during the week and 11PM on weekends. If they are gonna be even 2 seconds late they better call with the reason and be on the way home or there is trouble. I dont care what time they leave but they will be home on time. They can go somewhere through the week as many times they want but they better have all homework done and make all practices. Any missing homeworks show on their progress reports or bad grades and it is homebound till I see another. They know how much sleep they need and will get up for school no matter what. They have no bedtime.
If it is their allowance or money gifted to them they can do what they want with it. They need to know if they want to go somewhere i dont pay for it. It is up to them to have their own money. If they dont learn with their own money how to manage it then when they have to manage it they will not know how to. What is the allowance given for? If they are working for it then they should be able to spend it how they want.
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M.P. answers from Memphis on December 09, 2008
I love those rules that u included and maybe I'm sure more of the other rules also, because my son is 6yrs old and I'm trying to have him to not always spend his money when he has it. I truely think if ur daughter isn't A's and B's student and never has to be told to do her chores she will be caught up wth the hype if good parents such as u and I. They will not have values and respect for thing and others. I truely believe 14yr old like your daughter and my niece have enough lendency. Well Done Parents she will appreciate it in the end.
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C.K. answers from Charlotte on December 09, 2008
Your daughter needs to understand that these rules are in place for her safety as well as for her development into a responsible person. I don't think your rules are harsh. I certainly don't think a 14 year old needs to be out past 10pm. We live in a scary world, and most 14-year olds are not prepared to deal with adult situations which may arise. Is she allowed to go to an 8 o'clock movie if there's a chaperone? Maybe that would help. Also, maybe telling her that when she turns 15 or 16 she can go out 3 times a month...and when she gets her license, maybe more often than that. If kids feel that they have something to look forward to, that sometimes helps. My children are young...9 mo, 2, 4, & 6, but I taught high school and trust me, there are things you don't want your kids exposed to. She's a lucky girl to have such a great mom. Parents have a difficult job to do. As much as we want to, we can't be their friends. We have to be their protectors, teachers, and counselors. Stick to your guns.
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S.U. answers from Raleigh on December 09, 2008
Hi! Good for you, 14 year olds need boundaries, but you're right to want to understand what 'too strict' is, because 'too strict' can make teens do crazy things in my opinion. I totally think a curfew of 10pm is not only fair for a 14 y.o., but pretty darn lenient. A 16 y.o. might have a 10pm curfew. The tennis shoes, every 3 mos is a good standard. It'll make her appreciate every 3 mos and not take it for granted or be excessive. The 7:30 rule totally makes sense. I think all three of those for her age are not only fair but more than fair. I am a little hesitant to say the same about the outings per month, although I do agree with having a cap so it doesn't get out of hand. If you went to 4 it might seem like too much, so if I had to give my opinion, 3 would be more fair, as a month is a long time to a girl her age. You of course can dictate rules about those 3 to make yourself more comfortable (ie 2 evening, 1 weekend day). I think unfair is inaccurate for her to use about her rules, but 14 y.o.'s like that word :o) Good luck!
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E.W. answers from Chattanooga on December 08, 2008
As a woman who has raised 21 step daughters, I can honestly say that your rules aren't to bad. Keeping them home to spend time with the family is a good thing. All to soon, they grow up and move away.
Please tell your daughter your rules are there to protect her. I know it is hard for her to see that at this point, but there is always a fine line between wanting to be a little girl and wanting to be a grown up. If something were to happen to her while she was out, heaven forbid, then she would want to be the little girl again.
There are so many things out there that kids her age think they understand but don't. I grew up to soon, at 15. I wish now that I had my teen age years back and my mother. Both are gone now and I did the best I could for my step daughters. They didn't like the rules either, but they obeyed and now are both married with kids of their own. They often tell me now they understand what I went through with them.
Keep firm, she will one day understand. I am just hoping she doesn't find out the hard way.
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