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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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!

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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Hi K.!

My children are much younger than your daughter, but your post reminded me when I was 14! I remember going to my parents at about that age with a written list of what I thought was fair and unfair. They listened to me and we did compromise on a few items, but they stood firm on many issues (now I don't even remember the specifics, but I do know that that was the first time that I felt that my parents really heard me out and I was a part of family decision making).

My first thought is that you and your husband shoud decide together what you might be willing to compromise on given good reason. Ask her for her reasons and have a conversation about it.

As for your specifics.... The 2 events per month thing seems like there may be some wiggle room.... Maybe you could restructure that to be 2 "fun" things like hanging out at the mall etc.. if is is a structured event that is supervised and serves a purpose, maybe those could fall under a different title and she could do those. For example going to a Friday night football game would not count because it is good to be involved in school functions, but going out for pizza afterwards with her friends would count. I guess my point is that if the event centers around school, productive activities, church, or giving to the community, they shouldn't count... but aimlessly hanging out at a mall should! i was never allowed to just hang out at the mall even though all my friends did. I hated it, but looking back I realize why my parents did that. But they never limited my productive activities.

I had a curfew that was early too. I think it was 9 weekdays and 10 on the weekends. She is only 14 - In my eyes there is no reason to be out any later without a good (and approved) reason. As she gets older, maybe she will have a reason to stay out later, and you and your husband will agree to listen to her reason and decide with each instance whether she can stay out later or not.

I agree with your tennis shoe thing, but maybe for sake of argument if you let her do what she wants with her money for say 6 months or so and then revisit the situation to see if she was responsible.?

I believe that I will be like you in my parenting as my children get older. I admire your close attention to your daughter's life. Trust me, she will look back on it and realize that you did it out of love!


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I have raised two daughters; both have children of their own. I think the rules are much too strict. I couldn't help but wonder if you approve her friends, what difference does it make what time the movie starts.
If she is getting her work done at home, I think she should be allowed to spend her money on tennis shoes, etc. when she wants. I am sure this a phase and will not last forever. I have a 14-yr-old granddaughter who loves to have friends over at her house. I think if you would lighten up, your daughter would do that more.

I sincerely believe the more you enforce these rules, the quicker she will want to be out on her own. Curfews need to be adjusted for the occasion. If she were going with a church group that left at 9:00 in the morning and was going to return to the church at midnight, does that mean she shouldn't go.........I don't think so.

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Hey there. I agree that 10pm is a good curfew but remember she doesn't drive and she is not going to be wandering the streets. If you allow her to attend a movie that starts after 8, make sure that she goes with a group of friends, and organize with other parents who will drop off and pick up. That way you can get to the theatre early and be there when the movie lets out. Plus most malls and theatres have security guards on staff!

Now on the twice a month outings.. I do think that twice a month may be a little on the strict side. Remember, she is 14 and becoming her own person and now is the time where she needs to develop good strong relationships with her peers. If three of her best girlfriends all had birthdays in the same month, or if there was a school dance and two birthday parties, it is very hard for a girl to have to choose which friend she is going to spend time with.

What if you sat her down and told her that the outings would be determined on whether or not she went when they came up. Have her agree to having all her chores finished the day before the event, and let her have 4 a month. Then also let her know that Sundays would be "family day".. No cell phone, no friends over, no hanging out. I have a 14 year old boy, and the kids he hangs out with live in our neighborhood. I know the parents, and we keep an eye out for each others kid. He is allowed to have friends over when he wants as long as there is no conflicts... I.E. chores done, and if there is nothing "family" already planned.

He always goes out in groups and the parents all share in picking up and dropping off. And I know it may be hard to deal with right now, but at 14 they are becoming young adults and spending time with peers gives them a sense of "self". If the problem is the "kind of friends" she has, then yes, limit her activities where she will be alone with them. BUT.... If you know that the kids she hangs out with are good kids and you have met the parents then you should feel more comfortable in letting her have an outing to the movies or to walk around the mall.

Remember, MEET THE PARENTS! All parents feel the same about their kids. We want them to be safe, but you also have to start letting go of your "baby" and start letting them develop good peer relationships! My 14 year old comes home and tells me about their evening..etc.. I think if you show her you can trust her, and let her have a little more independant time then she will more likely be willing to do the things you ask of her.

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You sound like a very good mother who loves and wants the best for her kids. I agree with the curfew, but take into consideration sometimes things take a little longer than expected.She can pick up a phone and let you know she is running 15 or 20 min late.If she doesn't call to let you know take the PRIVILEDGE of going out away until you know she understands why it was important to call.I bet you she will remember next time.I think it would be ok if she were able to get out more than twice a month.Not everyday , but maybe once a week the family can go to a football game or some other school function, and let her sit with her friends.You will be able to see how mature she is when she doesn't think your looking and make your decision on how you see her act.That way you are there with her but she still has a little more freedom.I was tougth at a very young age the value of a dollar. I worked very hard for any money I could get.My mother bought everything I needed but if I wanted something special I had to buy it with my own money. When my mother thought what I wanted was a waste of money she would tell me her opinion of why it wasn't a good idea and if I still wanted it I could buy it. Usually she was right , but I still needed to learn on my own how to spend my money.She will get tired of not having any money to do the extra stuff she wants to do like going to the movies and learn how to save for what she wants.I think if she is old enough to go out with her friends, she is old enough to pay for it.I hope some of this helps make your decision a little easier.

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Woah... yeah bit over board imo.... 2 outings a month?? thats a bit crazy! as long as her chores and home work are done she should be able to go out.she needs to socialize with other people than you. i know thats hard but true. 10 pm on the weekend is a bit early i would extend it to 11 and see how she does with it. she messes up once we are back to 10 pm. these are privalages not rights and she earns them. is your daughter working? where does she get her money? if shes getting money for just being her then you have the right to tell her how to spend it. but if shes earning it then she should spend it how she wants. thats like telling you you cant get a new dress for a party with money that you made! as for not being able to go out past 7:30 thats a bit extreme too. i understand she needs to be home by curfew but if she just wants to hang out with friends and have dinner at 8 pm and home by 10 then she should be able to go. i understand this is probably a safety issue make sure she is always with a group. I will tell you that the more my mother told me i couldnt do something... the more i did it, my mom tried the early curfew on me and well i was sneaking out of my room at 2 am.... good luck i hope this helps....(ps) my husbands brother is 15 so we just went through all this.

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Maybe you could get a calender and your daughter and you could mark down all the b-day parties and friend outings that she knows about. Have her pay for the outing things that she does, so she'll start to figure out what's more important to her-shoes or an outing. She'll probably start to realize that she'd rather have the outings then the shoes. She'll learn to manage her own money by plotting out and planning for the things she'll need money for-just like adults and bills. You can put a cap on outings during weekdays and leave those for weekends-as long as she knows all chores and homework must be completed before she can leave the house. (Remember sporting events-negoiate on weekday nights)On that calender you plan with her, write down family appointments and outings too, so that family time wont be lost. You can negoiate if they conflict. About the curfew...You know your daughter better then any stranger. If she's trustworthy and honest-then extending it by 30 mins every now and then is a good compromise (late movie, etc...). Just as long as she knows it can be taken away if she breaks the trust. Let her show you she can be trusted-checking in every hour, being home on time, completed homework, finished chores, getting to school on time after late night outings, her grades are not suffering, etc... They want so much to grow up. I think that letting her make some decisions on her own and learning the consequences of those decisions is a great introduction to adulthood. Good Luck.

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First of all, I am copying your rules and saving it for my kids! I think they are right on! With the two outings a month, I think this one could be bent a little, say, if you do extra chores you can have 1 extra outing a month or if you get all As and Bs, etc. Find what works for you. But I think you are doing a great job Mom!

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Hi K.,
First I'd just like to say that I really hope you will share ALL of the replies with your daughter, and not just ones that back up your choices. Then the two of you can have a good discussion about it all.
I understand that of course you only have your daughter's best interest in mind, but I do think that some of your rules are a little too strict. I think 11:00 is a reasonable (and still SAFE) curfew for someone of her age. I remember when I was her age, my curfew was 11:00 while most of my friends were allowed to stay out later. I don't remember anyone having a curfew as early as 10:00. I did like the suggestions given by some other moms here... let the curfew be set according to the activity. I don't understand the 7:30 rule. As long as she is home by curfew, why should it make a difference if she leaves the house at 7:00 or at 8:00?
As for the rule about the tennis shoes, I personally think this rule is completely unfair. If it is HER money, she should be allowed to spend it however she chooses. I remember a rule that my stepmom made when I was about your daughter's age... I HAD to get my hair cut every __ weeks (forget the time frame exactly). I always resented that, and it still irks me to this day. It wasn't the haircuts that bothered me... it was the fact that it was MY money (that I earned by babysitting or at my job at the drugstore), and I felt that I should be allowed to spend it as I chose. Likewise, I think your daughter should be allowed to spend her money as she chooses. Besides just the FAIRNESS factor, it is also the only way she'll ever learn to budget her money. If all her money is spent on shoes, she won't be able to afford to do things with her friends like go to movies, etc., and that's life.
Like some of the other moms have suggested, I too think you need to show your daughter a little more trust. I agree that rules are important for their safety and development, but I also know that most often the kids who go wild at the start of college are the ones who felt they had no freedom to make their own choices when they were at home. Now's the time to foster your daughter's sense of responsibility, so she'll make responsible choices when she's on her own and has no rules to restrain her.
Best wishes to you and your family!

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HI K.,

As the mother of a 13 year old boy and a 10 year old girl, yes, I think some of your rules are too strict. The number of outings seems kind of silly to me. The events she can and will want to attend each month will change all the time. I would link the outings to completing certain tasks/chores at home. If she has finished the agreed upon tasks, she can go. It also depends on the event. If it were with her best friend and her mom/dad, that's different than a bunch of kinds hanging out somewhere. If you have to drive her to these events, then she should have to do something for you in return. I agree with the curfew. Unless it is a special occasion and you are comfortable with where she is and who she's with, I think 10pm is fine. About spending her own money. This one is tricky. She is getting to an age where she should learn money management. Once she ran out of money, she would have to wait to spend. My children are only allowed to keep $40 cash on hand unless they are saving for a special event/item. When they have accumulated more than that, we deposit it in their savings account. Some people have their children separate all the money they receive into different categories: savings - long and short term and then they can spend what's left. You're doing her a disservice when you make all of the decisions for her, she will never learn life's lessons for herself and you will not always be there to make them for her. The 7:30pm rule kind of ties into your first question about events - kind of silly. This shouldn't be a blanket rule - it should be determined based on the event. As she gets older, events will start later and last later and I think you need to make a decision on a case by case basis. It sounds to me like you have a lot of rules. What gives? Has she proven in the past to not be trustworthy? If you have a basis for such strong, controlling rules, you didn't mention them in your letter. I can see where your daughter would feel insulted, like you do not trust her or her judgement. I'm sure you are well-intentioned. We all want what is best for our children and to protect them, but we do them a disservice if we do not teach them to make these decisions themselves. She needs to be able to make mistakes while you are still there to help her "fix" them and she can learn from them. When she's older, that won't be the case and she will be ill-equipped for life. What's your husband say about this? Is your other child a boy or a girl? Are the rules the same for both? I do think you are treating her like a younger child, but you didn't mention if you had good reasons. I hope you don't think I'm being too critical, but you did ask for an honest assessment. Being a teenager is hard, for them and us. I think you need to have an honest discussion with her about the rules, why you have them and if you can come to some sort of compromise that suits you both. I would also make it very clear that if she proves not to be responsible/trustworthy, you will go back to the old rules. Until you are 18, freedom is a priviledge, not a right. Godo luck! L.

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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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As an HR Manager, I have come to understand that black and white rules don't work in a gray world. (They make sense on paper and are easier for the administrator, but don't always work in the real world).

Personally, I think all your rules were pretty reasonable, except the 2 times a month one. I think it is a little strict.

Generally speaking, though I have a couple of suggestions. Go back to the goal of the rule..what are you really trying to accomplish? (You mentioned more family time as one example). Look at a specific request your daughter has made and ask if it meets your goal? Make a decision that makes sense.

I think you need to stand firm on non-negotiables (no going to friends house w/no parents or no riding with underage drivers, as an examples), but be willing to listen to the others. In most cases, a 10pm curfew (and 7:30p leave time)is *very* reasonable for a 14 year old, but I would be willing to listen to a really good case. let her develop her negotiating skills!! It is not all about YOU giving in..it might involve compromises on her part, too. If your daughter sees that you are reasonable now, it might help later when the requests are more difficult!!

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have a teen, but I was one once and had a wonderful mother, who believed in very black and white rules. For the most part I was a good kid, but I resented the rules, found that I lied to get around them, and was SOOO eager to move out and go to college where I had no rules!!! Mom and I survived this, but looking back now as a parent, I still think she was too strict and had we discussed some of these, I might have been more honest and there would have been less hostility!

Best of luck to you, K.!!

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Well I have 2 kids both 14 years old. One is my step daughter and one is my son. Well I would have to say I like your rules and I don't think they are to strict. I am actually worse then that. I don't drop my kids off any where to hang out at all. Like the mall or movies and they come in at dark. When street lights come on they come in. Tell her she should be greatful for what she does get to do cause some don't even get that. Good luck

my 15 year old CANNOT go out until she has her drivers license (unless i'm going to be the taxi). she is allowed to spend the night at a friends house, if she chooses, on friday night or saturday night. her friends are allowed over fri/sat and sunday is MY day - which no one is allowed over (generally) and we head to church and go hiking and have dinner with my parents. during the week is taboo because it would effect the balance of school/sports and my work schedule. curfew when she gets license is 9 p.m.

my children can spend money as they please as long as they: 50% into bank, 10%(ish) to church or charity, the rest is theirs to spend because they have "met" their responsibilities. the 50% in bank is to help with vehicle costs when they obtain license (gas and insurance they cover - I cover general repairs, oil changes, tires, wear item repairs).

hope this helps

First of all, I like the idea that you and your daughter can talk about these things. At her age, I think it is a good thing for you to explain your rules, and hear her opinions out.

I like the curfew, and wonder if you could allow her to leave later than 7:30 for a period of time to see if she can still get in by 10. If not, you can re-institute that rule. But if so, I don't see anything wrong with her going out for an hour - as long as you know exactly where and with whom she will be at all times.

I don't agree with the 2 activities rule. I think you should allow her a little more freedom here. Instead, I think it makes sense to give her chores and require that she spend time with her family a few times a week. But otherwise, I would allow her to be with friends. At age 14, being with friends is the most important thing to them. Restricting this will only make the time she spends at home more frustrating for her. Maybe you could require she have dinner with the family every night, and then spend one of the weekend days doing something with the family.

Good luck!

Young people today want to be so independent; on their own. They really don't see ahead what it is really all about. They want to get away from us after they want to fly on their own. Then when they do they always come back for your help to get tem out of it. Now I am not saying that would happen to you. But it could. And she must be a wonderful young lady to want to protect her so much.I feel you are doing just fine. You love her so much and don't want her hurt. This world now is so corrupped with so many things out there. There is alot of pressure on these young people. You know like oh if you don't do this you will not fit in. Or take this. It will help you to excape what in your mind. So many temptation that can lead them in a direction of distruction. If this was a God fearing world. It would be different. But God is not in the center of some of us in this world.. And that is so sad. I myself would love to get out and enjoy what is around. But it is not safe. You have to use your lodgic. The sense you was born with. Young and old. No this world is not perfect. But we must try to do right and think always of the situations that we face everyday.
It is like your daughter wants to go out later. Why is that?
Later is not to good for there is many things that could happen.
I will be frank, the attention of one another. Wanting to be needed; by anyone. Trying things out.
What the young people are seeing today is alot of corruption of what should not be. Drinking, taking drugs. Trying out relationships good or bad.
But then you want to give her confidents and say to her. I trust you will always make the right choice in your life. You want to believe in her so much.
And as you grow up inside and outside. And I can see you doing things that make you more responsible. Then I will grow with you.
And always let her know you love her with all your life.

You have a good day Today

I agree that it is important to have rules, but I also think that it is important to be able and willing to be flexible with regards to the rules. They all seem pretty reasonable with the exception of the 2 outings per month. Family is important, but so are friendships, especially at this age. Maybe she could go out one night per weekend and stay home one night per weekend. Regarding the not being allowed to do something if it starts after 7:30pm; why not look at that on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if you or another mother you trust are going to be dropping off and/or picking up, why not be a little flexible on that one if it's something you feel comfortable with her and her friends doing. 10pm seems fair, but if something comes up that is special and goes a little later, why not think about looking at that on an individual basis as well and making an exception once in awhile. Compromise is a very important thing to teach kids and I think that you need to be willing to model compromise if you expect compromise. Regarding the money; let her do what she wants with it for 6 months and then revisit. If she shows that she is responsible, then maybe you don't need to make this a rule. If she does not spend her money wisely, then the natural consequences of not having money will be lesson enough. I love the fact that you and your daughter have an open relationship where you can not only talk about this, but that you respected your daughter's request enough to seek suggestions from other M.'s! In the end you need to do what you think is best, but a little flexibility goes a long way. Good luck.

I agree with your philosophy, but would reconsider a bit of the details. Re the limit of 2 outings a month: I'd make that 2 outings a week, or at least one per week for a total of 4 per month. These would all be contingent on getting home stuff done and keeping up with it. I'm okay with your curfew. As far as the tennis shoes, I'd let her spend all her money on them; this will allow her to learn the lesson that she won't have money for other things when she needs it if she spends it all on shoes. I'd also relax the rule about not going out after 7:30, and make it at least 9:00. I can think of plenty of things you can do in an hour or less that are fun (ex. chatting with friends while getting yogurt at the local shop, picking up something from the grocery store, returning a book to the library). I'd stress that she does have to be in by 10:00 no matter how late she leaves, and would enforce consequences if she's late.

I agree with all your rules except for one. I think the two outings a month is a little restrictive. I definetly believe in children having chores and getting them done, but give her a list of her chores and let her do them. If she finishes then she can go out and have some fun. There are 8 days of weekends in a month so she is technically only getting 2 with friends and 6 with family. Family is extremely important but so are friendships. Maybe you could go up to four outings and then she has 4 days home on the weekends too. I definently think everything else sounds fair! I think my curfew as a senior in high school was 10:30 unless we had talked about it and I had special permission! Anyways good luck!

i was not allow to stay out pass 9 30 til i was 17 i know that time have change but i think that you are doing the right thing and when she gets older she will think you how ever if it is a church funtion she should be allow to stay out latter .


We went through this with my step-daughter several years ago and here are my comments for what they are worth. I think you are being a bit rigid. Teenagers now have a much larger social life than we did growing up. That doesn't mean to give in to all her wims, but I think there is room for compromise. One thing that our counselor suggested that worked well was to put these rules in writing and give her a copy to refer to. That way there is no 'confusion' on what the agreements are. We all signed what I called guidelines instead of rules to make them more official.

- increase your # of events to 1/wk or compromise on 3. Have an agreement that if chores/homework/family life gets compromised those get reduced back to 2 until she corrects the problem. I don't think birthday parties (especially if they are family) should be included in this. Those are special occasions.

- I would be a little more flexible on the curfew based on the event - if there is an 8pm movie she wants to attend make it clear that she must be home by 10:30/11pm whenever the movie ends and that if she is not home timely the next event is revoked.

- I completely agree with only buying 1 pr of shoes every 3 months. Personally, I think that's a lot - unless she really wears them out that quickly. You could make it a rule that a portion of her $$ must go to savings before she can spend on herself and set up a special account at the bank just for that so she can see her $$ grow and learn the concept of saving. It's hard for kids to understand what they can't see sometimes.

- I don't think the curfew has a lot to do with safety - bad things can happen anytime, anywhere. I would teach her about being safe, what things to look for, to stay in groups, to scream/kick/yell if she feels threatened or find a security officer to help protect her anytime/anywhere. Granted there is not a lot for a 14 yr old to do after 10:30 or 11pm so I'm not saying I'm an advocate of staying out later than that but again, I think there is some room for compromise and also for her to learn to be responsible and to learn about trust and the consequences of breaking a parent's trust if she doesn't follow the guidelines.

- I would be very clear about what consequences are prior to changing any of your rules. Your daughter needs to know what will happen so there are no surprises or so you don't have to make things up on the fly. I would make them things that are important to her (not so much to you) i.e., no phone, ipod, computer, texting, going out, whatever is most important in her life at the time, otherwise the penalty may not make a difference to her.

Good luck - this is a tough age but I think if you work some with her you will gain a whole new respect from your daughter and develop a great relationship as she grows through her teenage years.

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!

Hi K.-- I totally understand what all the other mothers are saying-- I have a 18 yr old and a 4 yr old. But....The important thing to remember is----You are the Mother (the adult) and she is the 14 yr old child. She is only 14 yrs old. It really doesnt matter what myself or any other mother feels or says. (no Offense ladies) This is your child you have to do what you feel is best for you and yours. You are the Mother (the Boss), you set the rules and they follow them. Thier not always going to be happy and agree with them but thats life. There are always going to be rules to follow....Doesnt matter what age you are.

Take Care and God Bless

You'r rules are reasonable. I think you could modify the number of events to one a week. As long as the chores are done and the grades are good, one a week is not to much.
Good Luck and God Bless.

I have a stepson who is now 23 and moved in our home in 8th grade. I also have a son who is 19 and in college, a 13 year old son and an 11 year old daughter.

My stepson LOVED shoes, the more expensive the better. He came from a situation where he had clothes and shoes, but not many and often not new. It really, really bothered him if his shoes were torn or he couldn't keep them perfectly clean any longer. We would pay a certain amount every few months and he would pay the rest, and that way he would get the really expensive ones he wanted. Expensive shoes did not matter to my husband and me, but we could tell that it was really important to him, so we tried to compromise. My 19 year old never really cared much about shoes or clothes and is still wearing things from high school.

I never thought much about limiting activities, unless they had a friend I did not like. Most of my stepson's activities were with church and people from there. My 19 year old is very social and played sports, so he was very busy. His friends were often at our house, too. If you like her friends, is she allowed to have them over without counting against her activities? I think I would let her have more activities than 2 a month.

I think you have to trust your children. Get to know their friends and make sure you like them. Be as flexible as you can with small things and give them more leeway as they get older and more responsible. Sometimes it is hard with the oldest because you are not used to having less control.

Wow. Well, you have obviously done a good job raising her because she has come to you and is trying to reason with you like an adult. She IS a young adult. She's about to be in high school if she's not already. I was the best fourteen year old kid you could ask for. I went out often and still spent time with my family. If she gets her chores done and has not proven to be a wildchild, I don't see why you should limit her outtings. If you don't want her to go out a particular night for a particular reason you can just ask her and/or talk to her about it. Why not just let her ask on a situational basis? She's young. Let her go out and have fun. After all, one of the best part of being a teenage girl is just hanging out at the mall with your friends. Family is important, but she's at an age where she is learning about her place in the world and her social skills are changing from getting along with people to having to function in the politics that exist in the world. Let her practice now! You don't want to be sending her off to college in a few years and her being so unused to being away from home that she has a meltdown.

I can understand the tennis shoes rule. One pair every three months is plenty. However, I can understand that she wants to be allowed to be in charge of HER money. After all, if she doesn't learn to manage her own money now you're going to have a heck of a time later. What you could consider doing is adjusting your rule. For example, she can do whatever she wants with her money, but if she wants to go to the movies... she's paying. So, tennis shoes or that extra outting?

As far as she can't go anywhere after 7:30, I think that could be adjusted if the curfew is adjusted. 10 is a bit early for a weekend. One extra hour seems fair to me. After all, 11 o'clock is plenty of time for an 8 o'clock movie and milkshake. Going to matinee movies on weekends is no fun as a teen. You're not going for the movie so much as to hang out and socialize.

I do think you are trying to protect and love her, but you also have to consider that protecting her includes preparing her for the future. She has to learn how to be responsible on her own. You can't hold her hand her whole life. It's hard watching kids grow up, but I think that she has already proven she is ready and willing to work with you by talking to you about this. You can use this as a reward system, too. After all, how effective can grounding be if she already doesn't get to do much? Now, if she loses privileges she has worked so hard to gain, that's a punishment!

She can never show you that she can be responsible if you control all her actions. Give her a little room to be a teenager. Teenagers are scary because you don't know what they are out doing, but you have to trust yourself enough to believe that you've raised your daughter well and she can be trusted. Talk to her about your fears and concerns, explain why this is hard for you, but then let her have a little but more freedom. Now is when you want a good relationship with your daughter that is built on mutual trust and respect. Now is the time when YOU get to learn how to balance parenting with friendship. Up until now it was easy, all you had to do was watch a favorite movie or play a game of barbies. But now... you have to show her that you trust and respect her as a person. The best way to help her learn respect is by giving it and the best way to help her learn responsibility is by giving her chances to make mistakes and pay for them.

I hope this helps! I did not mean to rant, but I just wish so much that my mother would have taken the time out to talk rationally with me and consider things when I was younger. I think it would have solved so many problems that we are just now being able to work through. If your daughter is open to listening to your thoughts and concerns and you are just as open to listening to hers, I am certain the two of you can work something out. Good luck! Let us know!

K., I have a 14 y.o. son so its not quite the same but my parents always say that we are to strict with out kids so here goes.On the outings- is she involved with church or school functions that have her going out also. Maybe if she is not involved those things she could earn the opportunity to go out 1 more time a month. On the curfew I agree with 10p.m. Although you have to determine when your willing to extend that be it now occasionally or at an older age.

If you want my opinion it will favor 1/2 your daughter and 1/2 you.
First of all, there are a couple of things that you said that made me think that you are a black and white person and absolutely NO GRAY areas. I don't agree with that. One: you said only 2 outings a month. How crazy is that? What if she took her 2 outings and then something really important came about? Would she not be able to go? I disagree with that one. I don't think that she should go and go and go... yes there needs to be rules, however, I think that should be judged by the outing, not the times you go. The outing depends on what she is doing and who she is with. If it is with someone that deep in your heart and soul you don't feel comfortable with... then I would say go with your gut feeling. But if she is invited to, say a church function, every sat night (that you know is legit and a good thing.....I don't see anything wrong with that.
The time: 10:00 is late enough for a 14 yr old, however, you mentioned the movies. If there is a movie that she wanted to see and it started at 8:00... well your 7:30 is a little on the "nuts" side, however your curfew is not..... my decision would be based on who she is with and where she is going. If it was a late ending movie, I would be the one taking them. My husband and I might go into a different movie but that curfew would be lifted because I would be with them or a parent that I felt comfortable with would be with them. There is no where a 14 should be after 10 without me or a parent, but there are times when that rule could be lifted depending on the situation. You know, when my boys were young, my middle one wanted to be out really late... that was cool to him and a friend, so my x and I went to the late movie every once in a while, just because it was cool to him, then we would take them t waffle house and they would sit a their own table. That was cool to them and it satisfied the "wanting to be out late" thing. Understand where I am going with this?
In other words, your rules are not way off for a 14 yr old but you have to be able to feel their needs so that you don't lose them in the battle on down the line. You have to be able to be creative with your rules and her wants and needs to merge them into something that is workable for the both of you. Once she gets over this "wanting to go out and stay out late", it will pass. And if you do something like that, you will probably end up with a teenager home at 10:00 when they are a senior. Mine did and now he is in pharmacy school. I held on, but not too tight if you know what I mean!
As far as the shoes and the cloths..... that is another iffy thing. There may be times when she needs a different pair of tennis shoes but you do need to teach her to hold onto some of her money for emergency. I would come up with something that IF she did something special sometime, she will be able to buy a particular shoe EXTRA that she has been wanting.... something like that. Just because the rule is every 3 months doesn't mean you can't buy another pair until Wed at 3:00 because that will be the 3 months time. Make exceptions "sometimes" but hold to your guns. Make it fun and exciting to save .... make a game out of it... if she saves extra this month, go buy the extra shoes.... things like that?
Be creative and hold on but not too tight and be an involved parent and give her what she wants incorporated with your rules. Understand? That is my opinion. And as far as my opinion, I am not sure that my 14 yr old would be out much at all with JUST friends...there will have to be some parents involved somewhere. The world is not like it use to be... too dangerous now.
Good luck.

Tell your daughter sorry I agree with you. I know she doesn't understand but one day she will.

Dear K.! I don't think your rules are too strict. I have not read the other responses yet, but needed to write this before I get busy and forget. Hopefully you will let your daughter read this and see. My girlfriend in college, now we are in college and coming home on the weekends. Her mother always said that "nothing "good" happens after 11 p.m." meaning that only evil happens after that time. I used to think that was crazy. Her curfew in college was 11 p.m. We would come home on the weekends and that was our curfew. However, what her mother didn't know was the she and I would "sneak" home from college during the week and hang out during the weeknights and we would stay out ALL night long. We would arrive back to college in just enough time to change our clothes and go to the first class. It was during one of these ALL night sessions that my friend developed a relationship with a guy and they took the relationship too far and had sex. She wound up pregnant! Then to keep it from her mother, she had an abortion, then had to tell her mother because she couldn't handle emotionally the fact that she had an abortion. Oh, and I know that you will say that "I won't have sex until I'm married", well she said that too, but in the middle of the night with nothing else "good" to do, that is what happened. It only takes one time. So, now that I am a parent myself. I see that staying out after 10 or 11 p.m. that nothing "good" happens after that time. There are way too many dangers out there now that parents can't let their kids run free. How many stolen or murdered children or teenagers are there each day? These rules are not to keep you from having fun, but to keep you safe.

I recently had a fourteen year old girl move in and I belive your rules are fair and reasonable. Girls want to grow up to fast. They need to understand that the rules are for their own safety and to teach them values. Stick to your guns and good luck. Pam


I am glad to see that there are parents still out there that set limits and boundries for their children. I am a new mom for a gorgous baby girl and I think back everyday about my rules growing up and how I will implement those and even change some. Anyway, back to your question. I believe her 10 pm curfew is extremely fair. I remember having a 11 pm curfew at the age of 18. Yes i was still living in my parents home and had the curfew until I moved out at 19. However, this curfew did not count on the nights that I had to close at work (which could be 2am). However, my parents did check up on me on these nights.

The money rule, well my thoughts are this: If she blows her money on shoes then when she really wants something else that is the "happening thing" then she is just out of luck. This would probably help her decide which items are a need or a want.

The 2 events a month, that is a little strict. Even if it doesnt count church or family events. I remember not being able to go places even if chores were complete because my parents were afraid of the world. Yes you have to protect your children in the dangerous world, but you cant keep them in otherwise they will rebel (my parents were lucky I didnt, I was to afraid to rebel). You just have to teach them the proper things and hope and pray they listen. If not then its time for stricter discipline.
Hope this helps you and your daughter!

Boy, you gotta lotta responses!!

It sounds as if you are a 'micro-manager' and she is a 'free spirit'. . . NOT a good combination! You can easily turn her into a rebel. I'm a (51 yr old mother of 4 adults and grandmother to 3 little ones and a) free-spirit, myself, so I know!

Try this:
1) As long as she gives you no trouble, wakes up the next morning in a good mood and does her chores, keeps up her grades, etc and is honest and responsible with/for you, let HER set her own curfew.
2) Let her do things (babysitting, extra chores at home or for someone else) to EARN extra money to buy WHATEVER SHE WANTS TO.
3) Let her earn the privilege of going out more times a month if she does EXTRA chores at home (You're already very (self-)disciplined and love setting and keeping rules and regulations, so you'd be perfect at charting her efforts, goals, etc! I'm NOT! LOL)
Last . . . Yeah, you are pretty much treating her like a 10 yr old. If she's more mature, GO WITH IT and appreciate that she IS! Let her have opportunities, privileges AND responsibilities to match her maturity.

And carrying on w/Melody T's theme, you might win the battles, but you might still lose the war . . . your relationship with your daughter. There's nothing more blessed than to have your adult children as your friends!! I know. I'm there!

God blesss!

My daughter is nowhere close to being 14 but I remember being 14 and how strict my father was with me. I was actually 17 and graduated from high school and was not allowed to be out later than midnight.

However, I think it all depends on the maturity level and responsibility level of your 14 year old daughter. I know some kids seem more mature than others but keep in mind the brain does not fully develop until we are in our mid 20's. I think if she is a good kid and does what is asked of her around the house she should be allowed a few more days out a month providing she makes time to be with her family and have that family time.

Maybe allow her one night a weekend to do things with her friends. This will allow your daughter to really choose what is important to her and the other night reserved with family.

I do think 10 pm is late enough for a 14 year old to be out; however on the occasional special event, maybe be allowed to stay out a little later.

I know I will have an awful time teaching my daughter the value of a dollar because I was allowed to get what I wanted when I wanted. I think maybe apply the 30/30/30/10 rule. 30% goes to a savings account; 30% is "taxes"; 30% on what is needed and 10% on spending it on what you want or some form of this.

I think she should be allowed to go to a later movie if that's when all of her friends are going but make specific rules to this. For instance, she calls you when the movie lets out and goes to a specific location to be picked up and if one or more of the kids she's with ventures off, she stays close by employees of the theatre in order to assure her safety.

I can understand your feelings of keeping her safe; I go this every day knowing that the world is not like it was when I was a kid and knowing it will never be that way again. I used to play outside all day until it was dark and never check in with my parents because things were safe. People are crazy today and kids don't realize this and think (as we all did) that nothing bad will happen to them.

Don't close your child in too much because she may rebel and do things w/o your knowledge and you don't want this. I'm sure she's a great kid and knows you love her and want her safe and as mother's, this is our job; to keep our children safe and keep them from being hurt and raise them to be functional young adults who give back.

Good luck with this and I hope all of the advice given helps. It all looks like great advice.

Okay, I'm a first-time expectant Mom (I'll be 30 in Dec.). So for what it's worth I think you could probably compromise on two of the listed rules. I think she should be able to go out more than 2/3 times a month so long as she: does so before 7:30 (like your rule states); finishes all of her chores; and keeps outstanding grades. I tend to agree with the other rules for the most part. Good Luck!

I don't think your rules are too strict. I have a boy and girl myself. I came from 8. My dad had pretty much the same rules - I only got to go out one night a week so if I wanted to go to football game of school which was Friday I couldntl' go out on Sat. I had to be in at 10 as well. As far as buying the shoes - you are also right on that what kid needs shoes every three months unless they are a toddler and growing out of them.

I used to hate the rules too. Who doesn't your daughter is no differnt than most. I followed the rules, but always still found ways to get into trouble so don't be fooled. Don't think that just becuase she has to be in at 10 she may not do things before that time that are not good things. Most kids experiment. I am so glad my dad had the rules he did if not I would have gotten into way more trouble than I did. He had no idea the things I did, but I'm sure if my curfew was later or I got to go out all the time like my other friends then it would have been worse. Y ou are doing the right thing - stand firm. My daughter and son haven't reached this age yet, but I can tell you I am not looking forward to it. Me and my mom did not get along during my teens - I thought what all teens thing they are not cool, not smart, I know it all, etc... thank goodness we because close again after highschool. She is my best friend now. Allow your teen to be independant when you can... I think I may be one of those who follows mine secretly... that's terrible huh? Good luck!

I find the tennis shoe rule ridiculous, if it is her money why can't she spend it how she like? If she makes a mistake with money now it would be better if it was the 100 dollars now rather than in ten yrs when its thousands. I agree with the curfew rule, 10:00 is late enough(as long as you are willing to consider making exceptions for important things, important from your point of view not hers). I also find the outings rule crazy, my daughter is with her friends every friday after and every weekend, it's fine as long as she isn't with boys(except for school hosted dances and parties), isn't doing anything illegal, and calls to let us know if they will be somewhere other than where we thought she was.

ok to me the 2 outings a month kinda seems extreme just because not all outing result in sleeping over...

and the no going out after 730 i mean if her cerfew is 10 then she should be able to go out at 730 as long as she is still home by 10

the rule about the shoes to me i feel like if its her money let her spend it as long as she knows that she isnt comeone back asking for more when she has blown hers

just what i think personally the other rules id stick with

I have 2 girls and they were both very active in school with sports etc so I never put a limit on outings however I did have curfew times which of course they didn't always like. First, their chores had to be done and their school work completed - both of my girls made straight A's - and then we talked about what was going on and what the plans were and IF they could go or not. Our house was the meeting place most of the time - it was never unusual for us to have 6-12 girls over every Friday or Saturday night. I would rather have my girls at MY house hanging out with friends than have them running the roads and me not really knowing what was going on! I was the mom that drove a packed out van to midnight bowling and yes, let the girls play chinese firedrill at the red lights -of course if no cars were around. When they turned 16 they were allowed to date and then the young man had to come to the door and I asked questions, oh yes - I asked lots of questions and they didn't like it but that was my daughter leaving with him and I KNEW where they were and what they were doing and IF the plans changed they better call and let me know. My girls knew that I did all of it because I love them SO much! If something happened to them - oh my - my whole world would change! With all that said, YES make rules, keep them, change them when you think she is ready to add more activies, just always always talk and talk and always know what she is doing because it is our responsiblity - It is also wonderful watching them grow into independent confident young ladies - my girls are now 23 and 24, both graduated from college, both married and I am so proud of them and we talk everyday! Life is wonderful! Oh, I divorced and remarried and I have a 19 month old little boy and the girls love him to pieces!!!
Good Luck and enjoy every event in your daughter life,
May God Bless You,

With the exception of the two outings per month I think the rest sound perfectly reasonable. On the two outings per month, I think if she proves that she is responsible and can get her chores and whatever else she is responsible for doing that it would be ok for her to hang with her pals one night each weekend. Now, I say that, but it has conditions. Obviously her responsibilties come first and if they are not done, she doesn't go out. I understand what you are saying about her needing to spend time with family but if she is anti-social the whole time because she'd rather be out with her friends, why not compromise and give her 1 night and you get the other each weekend?

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.

I think the curfew is fine for 14 but I also agree with the other post that a special occasion should be negotiable.

I have to side with your daughter on the outing limit. I've never heard of that and it seems really restrictive. If she is completing her homework/chores, I think she should be able to go.

I also agree with your daughter on the tennis shoes. I think being able to make mistakes at this age with money give you some valuable experience. If what she buys is completely up to her, she will realize very quickly what is important to her and how to save to get what she wants. It's better to do that now with smaller amounts of money and no credit cards than when she gets her first credit card and could ruin her credit/financial future. Believe me, the diamond/ruby earrings I bought at 15 and only wore twice taught me a very valuable lesson.

K., she is your daughter and you know her best. I will say, my daughter will be 14 in Jan. We do not have a limit on the number of outings she can attend. We do limit them on the weekends sometimes, because my husband works really long hours during the week and some Saturdays. We do a lot of "family" things together. As far as not going to an 8 oclock movie, we do things on a case by case basis. If I am taking her and picking her up or if another parents is doing it, I let her go sometimes. They actually prefer the earlier movies because of the cost. I buy all my kids shoes, so they only get them when they need them. Not sure if I have helped any, but good luck.

lol! Show me a 14 yo who DOESN'T think her rules are too strict, and I'll show you a very very lax parent!
The thing about "rules" is, they need to be flexible, within reason.
Teenagers are testing boundries, just as they did when they were toddlers. They love and respect their parents who show they love and care for them by lovingly setting boundries,as opposed to parents who, "run a tight ship" just to show they have control over their kids.They won't tell you how much they appreciate you for the next 10 or so years though!
For instance, "two outings a month" may be necessary or may not. Instead of having a rule limiting "outings", I would say, it depends on where she wants to go, when & with whom. it also would depend on keeping her grades up, and her chores done. If my daughter was not getting passing grades in every subject, she would not go anywhere until she brought them up! My kids were frequently punished by being "grounded", so sometimes it was many months between "outings", but if they were being good, doing good in school, and had their chores done, I would let them have one outing a weekend.
I do think 10 pm is a reasonable curfew for a 14 yo and only after all homework and chores are done, however, I would be open to exceptions here too. Say, a friend invited her to a ballet or some other cultural event (NOT a rock concert!) that would necessitate getting home after the curfew, I woulds make an exception, as long as it was on a Sat. night, or during the summer.
I don't see a good reason to say she cannot go out after 7:30, yes, if the movie starts at 8 and runs till 10, obviously, she will not be able to go, since 10pm is her curfew, but what if she just wants to go to grab a burger with a friend at 8pm, and is home by 9:30? I would see nothing wrong with that.
As for the tennis shoes, it depends on why she feels she needs more than one pair every three months. Kids who are very active in sports, often do need their tennys replaced very frequently. Say she is practicing cheerleading, running track, &/or in the marching band, she may really need replacements that often. I could not afford to buy that many pairs of shoes for my kids, but would agree to let her, use money she had earned,(not money she had been given)for them, if being in all those activties meant that much to her. However, if it's just a fashion statement, I would keep my foot firmly down on that habit, unless she were buying the shoes at Goodwill!

Been there, doen that,

M., mom of 7, g-ma of 11, and counting

Hi K.,

When I was her age (in high school), my parents set my curfew depending on the occassion. It was my job to remember the ever-changing curfew and if I forgot, I was grounded. They would ask what my plans were and I had to be home within a 30 minutes after "it" ended (depending on where "it" was), but never later than midnight. Then, I was never allowed to stay in bed past 9am. That allowed me to take responsiblity for getting enough sleep. If I needed more, I meeded to go to bed earlier.

The older she gets, the more responsibility she needs to assume. When she assumes the responsibility, she can earn priviledges. If you keep the rules too confining, she'll want to push her luck when she gets a little freedom. That being said....

I was never allowed to just go hang out anywhere (including malls). If I didn't have definate plans, I didn't have any. My parents always knew where I was and if they checked on me and I wasn't there, I was in deep trouble. I was allowed to go out one night per weekend AS LONG AS I had something constructive to do. Remember, in a few years she'll be going off to college. Let her make her mistakes at home....before she's on her own.

As for spending money. I didn't have any unless I was babysitting. (Back then, you only earned a fraction of what they earn now.) But what I did earn, my parents sent 1/2 to my savings account. And if I didn't have any left, I couldn't go out with my friends because I couldn't pay my way.

I applied the same rules when I was raising my niece (who is now 21). If the kids want to get in trouble, they can do it in the bathroom at lunchtime. If they feel they've been held back, they go hog wild when they hit college.

Good luck!

Yes I do think that some of those rules are too strict for a 14 year old. At this age they are trying to become their own person. The two outing a month is strict. My son is 14 and he goes out once or twice a week. It makes him feel independent. And in the big picture he is still home about five days a week. If chores are the reason you do not want her to go make sure they are done before she leaves.

I agree with the 10 pm time unless it is a special circumstance, i.e. another parent will be with her.

I assume she gets her money from her chores... She should be allowed to spend half and then have her put half in a savings account.

I hope this helps and Good Luck!!

Hi K.,

I have a 16 year old so here are my comments on your rules (some of which I had in place but were violated so often, it results in her not doing much of anything):
2 events per month is good starting point -- if she shows she responsible, you can allow her more time outside the home. It doesn't have to be a hard and fast rule
I think 10:00 is plenty late for a 14 year old. It's my 16 year old's (often violated curfew). Maybe the 7:30 departure rule is not needed. Make her back out her plans to ensure she'll be home by 10:00. In other words, if she wants to chill at a neighbors from 8:30 to 9:30, she'd be home in time. If she wants to see an 8:00 movie, ask her to figure out when she'd get home and she'd realize that wouldn't fit into the parameters you set.
Money is a big issue at our home but I've found just saying no hasn't taught my daughter anything, other than I don't trust her decisions. I have let her spend her cash on gum, iTunes cards, costume jewelry she can easily and less expensively make herself, perfume and inappropriate and hurtful shoes. When her money is gone, it's gone and I don't pay for anything else (OK, socks, underwear and at least 1 pair of unholy jeans). She is learning to appreciate the save a bit and look forward to delayed gratification. According to teens, we know nothing so the best way for them to learn, is by doing. Making their own choices, celebrating their successes and suffering the consequences.
Good luck!

Hello, I have a son who will be 15 in 2 days. He doesn't go out much but i do not limit it for so many a month. I let him go to every home Football game every Friday night. I drop him off and pick him up. He doesn't have friends who have a license yet so any time he goes with his friends somewhere it is either me or their parents driving them so if he want to go to the movies at 9pm then he can. he has a cell phone and knows if anything happens for me not to trust him than he will not go out at all. Now if he had friends that drove most definately he would have an early curfew. I think you are doing what you think is right for your Daughter but i still think only 2 outings a month is crazy. When i was that age i went skating every thursday and Saturday with my brother and friends but i did have an earlier curfew than my brother when we were not together. some cities have a curfew for that age anyway depending on where you live

i think you should let her have more freedom make her think why she wants to go let her be out until 9pm she is a teen ask why she wants the rules to be like but dont let her choose all

I think the rules you have in place are very generous. My 14 yr old does not have such freedoms. Everything she does is monitored,from her online activites to her phone texts and call conversations. We homeschool,so she doesn't have as many friend activities offered. Mostly any activity that she is allowed to participate in are church related. She does have a good friend who is 17 years old that she is allowed to stay with,however, this friend too is limited in her activities, and my daughter would not be able to participate in them if they were out side the friends home, without parental supervision. Thinking through all this my 14 year old,lives in a bubble,kind of sad. But with all the stuff they can get into, I am not willing to risk her life. I have had 2 close friends loose their lives at young ages to car accidents caused by teen drivers,very scary,which makes me a bit paranoid. My 13 year old son is also monitored. Even when in the neighborhood they are only allowed to stay infront of our house when it gets dark out,and has to be in by 8:00pm,unless there is a group activity thay are participating in, the are required to checkin at 8:00pm ask permission to stay out longer.
I think the rules you have in place are very fair,stay strong,you are the parent,she is YOUR kid,don't let her peer presure you.
As far as letting her purchase freely...My daughter teaches guitar, and make more per hour than I do. She is assisted in her purchases,because I know what she really wants, and sometimes, she'll get caught up in the,ooh,I want this spontanious purchase, like $145 for rock band,I said no,she was mad. Several weeks went by and she found a great deal on recording equipment for her music,she was glad she didn buy the rockband and had the funds available for this. I have had issue with spontaneous purchases, and want her to know anything worth having is worth waiting for,in all ways.It is our responsibility to teach our children finicial wisdom,for savings,spending,tithing, billing,we can just hope that they will learn that self control,somemany kids lack.

I agree with everyone that you shouldn't put a limit on how many outings she has per month. She may go to the movies twice at the beginning of the month, but she can't possibly know what opportunities may come up at the end of the month that she may want to do more. In my opinion, I think once a week is a little more reasonable if you do put a limit, but even with a "limit", I think it should be negotiable in case as someone else said, two birthdays happen to be on the same weekend. In my experience, I have seen those who limit their children too much go WAY overboard once they go to college because they actually have freedom. Just take that into consideration. I DEFINITELY agree rules need to be put into place, but it seems to me that these rules are a bit too much. She needs to have the opportunity to learn how to make her own decisions.

10PM curfew I definitely agree with. I was 16 and still had a 10 pm curfew, so that is certainly not unreasonable in my opinion.

As far as buying tennis shoes, I see where you are going with that, but I believe maybe you should let her spend her money on what she wants. She may learn a better lesson this way. If she chooses to buy new shoes, then she will be out of luck when she wants to go to the movies later. As adults, if we make it, we can spend it on whatever we want, but it is our responsibility to know what is better for it to be spent on....fun or bills. This is a good way for her to learn how to be responsible with money, and as with everything, we all learn from making mistakes. I know you don't want her to be materialistic, but at this age, all children are materialistic. That is what is important to them. My son LOVES bakugan balls right now. I hate that he spends $7 on a stupid little ball, but that is what matters to him right now. Eventually he will realize when he wants something else that it wasn't worth $7, and now he can't buy what he really wants.

As far as not going out after 7:30...I don't see why not...as long as she is back by 10:00. It seems to me if you do have some sort of a limit on her outings that it wouldn't make sense for her to use one of them for 2 1/2 hours or less, but again, let her make that decision.

Each family has what works for them, but I strongly recommend to anyone to consider compromising a little with your kids. Not only will it allow for them to learn valuable lessons and make their own mistakes, but it will prevent them from having a "freedom high" later on in life and will also allow for a better relationship between the two of you. When people go overboard when they get to college from having too many rules, it can be dangerous. I strongly believe it is better for kids to be a little mischevious earlier in life so when it is time to "grow up", they do. I have alot of friends that went to college and became total losers because they couldn't function for themselves since they never had the opportunity before, and many of them had very strict rules and so when they were able, they partied all the time and got into some pretty bad things. If you keep the line of communication open and make your daughter believe she can talk to you and not automatically hear a "no", then she will be more likely to talk to you about stuff that does matter ie. drugs, sex, etc. I know we don't want to hear that stuff from our kids, but it is a reality, and I would rather my kids talk to me about things so I know what is going on around them, than hide them from me....Just a thought.

Hi K.,

I have 3 children(9,5 and 2) so I'm not dealing with this yet but I think your rules are reasonable.

I do feel you can compromise some on the 2 per month rule...like possibly one per week.

Also, have you thought of allowing her to spend her money as she wishes. At this age, she is capable of knowing what she wants, the value of money and making wise spending decisions. I'm a firm believer in natural consequences and if she spends all her money on shoes she doesn't have any left for other things. Now is the time for her to practice what she's learned.

If your daugther is responsible and trustworthy then I don't think there's anything wrong with sitting down with her and making some compromises on the rules. Brainstorm what she would like to see and work something out together. It sounds as if you are very in tune with what your daughter is doing and she'll still have expectations. She may prove to be more responsible because it's something you've worked on together.

Btw, the 10:00 curfew is fine for her age. At 14, I wasn't allowed out on weeknights, aside from basketball or softball practice but there were exceptions at times but my curfew was 10 on the weekends.

Your rules are in place to protect her and she may not understand now but will as she gets older and will respect you and your husband for the boundaries you set for her.


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