36 answers

Curfew for 18 Year Old Son Living at Home

What is a an appropriate curfew for an 18 yr old son living at home?
My son says their should be no problem with him staying out till 3am, cause i know where he's at and i know his friends. Yes, i 've met them but don't really know them. These girls are older than him by 2 or so years. But everytime he's with them specifically he's sure to be home past curfew. I do trust him and believe he's not drinking, or doing drugs. I don't feel i should just let him run free and do whatever he pleases. i asked him "what could he possibly be doing at those hours that he can't do earlier" and he told me his friends get out of work late so they wanna hang out and watch movies at her house. So i guess this would be the same scenario everyday? I don't want it to be. I believe 12:00 am during the week and 2:00am Friday and Saturday. So please let me know how to deal with this and if i'm going about it the right way? THANKS

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of all, thank you all for your advice!! Just to clear up some questions.... my son used to work but got laid off. He is going to college in the fall and is somewhat looking for work right now. No, he doesn't pay his cell or anything. I can honestly say i'd feel better if i knew these older late night friends. But how do i go about that, wonder if he'd even want to. I know the other friends his age and they always bring him home at a reasonable time. He's working on getting his drivers license now and he always give me that same excuse "They didn't wanna bring me home" like i'm gonna believe that for a second. And yes the curfew is just for the simple fact of safety and respect. We both get up really early for work, my husband just goes to sleep, and i try to sleep but can't with the phone next to me. He's my only child and if God forbid something ever happened i couldn't even tell you the address where he's at, his friends last name, or what he was wearing. Seems like today more than ever kids at all ages just up and disappear. I don't want to be one of those parents who regret not knowing as much as they should of. My son is my friend as well but i need to be a mother now and set some kind of boundaries whether he likes it or not. Guess i've already made up my mind up. And today is friday lucky me, hope he follows curfew so we can put this behind us. Thanks again for the great input.

Featured Answers

I know this must be crazy but my 18 year old is home on school nights before 10 pm and she's going to college. I am flexible though and 10:30 is fine. On weekends she must be home by 12 or 1am if we've discussed it ahead of time. I just don't want to wait up all night worrying about her. She hasn't questioned the rules at all and can spend the night at a girl friends house as long as she tells us ahead of time. Though not on school nights.
good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

He is 18. He is an adult. Adults do not have a cerfew. You raised him well I trust so trust him. It's hard I know.

2 moms found this helpful

He's an adult. Let him have his freedom. You've raised him, now trust that you've done a good job.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Your home, your rules. Why doesn't he have a job? Even if fast food places are not hiring (and they always are), he can cut lawns, walk dogs, do fix it jobs, etc. The Army / Navy, etc are always hiring. If he wants to be an adult, then he can move out, and work and pay his way just like all the other adults out there and in his own apartment he can keep what ever hours he wants. While he lives in your home (or any one else's for that matter), then he lives by someone elses rules. Legally he's an adult, but the privileges of adulthood do not come by merely aging past 18 years. They come by making your way and place in the world with work and responsibility. He needs to be working on his exit plan if he can't live by your rules anymore.

8 moms found this helpful

It's true he is an adult, but the issue here is YOUR convenience, not his. It is hard to rest or even sleep if you are always listening for someone to come in the door which is a normal parental reaction. If he lives at home, even if he is an adult, he needs to follow your rules. Your curfew times are not unreasonable and he should respect your life by respecting your rules. It is a hard one, but you need to have your life now and your life includes having some comfort in your home. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

Someone else posted this question awhile ago. My reply then was, if you trust your son, let it go. If he's 18 it sounds like he should either be going to college or working? Even if it is "summer break", he should still have some responsibilities be it helping around the house, working, paying you a meager "rent", etc. After that, he should be "one his own"...cooking his own meals, doing his own laundry, car payment, insurance, etc. That's "the price" one pays for being an adult and making his own decisions.

I realize MOST 18 yr olds probably don't have ALL of that responsibility (yet)...they ease into it...especially if they continue on in school.

If he is off to college in the Fall, you'll have no say on his cerfew anyway. So I say, enforce the rules you can at home - like doing his own laundry. And let his late nights go. Afterall, he's the one who will have to figure out how to balance his late nights and work/school, right?

5 moms found this helpful

As long as he is living under your roof, you decide what the curfew is and he follows it. As long as you are paying his tuition, you decide what the curfew is and he follows it. What he does at college is his business, but what he does at home is yours.
So - I think midnight during the weeknights and 1am on the weekends is appropriate. If he doesn't like it, he can get a job and move out.

5 moms found this helpful

I don't think your curfews are unreasonable at all, and something he should comply with as long as he's living with you. Heck, if you give him complete freedom (along with free room and board) he won't move out until he's forty. ;-)

Seriously, though, if he wants your role to be limited to that of a "landlord" that doesn't care when he comes and goes, then he should play his role and pay some rent. Fair is fair, right?

4 moms found this helpful

I have a few thoughts to share, after reading your post, the follow-up and everyone's messages...

1. If you want to get to know his friends better, have a BBQ and invite them all over so you can get to know them. Tell your son you're doing this so you can increase your comfort level with the people he's chosen to hang out with. If they don't show up...well, I think that says something about their character and their level of friendship with your son.

2. In my husband's family, curfews were always set by the level of responsibility each child displayed (my husband was one of 5 kids). My husband was curfew free at 17 because he showed great responsibility. One of my sisters-in-law had a curfew until the day she moved out at 20 because she showed poor responsibility.

3. When I came back home after my first year in college for summer vacation, I was 18 and automatically placed myself under my mom's high school rules. (Old habits die hard, I guess.) My mom changed the rules and said I didn't have a curfew but I had to let her know where I was going, who I'd be with and what time I'd be home (and I was allowed to not come home 2 nights, not consecutive, a week). Considering I had lived on my own for a year, had been in a steady relationship for over a year, was getting good grades in college and had a job, this seemed more than reasonable to me.

Having said all that, and rereading your follow-up, I would say that your son has a few milestones to pass before he can have a "no curfew" life. First, he needs to get a job. Somewhat looking doesn't cut it. Second, he needs to earn his driver's license and drive responsibly for at least 6 months (no tickets, no accidents). If you have to haul him around to do stuff, you get to call the shots. If his friends are hauling him around, they need to haul him home on time. (And, really, they didn't want to bring him home? What kind of friends don't take their friends home? Press pause on the movie or game, for goodness sakes. I'm glad you didn't buy that one.) Third, he needs to earn good grades in college. Once your son has shown this level of responsibility, then he can be released from his curfew. Right now, from what you've said, he has not shown enough adult responsibility to earn this privilege. Just because he's 18 and LEGALLY an adult, doesn't mean his thoughts, actions and day-to-day behaviors are those of an adult.

If your son doesn't like the rules you set, he's more than welcome to move out and live on his own...without financial assistance from you. If he can't afford to do that, or doesn't want the responsibility of providing for himself, then he gets to deal with your house rules. If your son doesn't understand this, then he may not be as grown up as he thinks he is.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

I did not have a curfew after 18. My parents trusted me. I was also expected to get to work on time, or to be up in the morning to help them with chores if I didn't have to be at work. So 3:00 am became less appealing when work started at 8:00.

My older kids did not have a curfew after 18, either. They were expected to tell us if they weren't going to be home that night at all (staying at a friend's place).

4 moms found this helpful

I am assuming that your son has graduated from HS and is either working or heading off to college in the fall. Either way, he is an adult and needs to be treated like one....what are you going to do if he breaks this "curfew"? Ground him? Take the tv away from him?? Why have rules just for the sake of having rules.
I would emphasize the responsibilty and consideration part of this. That he let you know ABOUT what time he thinks he is going to be getting home...or at least tell you if this is going to be a "late night"...and then that he let you know if his plans change significantly. I would also tell him that he will NOT make you and Dad happy if he comes in the house and manages to wake the two of you up in the middle of the night! Let him know that he can call you if he needs a ride or help of any sort..and then just relax. Look at him as a "room mate" and handle it like you would if some other non-related adult were living with you!!!
If you want him to act like an adult you have to treat him like an adult.

3 moms found this helpful

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