26 answers

Curfew for a 17 Year Old?

My 17 year old daughter (August birthday) has been pushing the boundaries for years now. She quit school recently, got a GED, and now works full time. She wants to be free to do whatever she wants, but technically, she isn't an adult and is very immature, direspectful, inconsiderate, and irresponsible. I'm doing whatever I can to keep her from running away from home and keep her safe until she is legally old enough to live on her own (her wishes, not mine). I'm sad to say that I see her making the same mistakes that I made when I was her age. Fortunately, she hasn't run away (yet) or become pregnant like I did her age. She's very angry at my husband (who adopted her when we married in 2000) and me because we want to be able to track her via cell phone while she is away from home. She sees it more as a lack of trust on our part and less of a safety concern which is what it really is. She also insists that we are asking too much of her when we ask her to help do chores around the house ("considering that she works 38 hours a week at a fast food restaurant and is so tired"). She only wants to hang with her boyfriend and friends when she isn't working. She can't stand being at home but has always gravitated towards boyfriends and their families; preferring their company over her own family's. We are both college educated parents that have always encouraged her to do the same and we (inconsistently) go to church and have raised her to believe in God. I'm trying to teach her valuable life lessons (responsibility, care and respect for self and others, common considerations, etc...) before it's too late and she's too far gone but she only sees me as someone "lecturing" her all of the time and more often than not tunes me out. My husband and I have two other younger daughters (ages 5 and 2) and are concerned about the negative impact that all of the arguing will have on them. We are emotionally and physically exhausted and are just wanting peace in the house at this point. We currently have a curfew of 10:00 pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends. She wants to be able to stay out until 1 am if she wants to. I don't know what to do...

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I may be in the minority here but I think 1am is reasonable since she is not in HS. She is going to do what she is going to do so I would relax the rules in as many areas as you can. But, participating in household chores is not one of them. If she has chosen to make adult decisions than she needs to be paying rent and pulling her weight at home. And, for the record, you don't trust her (and probably for good reason). You need to switch parenting modes because she is too old to control. Treat her like an adult and try to listen to her more. Good luck!!!

4 moms found this helpful

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She is not in school and is working full time. A 1am curfew is not unreasonable. Also, tracking her by cell phone? I would have wanted out of my parents house as well. That is an invasion on her as person, IMO. You can compromise now, or lose her altogether the day she turns 18. It's time to loosen the apron strings.

6 moms found this helpful

When I was at that stage in life my parents treated it like a roommate situation, which was easier to hear I think.
They explained that roommates :
Expect you to do your share of the cleaning.
Don't do your laundry or grocery shopping and rarely cook for you.
Expect you to be quiet if you come home at 1 or 2 in the morning.
Might report you missing if you don't let them know you are alive once in awhile.

6 moms found this helpful

If I had a child who was not a full time student and working full time, whether 16 or 20, they would be paying real rent, utilities, and absolutely their own cell phone bill. So a curfew would be silly. Why does she not get her own place?

:)

5 moms found this helpful

I may be in the minority here but I think 1am is reasonable since she is not in HS. She is going to do what she is going to do so I would relax the rules in as many areas as you can. But, participating in household chores is not one of them. If she has chosen to make adult decisions than she needs to be paying rent and pulling her weight at home. And, for the record, you don't trust her (and probably for good reason). You need to switch parenting modes because she is too old to control. Treat her like an adult and try to listen to her more. Good luck!!!

4 moms found this helpful

She is working, charge her rent. See what that curfew is worth to her.

4 moms found this helpful

Her age and status as a legal adult have nothing to do with your house rules. She seems to think that 18 is a magic age where suddenly life will become better and she won't have to listen to anyone else except herself. She doesn't realize how easy she has it right now and how little responsibility.

Your house, your rules, your reasons. You're not being too strict but the fact is that she's not going to realize that until she's out in the real world working for a real employer, working real hours and having to account for every single second of her day and every dollar of her paycheck.

Sit down with her and create a budget for the house, plus a contract for living there. Give her a taste of the real world. If she wants to be treated like an adult, then treat her like one. Be her landlord. Don't be her maid or laundromat or chef. Stop fighting. Make her pay for all of her own gas, insurance, cell phone service, her share of food and utilities... everything. Break it all down for her. Show her what you and your husband do in order to run the house, and what she's now expected to do as an "adult" member of the house including chores that will be built into the contract.

Build into the contract that for every chore of hers that you end up having to do yourself, it's a dollar extra rent for you. That will add up quickly.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm somewhat on board with Mamazita. My oldest is 17, too.
Tracking her every move through her cellphone is really over the top and someone who is not a criminal doesn't deserve that kind of tracking. She should be able to be in RiteAid buying tampons without you knowing.
As for the curfew, my teen isn't allowed to just be out and about without a destination. She does not have a specific curfew. I do it the same way my mother did - the time you have to come home depends upon where you are going and how long it's reasonable for you to be there! If you're going to a 7:40 movie that's two hours long and 20 minutes away from home, you won't quite make it home at 10:00 and you certainly can't go out for a Starbucks after if you must be home at 10pm. Is it so unreasonable for a fulltime working person to see a movie on a weeknight after work and then go for a latte? What is your objection to her staying out til 1 a.m.? She isn't less likely to be having sex with the boyfriend an hour earlier (and if she gets an IUD, she is very unlikely to get pregnant at all).
She is adjusting to working full time, much different than 6 1/2 hours a day in school. It may be time, as Mamazita says, to start treating her as an adult in the home. She should be using her earnings to pay for her own expenses - her cellphone, her gas, her car insurance, her own clothes and haircuts. She should be in charge of her own laundry, keeping her own room and bathroom clean, clean up after herself if she makes her own food in the kitchen. Approach this with her that she'll be getting some adult privileges but that adult responsibility comes with that.
It's understandable that she doesn't want to spend her time hanging around at home with a 5 year and and a 2 year old. She should, however, be considerate of the family - be quiet when she comes in at night and not wake up the rest of the family.

2 moms found this helpful

Last year my daughter graduated early. Worked full time. I didn't give her a curfew but expected that she let me know where she was going and when to expect her home. She would usually let me know if she was going to be later. She was saving her money for college in the fall - so I did not charge her rent. Her brother on the other hand was charged rent after he was out of school until he decided to go into the Air Force. Every one did some sort of chores...maybe on their days off and not when they had worked all day. They did their own laundry and often took care of their own meals.

I wouldn't track her cell phone at this point. Tracking her probably won't change what she does and is only causing conflict. Give her a little a breathing room..but I would consider charging some kind of rent and let her know she does have to clean up after herself and take care of her own laundry, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

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