21 answers

"Reasonable Curfew Time"

Hello my fellow moms out there, I've been struggling with my 16 year old daughter since she was about 12 yrs old. Now for the most part our relationship is improving, but it seem to be going downhill again. Due to trust issues in the past, I have been giving her opportunity to improve her behavior, but she has broken curfew a few times, and has also not informed me of her whereabouts. With that being said, she feels that I'm treating her like a baby, always texting to see where she is or what she's doing, or calling to make sure she's where she said she was. Her curfew is now 11:30, buts she wants to change it to 12:00 midnight, weekends only. so I asked her if you can't keep the 11:30 curfew what makes you think you can handle the 12:00 midnight curfew. So my question is what's a reasonable time for a 16 year old to hang with friends?? I do admit that I am holding onto those issues from the past, and I am having trouble letting it go.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Good Morning L.,

You've already gotten a lot of great thoughts and advice. I really don't have much to add except to say you are doing a great job! Keep it up!
I've told my kids that they won't get it until they have kids of their own, the fear of a parent of losing a child. And it does't matter how old they are!

In good health,

L. K

More Answers

Good Morning L., It's not unreasonable to keep the 11:30 curfew. I think this is going to sound odd but you can give respect but do me wrong you are gonna have to earn my trust back.
SO what if you call to make sure she is ok, Your her mom.. SO what if you call to check on her where abouts, Your her mom. If there was an emergency you need to get in touch with her ASAP.. You only have each other to depend on, there really needs to be trust & honesty between you. To many things can happen to our children out there.

You could allow her on special occasions (concerts,etc) to be out until 12. and see how she does. If she can't keep her word to be home on time well you can decide what to do.

You can forgive past behavior, it's hard to forget it. So don't beat yourself up over remembering what she did before.

I might be an old fashioned and on the Other side of what other mama's think. I want honesty and trustworthiness, then we can get on the right track, to allow ing you more freedom.

God Bless you L. & your Beautiful daughter.
Have a Wonderful Christmas
K. Nana of 5

4 moms found this helpful

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all.
If she is lying (even if lying by omission) about her whereabouts, and not respecting you enough to come home on time .... then she does not deserve the priviledge of a later curfew.
Who is the parent here ? Personally, I would move her curfew up to 10:00 until she can prove she can be responsible and respective enough to handle a later one, and I would ground her or limit her every time she lied to me, failed to check in, or just plain didn't show up on time.
Going out with friends at night is a privilege, not a right.

3 moms found this helpful

Ten years ago, when I was 18, my curfew was 10pm. Weeknight, weekends, you name it. Before I was 16, I didn't have a curfew because I was expected to be home before dinner and that was that. Do I think that 10 is a little bit excessive? Yes, and no.... My dad always said that if you can't do it before 10 then it is probably just something that will get you in trouble. Was he right? Well, for the most part yes. Can you go bowling, to the movies, to the mall all before 10? Yes, you sure can. Especially if you have had trust issues in the past, I would knock it back even before 11:30 and then let her work her way back up. If she can show that she can be successful getting home at 10, then she can be successful getting home at 12, right? Leave all of that other stuff until she goes to college.

3 moms found this helpful

My husband is always telling my teen "Trust is the easiest thing to loose and the hardest thing to get back" I think you should explain this to her and tell once she is able to keep her current curfew for a set amount of time you will reconcider extending it. As far as a curfew for a 16 yo girl in the first place unless she is at a friends house I don't see any reason first her to be out past 10:00 in the first place. All the activities for under 21 are closed by then. Also you are her parent and responsible for her so you SHOULD know where she is at all times. Once my son gets his licence I plan be able to track his cell phone through GPS. I case he is in an accident or something.

3 moms found this helpful

to me it is not about a curfew, but where they are and who they are with. Every activity has a different end time then consider an appropriate amount of time to get home safely and that is the time to be home. If it is not happening outings end. At 16 if she is alone with a male she is asking for trouble. Teach purity and courting (which means she is never out of your sight when he is around.) It is not barbaric or judgemental, but biblical and good parenting. God Bless you and best of luck.

2 moms found this helpful

most of the time my kids curfew is 10:30-11 but if I know where they are and who they are hanging out with sometimes will let them stay later especially if they are watching a late movie or have a special youth event. If their plans change they are supposed to call and tell me what their plans are like sometimes they say they are going to the mall and call and tell me they changed their minds and going to a movie at another location. As long as they call and I know where they are and who is with them, I am pretty cool about it but if I find out they went somewhere and I wasn't called and didn't know about it then they are usually grounded. The main reason for these rules and I tell them is safety issues. I tell them what if something happens like an accident and I hear about it but don't worry because I think you were somewhere else? They call when they get to their destination so I know they made it and call if they are running late.

2 moms found this helpful

actually I would say 10-10:30pm as being curfew. You have it at 11:30 I would tell your daughter 1) she needs to be in by 11 next time she goes out and you will not call until 11 if she is not home. If she doesn't make it in by 11pm then next time her curfew will be 10:30 pm. Then 10. If she still isn't making it home on time then she will be grounded from going out at all for however long you decide.

2 moms found this helpful

Mom of a 16 year old,
I feel your 11:30 curfew is reasoable. Having gone through this curfew issue twice (first with a girl and then a boy)my advice is to stick to your guns. Both my children's curfews were raised to 12:00 their senior year of high school. On special occasions such as prom and homecoming adjustments were made accordingly. I last dealt with this issue 6 years ago. At the time both kids felt that I was too strict but today they appreciate the discipline and expectations. Both have graduated from college and are working at successful careers. Just remember to keep the lines of commnication open. let her know you are always there and have her best interest at heart. Spend quality time with your her. She may protest but will appreciate the effort.
Hang in there. God bless you!
From, Been there

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

Wow!! I've read the other responses and had no idea that 11:30 was even acceptable as a reasonable curfew!!! When I was 16, (I'm 35 now) my BEDTIME was 9 p.m.!! I didn't know any different!! I had two older sisters and their bedtime was 9 p.m. too!!

You've gotten a lot of good responses, but there is something I'd like to share with you. It's a program called, "The Total Transformation". Not sure if you've heard about it before, but it's an excellent tool to getting peace back into your home. It teaches parents to parent effectively and teaches kids responsibility and to be held accountable for their actions. It's wonderful but a bit pricey. Check out www.thetotaltransformation.com.

Good luck and Merry CHRISTmas!! ls

2 moms found this helpful

i agree with you about the time - it absolutely doesn't matter, 30 minutes one way or another. the fact is if she's not respecting the curfew, she hasn't earned an extension. i would say, maybe if she can stick to it for a month (or two, or whatever you decide), then maybe an extension might be considered. by blowing off curfew she's acting like a "baby", therefore yes, you're having to check up on her like one. she should be able to understand that. stick to your guns, sounds like she's trying to worm her way into getting her way.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

When my three girls were teens, I was a single mother as well. They always had a midnight curfew on Friday and Saturday and had to be in by 10 on Sunday - Thursday. It was not a decision they thought was fair and it was a real bone of contention with all of them at the time. They also didn't get to go anywhere unless I knew where they would be. Bad things don't just happen in the movies!

I told them all at the time, it wasn't my job to win a popularity contest, it was my job to protect them and keep them as safe as possible, and there is NOTHING out there for a 16 year old to do after midnight that will come to any good! It wasn't always easy but I stuck to my convections and they did obey the rules. I think it only took them breaking the rules once or twice to figure out I meant it - coming in past curfew was automatic staying in the next weekend.

I also had a deal with them, that if they were out somewhere and if whom ever they were with was drinking, they were not to get in the car, and it was a home free pass, as long as they called me and I could come get them. I actually had this happen too - the next time that particular person came to my house, my daughter was not allowed to ride with her, and I told them why in no certain terms - I did not bring this child to this Earth for someone to do something stupid with my child!

Now they are all in their late 20's and speak frequently about the fact that I was always their mother, and never tried to be their best friend, like some of the mom's did.

You will have to place a certain amount of trust in your daughter, just as she will have to respect you as her mother. As long as she knows the rules and what the consequences are, let her know you will place that trust in her, and it will be up to her, if she breaks the rules or follows them.

Good luck!

N.

PS - you said there had been trouble in the past, but weren't specific about it, so asking a group of uninformed people may not get you the advice you would like, but rather get you ideas of what worked for us.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi my son is 16 his curfew is 11:30 and almost all of his friends have the same curfew so he hasn't even asked to stay out later. If he calls and they are watching a movie at someones house I will let him stay until the movie is over. He is really good about calling or texting me so I don't have the trust issues.

1 mom found this helpful

it's all about control & power struggles....& teens thrive off of it. Sooo, that said, who wins & who's splitting hairs? The answer would be .....both of you.

You each have your reasons, you each feel justified... but it still boils down to the age-old struggle between teens bidding for their freedom (as they perceive it) & parents bidding for their control.

How you answer this question is up to YOU. Our opinions are our opinions....so here's mine: not much difference between the two times...let her have it. Most kids have midnight curfews & it allows her to conform. If her curfew was 10:30, my answer would be different!

1 mom found this helpful

The problem with dealing with 16 year old children is not what rules you try to impose. It would not matter whether or not the curfew is 10pm, 11pm, Midnight, or if one did not exist at all. The bigger problem is how they think, what the world is telling them, and what the laws are.

These kids know that in a few short months they will be 17. In Missouri they may as well be on their own then. No police officer will bring them home when they are 17. These kids feel as if they are grown and that we need to back off and leave them be.

They don't realize that even if they lived with roomates, someone would care about where they are and what they are doing. We see the news and know that our children could be listed as missing, raped, mutilated, and or found dead. They see the same news reports and feel that it's a shame but it only happens to other people. Even if they acknowlege that it could happen to them or someone they know, they refuse to change their lives or live like they are afraid.

Some children are respectful toward their parents and really attempt to live up to their rules. But most children will only push back as hard or harder than we push them.

I'm sorry I don't have any good advice that will transform your relationship with your teen. The best thing you can do is reason with them and negotiate.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Like some of the other posts, who comment on the extension to 12 or later for special events, I think 11:30 or 11:00 is appropriate. That being said, I never set a curfew for my daughter. As long as I know where she is, who she is with, how she is getting there-home, and what the "game plan" is for the night she knows when the last event is over she is to come home, or go to a friends house to stay the night. I have absolutely no problem calling her or her friends if she's not in touch when I think she should be. I call other parents to verify that they are staying there, but of course it's just a "social call" to see what they are doing tomorrow, is there a specific time she needs to get picked up, do they want to join us for...? We will send txt messages back and forth, when she's driving to the next spot, or her friend is taking her someplace else. If they get tickets to the late movie, she has to tell me about when it ends and who all has to be dropped off at home, so I can estimate when she's going to be home safely.
I agree that if she can keep her 11:30, maybe loosen to 11:45 or 12 down the road, however if she's not home by your curfew, and hasn't called to let you know what the problem is I personally wouldn't allow her out the next weekend, or I'd be the driver, to ensure that she makes it home on time. GOOD LUCK! Keep up the great work!

1 mom found this helpful

I think that midnight is a reasonable time. What can a 16 year old do past midnight anyway - except for get into trouble? I agree that she should prove to you that she can keep her curfew of 11:30 pm before extending to midnight. I also agree that she should let you know where she is going. I had to always let my Grandma know where I was going and now that I'm married I wouldn't think of going out without letting my hubby know where I was going, and the same with him. As my Grandma told me it's just curtisy to let those you live with know where you are and when you are going to be back. She really has to earn back your trust and then move on from there. It would be the same as if you did something to her - you would have to earn her trust back - point that out to her. Good luck and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

L.,
Please hang in there for one thing. Raising teenagers in this day and age is not easy. And you, doing it alone. May God give you strength and peace as you continue.
I would give your daughter opportunities to earn your trust and then maybe talk about the curfew. But the question is why does she need to be out until 12 midnight? My husband and I have raised 3 boys. And albeit they are all rather different personalities, unfortunately it appears that our youngest is trying to follow in his older brother's footsteps. They are doing drugs and running from their problems. They are 22 and 25. I just wish the younger generation such as your daughter could see that she does not want to throw her life away. Get her education and stay on the straight and narrow. Just to be careful and make good decisions.
Anyway, earning the trust and continue to set the boundaries. Let her know if she acts like a young woman and shows she can make those kind of decisions then she will be treated as such. I had a friend in high school and she had to buy her own car, pay her own insurance and buy her own clothes. I use to think this was harsh but now I wonder if this was a good idea. To teach her responsibility. So maybe she could take on some of these types of things to show she is an adult and not a baby.
Well, L., my best to you and May God bless you as you continue on the parental journey.
K.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
My daughter is almost 22 now, but when she was 16 she had a 10:00 curfew on school nights ( unless she was working) and 12:00 on weekends. She had to call us and let us know when she got somewhere and when she left somewhere. We also had a few trust issues because at that age they think they know everything. Well she learned pretty quick that I knew a few things when we would hunt her down and make her come home. I guess that sounds harsh, but she appreciates what we did now. Almost 22 and she still calls me to let me know what she is doing. I agree that there is nothing but trouble after 10:00. As far as them being almost 17, it is true the police won't bring them home, but you are financially responsible for them until they are 18. This is just what we did, and I am sure you will find the right fit. Good luck, and remember they don't stay 16 forever!

1 mom found this helpful

Good Morning L.,

You've already gotten a lot of great thoughts and advice. I really don't have much to add except to say you are doing a great job! Keep it up!
I've told my kids that they won't get it until they have kids of their own, the fear of a parent of losing a child. And it does't matter how old they are!

In good health,

L. K

I would check with state laws. I know that after a certain time 16 year old's do not have a valid driver's license or insurance. If i'm not mistaken it is 12:00 a.m.-5:00 a.m. If she were to have a accident after midnight because she is running late coming home that could put you in a world of financial hurt. Just something my parents always told me. They also punished me for being late. Every min. I was late it took off 5 min. the next night. So if I came home at 12:01 the next night I had to be in at 11:55.

Another sneaky way is to check with your cell phone provider and see if she has a tracking device on her phone so you can watch her while she is out without her even knowing it. It may give you more peace at mind and her because you wouldn't have to keep bugging her while she is out. I know certain phones do have this in them.

Hi L.!

I would say midnight is a good time to have her be home. I had a midnight curfew at 16. But with that said, that was quite a long time ago and times have changed. There are so many crazy people out there nowadays! Also, I'll tell ya, I wasn't doing the nicest of things at that hour of the night--but the time wouldn't have mattered anyway. What matters most is the type of person your daughter is. If you honestly believe she's doing innocent things and hanging with friends then let her stay out until midnight. If you suspect there's more to it, then I say make her curfew even earlier! Good luck!

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