September 10, 2011,
K.M. asks from Silver Spring, MD on September 09, 2011
Rules, Curfews Etc
Hello all, I've gotten some great advice in the past, so I'm looking for some more! DD has just started high school and while I know I have to give her more freedom am unsure of how much. Last year she had to be in bed by 9:30pm on a school night, I want to continue that time. Does your 9th grader have a bedtime and if so when is it? She has to get up @ 6 am to get ready for school. When is your phone cutoff time? Last yr hers was @ 8:30. On weekends what time must your 14yr old be home? She went to her first football game and I picked up her right after it was over. I don't want to smother her, but don't feel she is ready to come home @ 10-10:____@____.com state has a curfew, but in my opinion it is WAY too late, plus it's also takes in consideration kids who are 2 yrs older than her. My rule has always been you come home, change clothes, have a snack, do your homework THEN you can watch tv etc What about your high schooler? She has not joined clubs yet, so I know that might change when she does, her dance class is later in the eve as well as her other non school activities. Thanks ladies!
L.A. answers from Austin on September 09, 2011
Our daughters number 1 job was school. To make sure she did her best and completed all of the work necessary. As long as that continued we were open to tweaking and making exceptions to our week and weekend curfews. (Our city has strict curfews for students under the age of 18.)
She was responsible for completing her homework, projects and studying. I stopped hovering over her about homework in 5th grade so I did not care how or when she finished it, she just knew she was in charge of getting it turned in and it needed to be her best work. SHE had to ask for assistance. We did not interfere with this part of school as long as she kept her grades up.
Our daughter did not have a bedtime, the rule was she had to get up in the morning and be on time for school no moaning or whining. She knew what she could handle.
I do not like phone calls after 9:00pm.. So as a household we did not make calls after that time.
Curfew during the week was 9:00pm. There were times it was later if she was up at school working on a project or volunteering for an activity.There were also times that maybe if a performance or rehearsal was going on in town or at school, she could stay out for that.
Football games here can go on past 10:30. She was to call us if it was running late. I remember one game went into over time 3 times.. it finally was called at Midnight.. The band had left by this point, but us
"die hard's" were still there.
Our daughter watched TV, was on the computer and on her phone while doing her homework.. It works for her. She graduated as a National Merit Scholar and now is a senior in college and still studies this way (no TV).. Not all of the time, but she knows what she can handle..
She can multitask like no one else, but she is honest when she knows it is not working.
High School is the last 4 years before they leave and go to college. Better they figure out what they can handle now than when you are paying the big bucks and they go wild.
We were very honest with our daughter. We trusted her. We worked with her about the rules. As long as she followed the rules we had, we did not have a problem. We needed to know her plans, her location any changes to the plans while out and a return time.
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J.W. answers from St. Louis on September 09, 2011
I don't know if I am the best person to ask. I can say that my kids were always ready for school in the morning but never had a bed time. I know that my kids got straight As with the occasional B mixed in all through school. Honor roll all that stuff.
Having said that they were allowed to stay out as late as 10:30 on a school night. They never made a habit of it mind you but ya know when your soccer game isn't over until 9 it is a bit harsh to expect them to come straight home after a big win. Yes they drove with the older kids on the team.
On weekends it was midnight and if you need to stay out later you had to call.
As I said scholar athletes so I can't see how the later curfew effected them in any negative manner.
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C.W. answers from Santa Barbara on September 09, 2011
My daughter graduated high school in June and is starting college in a few days. In high school we never had a bed time for her. She needed to figure out how much sleep she needed with softball and heavy academics. I didn't have a need to restrict the phone usage because she was great with her priorities. If her friend texted her at 10 pm I certainly wasn't going to fight about it.
I didn't implement a blanket curfew either, school activities and weekend plans could vary so it depended on what she was doing. Special occasions/prom and things are an exception. This past year she would often work until midnight on the weekends.
I have given her space and the ability to make great decisions and there is mutual respect.
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K.F. answers from New York on September 09, 2011
In general 9th - 12th grades are designed for parents to prepare their teens further for life on their own. With that in mind we don't have a specific curfew time set in stone for our teens. They are home because they have chores which must be done such as walking and feeding the dog (2 - 3 times in the afternoon into the night), feeding the cat, washing the dishes, cooking the dinner, sweeping and mopping the floors, etc. They aren't in any sports and when my son had the priveledge of participating in football we would pick him up from the school after his games and after practice he would be home by no later than 7:30 pm.
The phone priviledge in based on their ability to be able to function the next day. We don't micromanage them but try to set limitations they can enforce for themselves. We don't call them in the morning to get up. They are responsible for doing that themselves. TV is limited because we have only 1 tv and it gets shut down at around 10 pm because I like to enjoy a quiet house from 10-11 pm. It makes for a very calming atmosphere.
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T.F. answers from Dallas on September 09, 2011
I have a 16 yr old. She is heavily involved in cheerleading which means she is at some games until almost 10 or after.... Even in 9th grade. I don't set specific phone limits.
We give as much space as possible unless/until she shows us that she is not responsible. So far she is great. She thrives on responsibility and independence.
She babysits often and sometimes she does not get home until after 1am.. but on a school night, babysitting... we ask that she is home by 11.
I don't set a specific bed time, she knows where she is supposed to be and when. She knows what she is responsible for at school as far as her studies.
She currently is in 11th grade, drives to school and she has a solid 20 minute drive. SO, she leaves by 7:20 in order to get to school on time, traffic around here can be crazy, get a good parking spot and get in class. This is the first year since 6th grade she has had to be in class by 8! She usually gets home around 5 or later if there is a ballgame.
Her routine, not set by me.... is to come home from school, change to comfy clothes, get something to eat and she studies. She studies quite a bit and takes pride in her grades.
She does have a boyfriend. Her curfew is midnight. Now sometimes, he stops by on his way home from work which is after midnight and we do allow her to go outside and see him for no more than 15 minutes. We have allows her to have later curfew for special events, etc. She has never pushed this with us or crossed the boundaries.
One good thing we have is a city curfew. Sun-Thurs is 11pm under 17yrs old and Fri-Sat is midnight.
As long as she maintains her good grades in all her classes, including all the AP's she is ok with us. She loves cheer and works very hard with it as well to be involved and be the best she can be and make her coaches proud.
We've never had any trouble with her pushing the rules we have and until we do, we will not smother her. She has very high goals and she is very driven ( like her parents) and we support her at all times.
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L.B. answers from Boston on September 09, 2011
I had pretty much the same approach as Laurie A.
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C.P. answers from Columbia on September 09, 2011
Truly, it depends upon the maturity level of your child. It sounds like you're doing quite well so far. It might be that she needs more sleep in order to get going than most, or she might be fine with getting less.
When I was in high school, my entire family went to bed around 9:30. I might stay up for a little while and read, but since that was the norm for my family, that was the norm for me.
Curfew on weeknights was 9pm unless there was a special thing going on, and midnight on weekends. Gods forbid I walked in one minute after curfew...oh boy!
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K.C. answers from Dallas on September 09, 2011
I have a 15 year old son....he is now a sophmore in high school.
Last year his freshman year, curfew was 10:00 on the weekends and 8 on the weekdays, unless there was a school activity.
This year it is still 8 on the weekdays, simply because he has a younger brother and sister, I get up at 5 am, and the little ones get up at 6am to go to kinder. and daycare. 15 yo gets up at 7:30/745. I gave up on making him go to bed at a certain time. High school are the years were yes you have to give them boundaries, but you also have to give them that freedom to figure things out on your own. Example my son plays football. Summer practice started and he started complaining of headaches about 3 days into practice.
We got concerned, talked with coaches, then tried an experiement. Made him go to bed by 9pm. Made him get up an hour before practice, 530am, and eat breakfast and wake up. Headaches, no more. He was going to bed at 12/1 in the morning, waking up at the last minute, not eating breakfast and running out of the house.
Every household is different, doing what is comfortable for you and her. Sit down and talk to her and ask her opinion and make it an open conversation. I feel like when I make things more of a discussion with my teenager rather than-this is what you have to do (on most subjects) we get better results.
I always remind him, we are the parents...you are not, so no matter what you say you want/need/can handle is up for over ruling.
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