L.D. asks from Battle Creek, MI on September 22, 2006
I have a Junior in high school that has started to seriously date a girl. He has had several very short term "girlfriends" in the past but this one seems to be more serious.My husband and I have a curfew of 9:30pm on week nights and 11:30pm on weekends for him. The problem is that the girlfreinds parents let her stay out much later both on the weekend and week nights. In fact the other night they "lost track of time" and she didn't leave our house until 11:30 at night on a school night. I asked my son if she was grounded or got in trouble and he said "NO", I then replied with "Well you know you would have", he said he knew this. Do My husband and I have too strict of curfews or are we right to continue to enforce these?
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for your input. I believe we will stay with our curfew. I do make exception for school dances as I know they get out a little later.
M.P. answers from Detroit on September 23, 2006
i am glad to see i am not the only one with this issue. my son has always been great even during those so called "teen-rebellion" years. during his senior year he had to be home by 10 week day and one on the weekend ... which of course i stayed up to know that he was safely home ... he has now met this girlfriend of 4 months and argues that he should be allowed to stay out until 4 am ... ARE YOU KIDDING ME! honestly i do not think it is my son that is the problem or even honestly wanting to stay out until this time ... my real question is how do you get rid of the girlfriend without hurting your son's feelings or having to watch him be unhappy? good luck and just know you are not alone
E.W. answers from Cincinnati on September 22, 2006
I think your curfew is great and wish more people would be as "Strict" as you! I had to be home at 11pm when I was in hisghschool on weekends. My friends had later curfews..to bad for me! Mom's theory was there is nothing to do but trouble at that time! MAybe you could call the girls mother and let her know what your sons curfew is. ALso, let the girlfriend know that if she does not respect your curfew that she will not be welcome and it may cause your son to have earlier curfews...
R.H. answers from Cincinnati on September 23, 2006
Hi! My name is R. and I am 29 years old, married 10 years, and have a 2 and 3 year old. The reason I am responding is because I have a younger brother who is a senior in high school this year. My mom has gone through the same stuff. She moved her rules to go with his girlfriend's curfew. It was a mistake. The were able to stay out later and of course with teens, that can lead to unwanted troubles. My mom really wishes she could go back and stick with her original rules. I strongly suggest you keep to your own rules. You can always let him stay out later for special events or whatever, but once you loosen the reigns, it's much harder to tighten back up. Hope this helps. R.
C.F. answers from Rochester on September 22, 2006
It's been awhile since I was in high school (over 10 years), but my parents had pretty "strict" curfews as well. Yours sound right on the money to me. One thing my parents always said to me, was that if there was something special going on, like my girlfriends and I wanted to watch a movie that got done a 1/2 hour or so after curfew, I could always call them and ask to stay out later that night. I rarely asked, but when I did, they allowed me. They just wanted to know where I was/who I was with/what I was doing, and I always had to check in with them when I got home to let them know I was home. Because they allowed some flexibility, I rarely felt the curfew was too early. Kudos for setting a good example for your kids!
H.H. answers from Columbus on September 23, 2006
I'm probably being redundant with the majority of others here, but if these curfews work for you, then stick with them. Also, if she stayed at your house past your personal curfew, you have every right to tell her it's time to leave - it's a great way to emphasize to both of the teens that both sets of parents have rules that are to be followed.
It's frustrating when your kid's friends don't have the same guidelines as you give your own, but it's bound to happen. I haven't run into it yet with my teen, but as a teen, I had a boyfriend whose parents didn't give a rat's patootey when he came home. What it taught me was that if he couldn't respect my parent's wishes...he wasn't respecting me.
It was a great lesson to learn.
L.R. answers from Cincinnati on September 24, 2006
I have to commend you. my oldest is only 13(boy) and I also have 3 girls ages 12-4. I must say I think you are doing nothing wrong in setting the curfews you have. I also think it's great because he is a boy. I think parents are leaner on boys. I couldn't imagine letting my daughter stay out that late. Maybe the weekend is different but definetly not on a school night. I also think you have a reasonable curfew for the weekend also. You are a good parent because you set limits for your child and don't let them run the streets. I intend to be the same way. Good Luck!!
K.B. answers from Columbus on September 23, 2006
I have a 16 yr old son too, so I can truly relate. I also work for a 24/7 crisis hotline and receive many calls, many IMs and many emails especially from teens for a multitude of reasons.
What I've learned is that... all teenagers really do appreciate it (even though they may not tell you this themselves or realize it at the time) when their parents are the reason why they have to say "no" or why they have to "go home", etc. (They might even ask you, beg you, plead in front of their friends/girlfriend for you to say "yes" - even though they're secretly hoping that you would still say "no").
Truthfully, All Teens need Supervision, Curfews, Consistency, Boundaries, Accurate Information about STDs, STIs, STVs, pregnancy, etc.
Also, you wrote that they "lost track of time" -- Did you and/or your husband not realize that she was still there? past 9:30p? If his curfew is 9:30p then do you agree that it would be appropriate for her to leave at 9:30p?
Best ~ K.
J.J. answers from Youngstown on September 24, 2006
Hey, if you have rules that your both comfortable with.. why change?? You'll always run into kids with different sets of rules.. and I refuse to adapt to the neighborhood.. they are not ultimately responsible for my children.
My kids have many friends with unlimited bedtimes and unlimited curfews. I don't see this as healthy and refuse to budge. Kids, even teens, need sleep for school. Just because the Jones down the street have different rules, I have to stick to my guns and keep to what I know is right for us.
Your talkin to another mom who is known in the neighborhood as "mean and strict".. but I don't want the kids running wild, want to know where they are at all times, and know that they are safe and healthy. That's all that's important to me.. and I know the kids and us go round and round about bedtimes, curfews.. but hey.. I'm the mom! LOL
Hang tough honey.. he'll thank you for it in the long run. And that's the big goal.. the long run.