Rules, Curfews Etc

Updated on September 10, 2011
K.M. asks from Silver Spring, MD
15 answers

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:[email protected] 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!

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answers from Austin on

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.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

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.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

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.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

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.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

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.

They usually will invite their friends over to our house to hang out or play games (we have some really fun board games). We have 3 teen boys in our house and 2 more cute teen girls upstairs.

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.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

When my daughter was in High School - her weeknight curfew was 9PM - yeah - early - but her homework MUST be completed and ready for the next day...

Phone cut off? 9PM. If anyone calls after that - it had better be an emergency. and not a chipped/broken nail emergency.

Friday night and Saturday night? midnight curfew. No exceptions.

You need to talk with her to set the boundaries...the boundaries can and will widen when she proves trust and makes good decisions...REGULARLY!!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I had pretty much the same approach as Laurie A.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

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 are not, so no matter what you say you want/need/can handle is up for over ruling.

Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

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!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

My daughter is 14 and a Freshman in HS. She has to be at the bus by 6:40am so she gets up between 5:30-6AM. Anyway, she has to be off the computer and phone by 10:30PM unless it is school work. I try to give her a curfew of 10pm on school nights (that is if she has energy to go out) and usually it means that she and her friends hangout on our front porch or in front of our TV. Weekends it is usually 11PM.

My daughter is also in JROTC and is on the Drill Team for it (with the rifle twirlling UGH) and plays Lacrosse and has is wanting to join a few clubs. Plus she also goes to Church Youth Group 2x's a week and helps me teach CCD 1x a week. She is pretty busy. Plus my younger two have us at the Softball fields 5 days a week for their practices and games. So we don't have alot of free time, so I give her more freedom

The way we do homework with her is different than with my little ones....she comes home, gets a snack, we chat about her day, she gets to chat with friends on her phone/computer, she gets stuff together to take to the ball field (we are there 1.5-2hrs 5 days a week) and does some there. When her sisters go to bed at 9/9:30 we finish up anything that she needs me to review or my help with, that we didn't do at the field. She does Skype with her friends - like a study group - which is great too.

My younger two - 2nd & 3rd grades - school, snack, some homework - since they have softball M/T/R until 7:30pm I let them have some playtime before with friends - playtime/tv or unwind time - dinner - softball - shower - rest of hw if any - reading - bed

I guess I am a bit unusual as my husband is a LEO and we have had to "go with the flow" when it comes to schedules/bedtimes/etc... as I want them to not only do well, but spend time with their Dad and if he has time off we want to enjoy it.

Also I feel HS is the beginning of the end when it comes to me controlling my girls...this is when I start to loosen the apron strings and let them take on even more responsibilities, especially since the teachers have told us to stop babying them and realize that in 4 years they are on their own - even colleges will not give parents information on student grades without the student's written consent even if the student is a minor and/or the parents are paying for it. It is the law.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Of course as her mother it's up to you to decide her curfew. However I would make an exception for things like football games and dances. As long as she is a good kid she should get to attend these important social/school events, and they are not usually on school nights anyway, right?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I was never comfortable with my kids out after dark so I was pretty strict on their curfew all through highschool. Friday nights were more lenient tho, they had to be home an hour after a football game or within an hour after a movie at the theater.
Nothing good happens with teenagers that are out after dark just hangin out.
Bedtime was 10pm in highschool.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is in 10th grade, but rules on bedtime, curfews, dating, etc. were instituted last year when she began 9th grade. I am relaxed-ish on bedtime, which is 10:00--as long as she gets up on time, which she does. Quite often she is tired and goes to bed earlier. As far as curfew, the time she needs to be home (from anything, including football games) is determined by the grade she is: 9th grade, 9:00; 10th grade, 10:00, and so on. This way she will never "forget" what time she needs to be home. As far as dating, I always said sixteen, period, but after sitting down and discussing "the rules," I bent and said sophomore year, since she would be turning sixteen in December. She is not dating yet (thank goodness), but I think it makes her feel empowered knowing she can.

Having kids in high school can be difficult. You want to allow them some freedom but still have control of that freedom. When we sat down and discussed everything, it wasn't me just laying down the law, it was a discussion and negotiation. I feel like that the more flexible and realistic the rules, the less likely they will be broken. We also discussed piercings--she wanted her belly button and her nose pierced. Because of infections and knowing the diligence it takes in caring for belly button piercings, I said no to that, but would allow piercings of cartilage, i.e., nose, ear, and upper ear. Like dating, the piercings haven't happened yet, but I think it was a good idea to discuss it.

Hang in there, Mama. It is tough, but by giving them some freedom, it helps them break fewer rules.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi! I don't have teenagers yet, but my parents' rule was that the curfew followed the grade level (9:00 in 9th grade, 10:00 in 10th grade, etc.) unless there was a special activity. We didn't have set bedtimes, and I think that's an area where some freedom might be good. Also homework. As long as we got good grades (meaning As), when we did our homework was up to us. In my experience, it seems like kids who get some freedom and respect from their parents in high school do a lot better in college. The ones whose parents are too strict end up going overboard (especially with alcohol) in college. I'm not saying you're too strict - not at all - just agreeing with you about kids needing more freedom in high school.



answers from Salt Lake City on

My son is now in 10th grade- 15 his bedtime is 9:30-10pm usually he puts himself to bed somewhere in between there. His cell phone is shut off (parental control) at 10pm and turns back on at 8am. His weeknight curfew during school is 8:30 but he usually is not out that late he is not allowed to go anywhere directly after school - come home do homework, chores, then you can do whatever or go. I am home by 4:45 so he stays with his brother until I get there. Weekends he is home by 11 with the stipulation that you check in every few hours. The rule is if I call your phone and you dont answer if I dont get a call back within 5 minutes the phone is off and is mine. He is pretty responsible and I know all his friends and I always know who he is with and where. It is different for every kid, my son has always been good about letting me know where he is and who he is with if he needs a ride or who will be bringing him home.

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