Teens and curfews....need to Take a Poll

Updated on August 22, 2010
D.S. asks from Chesterfield, MO
24 answers

I have a teenage daughter who is a Junior in High School. She will be 17 soon. Right now, my husband and I have instilled a curfew of midnight on her and this stuck all through the summer. However, I have now noticed that she is coming to me more and more and asking about curfew changes. Last night, she came to me and was extremely sad and upset and told me that she is having difficulty with some of her friends and not getting invited to some things because she has a curfew and by the standards that are around us.....it's an early one. I was like, WOW. I would like to help her but I am also very aware that if I give too much latitude, that can backfire on me as well. I do have a very good teenager and I am blessed by this fact. She's got straight A's, is a member of NHS, talks to me and is open and truthful, and she is responsible and can be trusted thus far. her best friends are the same girls I have known for a while now and none of these ladies have curfews. I find that weird but they told me that the rules in their house are that as long as they text or call their parents and keep in touch with them while they are out, they do not have a curfew of an exact time. I require my daughter to keep in touch too but her curfew has been midnight. What do you think is the best thing to do here?

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answers from Boca Raton on

I think midnight for a 17 year old is very fair for the weekends..UNLESS it's a special event~ I would leave midnight and if it's something "pre-planned" then I would further discuss the curfew for "that" evening.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

When I first started reading the responses I thought I'd be the odd man out, but the farther down I read I'm not alone.

I am sorry, as other's said nothing good happens after midnight. It's one thing if she's working, although I would question any job that keeps a teenager until 1 am, but I think midnight is completely reasonable.

We have a 20 year old son and when he moved back home after being out on his own at college we told him that I don't sleep well until he's in, which is true. And that stupid things happen late. And as if fate was trying to prove me right, he did go to a midnight movie with a friend and got pulled over on his way home at 1:30 am for 'suspicious behavior'. Right. When the cop couldn't find anything wrong he gave him a warning ticket because ONE of his tag lights was not working.

I also have a soon to be 16 year old daughter and anticipate problems because one of her friends has the 'fun mom' who pretty much lets the girls dictate what they do and when they do it. Don't get me wrong they are good girls too, in a private school taking advance placement classes, very involved in athletics and community service, but this mom turns into a 15 year old herself when she has the girls.

But bottom line, midnight is the curfew. No apologies either.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I would seriously consider giving her a later curfew, at least some of the time. You have described a "good teenager" and she seems to be responsible. I think you should continue making sure you know where she is and who she is with, but if she has proven that she can be trusted, give her a little leeway. She is almost 17 all too soon will be an adult, and able to make these decisions for herself. I'm in favor of giving her some room to try that out now while you still can supervise and guide her. Make sure she knows that you are granting this extra privilege because her of her past behavior and that if she abuses it you will put her on a stricter curfew.
And to the moms who are insisting that nothing good happens after midnight, anything she could be doing at midnight she could be doing at 10 or 11. The time of day is not the issue, the maturity and trustworthiness of the teenager is.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

Nothing good happens after midnight! Stick to your guns on this one. Being a parents is not always fun.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Midnight is late enough. Nothing good happens after midnight. NOTHING!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My teen is still just 15. We don't have an actual curfew. The time she has to be home depends on where she is and what she is doing. She isn't free to just be wandering about doing whatever until a given time. If she is going to a 7:00 movie, midnight is too late to be home, the movie ends before 9:00. Recently, she went into NYC with a friend and the friend's family to see a Broadway show, it was 1:30 a.m. when she got home, because the show didn't end til after 11PM, and I knew that. When she is making plans to go somewhere, I determine what time she needs to be back from that specific activity.
I don't agree with friends not inviting your daughter to things due to the curfew, they ought to invite her and if she needs to leave the party early, or turn down the invitation to an 11pm movie showing, she can. But at this age, it's really too old for mom to get involved with how she interacts with the friends. It is up to you, though, to decide whether having a one size fits all curfew is really the best option.
Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

well when I was a teen my curfew was midnight until I graduated high school. I was a good kid too....good grades, good friends, never in any real trouble. But that was the rule in my house. I remember getting mad though cause some of my friends had no curfew or later ones then I. But my Mom always said there was no reason for me to be out later then midnight and that if we wanted to do things we just need to play earlier so that we were done by midnight. Or I would just drive myself and have to leave the party a little early. But I was never the only one...I always had a few people trying to bum rides off me at the end of the night cause they had midnight curfews too. I mean I do remember going on some really fun day trips with my friends and then I was aloud to stay out a little later because of the the drive but majority of the time it was 12. So stick to your guns. you know what is right and one day she will understand.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think midnight is fair. In my county, there is an enforced curfew for teens age 17 and under where by law they cannot be out on the roads after 11p unless they are returning home from work or are with an adult family member.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Goldsboro on

My parents were really strict with me and I was a good kid, much like your daughter.
When I was 16, my curfew was 10 pm.
17- 11pm
18- 12 pm
About 2 weeks before I left for college, it was 1 am.

My parents were also very understanding about if something came up. I could call them and tell them what was going on and they were okay. Example- I was out with my boyfriend and on the way back to my house, we came upon a pretty nasty wreck blocking both sides of the highway. We were on track to make curfew, but had to turn around and go a longer way. I called my parents and they understood.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I have to agree that I think midnight is completely acceptable until she graduates. I also would let her know though that certain times that curfew may be extended (if you feel comfortable with that). Maybe she is out at a late movie and then they want to go to a coffee shop? There were definitely times I didn't come home until after midnight at that age, BUT I always discussed it with my parents ahead of time and kept them in the loop with phone calls.

What things is she not being invited to because of her curfew? What would be starting that late that they wouldn't invite her and just expect her to leave early? To me, that sounds like more of an excuse to have her curfew extended then a valid reason. That's just my opinion though.

I do think that once she graduates you should re-open the discussion, but for now, midnight is plenty late!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I had a curfew all through high school and I wish it was midnight - LOL! I had to be home by 10:30 - ON the weekends!! Unless a special event like school dance, etc. then we did a case-by-case negotiation.
When I came back home for summer during college I still had to be in at Midnight due to my sister still being at home. It was not until I was 21 on break from school did I ever get to choose my own curfew while living in my parent's home.
It is strange that people are giving her a hard time or excluding just because she has to go home earlier than them. Unless she is their ride, how does this impact them? And if she is their ride and they don't like it - find another one.
Only to say, this feelsl like someone is being manipulative for their own gain - not sure if it is daughter or friends, but worth getting to the bottom of.
Best of luck. I know my turn with teenagers is right around the corner and hope you are here to coach all us moms through it!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If you haven't talked with the parents of the other girls, I suggest you do that now. They may have a curfew but act as if they don't. The parents may also be helpful by sharing the way that they handle curfew and why they do it that way. I would not trust "as long as they text or call" for every night as being a responsible way to supervise teens. They can text or call with phony information.

It's not a matter of not trusting your teen when you have a curfew. It's a matter of being realistic in your expectations of a teen. Their brains are not fully developed and making a poor choice on the spur of the moment is a real possibility.

I also suggest that your city/county already has a curfew. It is your responsibility to see that your teen obeys the law. Perhaps, it's no longer pc for government to set a curfew. If there is no city curfew then you do have to rely on your own judgment.

I agree with the suggestion to have a regular curfew which you are willing to amend based on individual circumstances for that evening. All teens need a guide for their behavior. Usually, nothing is happening after midnight and a teen has no need to be out after midnight. If she is at a friend's house with adult supervision then that would be OK for a later curfew.

It's like with the concept of driving. We may be able to trust ourselves to be safe drivers but we absolutely cannot trust that everyone else on the road are safe drivers. You can trust your daughter to make good decisions but you absolutely cannot trust that every teen in her group will make good decisions. You have to be proactive to protect your teen.

Later: She will have a curfew in college if she lives in student housing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Here in Austin there is a city wide curfew. If you are under the age of 18 you must not be out past midnight. In some parts of town where a ton of clubs are located, the curfew is 10:00pm every night.

Also my husband works for the Police Dept and they will tell you, NOTHING good ever happens after midnight. There are too many drunks and people up to no good out after that time. Many of the rapes and fights take place after midnight.

Our daughters senior year (she was 17) when she and her classmates were studying for their AP exams, there were a few nights she stayed at the local coffee shop studying till about 1:00 am. She called each time to ask permission.

Follow your mommy mind and heart.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Since your daughter is a good girl, good student, honest & open, I think you could extend her curfew to 1am, given that she tells you where she will be, etc, etc. If you know you can trust her completely, then I think it's fine extending her curfew an hour. I'm afraid if you don't, she will start doing things behind your back, sneaking in, etc., b/c she doesn't want to lose her friends. If she goes away to college next year she won't have a curfew & will need to make most of her own decisions while living away from home. This could be good practice, while still under your watchful eye.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I don't think I had a set curfew at 17. My home return time was adjusted based on what i was planning on doing. if I was leaving at 7pm and going over to a friend's to hang out, 12 is a perfectly reasonable time to be expected home. But if going to see a 10:30 movie, 12 wouldn't work very well and my expected return time would be adjusted accordingly. A standard curfew of 2 am or something like that seems very late to me - how are you supposed to sleep if waiting to hear your daughter come in at 2 am?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Midnight seens early to me for a Junior almost 17. But of course I don't have teenagers yet. I was also an A student, honest and truthful and my curfew on weekends when I was 16 & 17 was 2:00am. At that time there was no 'city imposed' curfew like some cities have now. There is plenty to do after midnight....and it doesn't have to be bad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Tell your daughter she needs new friends that have curfews, so she doesn't feel left out.

More parents need to set rules, it it such a huge problem in our society

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

we have an almost 17 year old and what we have done is gone with the city curfew. which is 11 on week days 1 on weekends. this keeps us from having police call us in the middle of the night. we also allow him to spend the night out 2 nights a week(one in the school year). it went over pretty easy and he follows it for the most part. hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

You are in a great place to help her get ready for being responsible for herself in only 2 years she can stay out all night in college.

In my house when I was in high school...10pm on school nights I had to be in the house. There was school the next day, it made sense.

Non-school nights I didn't have a curfew as long as my parents knew where I was and who I was with and what we were doing. I had to wake them when I came home and let them know I was at home.

I had a great group of friends, guys and girls...we were not doing anything we shouldn't have been doing...no drinking or drugs...etc.

My parents also made our house teen friendly...my friends guys and girls were welcome on non-school nights until all hours...my parents knew where I was...in the family room.

I say give her some responsibility...let her know what will happen if she breaks your trust. I knew I would never get my parent's trust back if I broke it. Oh, I went off to college at 17.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

As a teenager my cerfew always went along with FL driving law. So it was 11pm at age 16, 1am at age 17, and I turned 18 right after I had moved away for college so my parents really didn't have a say then :) I was always a good kid and my parents trusted me, but unless I was babysitting or at work they were very strict on those set times. If I was even a minute late my cerfew was pushed up a half hour the next night/weekend. Honestly there isn't really a reason to stay out that late and I worked two jobs that summer before college so my parents really didn't have anything to worry about, but you know your daughter and you know what's best for her. I'm sure she understands but is just trying to see what she can get away with.
Maybe if she has something going on and tells you in advance where she will be and who with you can let her stay out a little later. Whatever you decide she knows you care about her and are just doing what is best for her.



answers from Denver on

I never had a set curfew time. It would just depend on what I was doing or where I wanted to go. I would say since she is such a good daughter based on your description and you trust her and her group of friends, let her stay out later. Just because it's after midnight doesn't mean they are up to something terrible or dishonest. Maybe they are at a party, sitting at a coffee shop, at a friends house watching a dvd or listening to music, at the movie theatre, studying for a big test.



answers from Anchorage on

When I was 16 I worked nights, and did not get off work until 1 am or later. To say I could not stay out that late on nights off seemed odd, so I never had a curfew from than on. If I had been getting into trouble, drinking, or other such foolery that would have changed, but if she is a good teen who you have reason to trust, that apply that trust, while letting her know that if that trust is violated that the no curfew rule will be revoked and replaced with an even earlier one. My husband also never had a curfew, and the fact is we where less likely to get into trouble because we knew we were trusted. If you keep her on too tight of a leash she may go wild once on her own, it happens to college freshmen all the time, and it can screw up their academics right when they start to count the most. She is almost an adult, start treating her more like one, if she behaves like one.



answers from Philadelphia on

Maybe you could push it to 12:30? I agree with extending it for special events and the occasional late movie. (as long as you know where she is)

I was under the impression that teen curfews (town enforced) were for hanging out on the corners...that kind of thing. I didnt think there was a curfew if you were at a friends or movie...and going right home. I could be wrong? Not that my kids would be allowed to just hang out...that is a whole different post...lol!

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