What Is a Good Curfew for an 18 Year Old Son Who Is Driving

Updated on June 15, 2017
D.F. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
8 answers

He is just hanging out with a new girl and she is very pretty and in his eyes amazing what do I do

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

It would help to know what you're most worried about. You focus on the girlfriend and her looks, so are you worried about sex? He's 18 so you probably have done a whole lot of good talking with him up to this point, right? He's had health classes and good family talks over the years about responsible behavior, right? He knows about protection against STIs and about contraception and about not taking photos and especially about taking "no" for an answer, right? There's nothing he will do after, say, midnight, that he can't do at 3 PM. So you can't be using a curfew to control behavior at all.

I think curfews have more to do with what else is on everyone's schedules, if he has school or work the next day, or if coming home late and setting off the family dog's barking will wake everyone else up. And I'd have a different curfew on weeknights than on weekends.

There's not much info in your post so we don't know what you've done up to this point. If you want to edit your post to add more info, that would be great.

But the fact that he has a girlfriend or that she's very pretty has zero effect on his behavior. So in my mind, that should have zero impact on your imposition of a curfew. There are temptations all over the place for kids at 14 and 16 too, so there's nothing magic about 18.

I'd be more vigilant about things like drinking and drugs and driving while exhausted. He's an adult, so your parenting really should be pretty far along by this time.

5 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Make sure he has easy access to condoms.
Anything they could be doing after curfew can be done before curfew.
Too much free time leads to all sorts of trouble.
Does your son have a summer job lined up?
Working will cause him to have to set a schedule.
Waiting/busing tables, stocking shelves, or working fast food will earn him some money and help to keep him out of some trouble.

4 moms found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Do you need to set a flat curfew time? I don't know how everyone else does it, but with our son, his curfew was always determined by the time he no longer was legally allowed out on the roads driving. In GA, that means no later than midnight until they've got their class C license (which is not the license they obtain at age 16). First they get a learner's permit (at 15), then at 16 they can test for a class D license, which means they can drive alone, but with graduated restrictions. They cannot test for their Class D license until they are 18 without any major violations.
At 18, we really didn't apply any particular time, but rather, catered around what son's plans for that evening are/were. I don't want him speeding to get home to keep a curfew and get a ticket b/c he stopped for gas or something. If he goes to a late movie, we expected him home at a reasonable hour after, or a call/text regarding his plans. Often, if it is really late, he'll stay in town at a friend's (we are 20 miles from his nearest friend's house).

It has worked well for us. Legally, he can do what he wants. Practically, the car is in my name, and he doesn't pay rent. We raised him to be respectful of is wishes, and we treat him with respect as well. Give and get. It's not a one-way street.

4 moms found this helpful
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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

I hope that you have had talks with your son since he was a young child about health and sex. By now you two should have had some very serious discussions to keep him safe and protect him from having children.

When my son was this age, we had just moved back from Europe and I did have a short curfew on my son. Hubby asked me why. I told him that he (son) needed to be able to stay awake long enough to drive home from the activity(s) safely. As he became more secure in driving and ability to stay awake, the curfew was not mentioned. However, the condom one was. Sometimes as he was on his way out the house I was say to him, "Have you got your balloons?" He was turn around and get them if he didn't have them on him. It wasn't that I wanted him to feel embarrassed just that I wanted him protected. I also always mentioned to him is this the person you want in your life for the rest of your life, if not then do not day anything with her as accidents do happen even protected.

You have to hope and pray that he has got what you instilled in him to do the right thing.

Good luck to the two of you.

the other S.

3 moms found this helpful

D.D.

answers from Boston on

Here's the deal with curfews: they don't keep your child from doing anything. In fact your child knows they can drink, do drugs, etc and stop XX amount of time before their curfew to sober up and go home. One of my friends use to brag about her son who was the best. 12 curfew never missed it. Turned out he and his buddies were drag racing down a long straight residential street most of the night before heading home. Never missed his curfew but was doing dangerous stuff.

I never did curfews with my kids. I'd see what their plans were and set a return home time depending on the activity.

If you are worried about them having sex make sure he has his own condoms and uses them every single time. He can have sex just as easily at 5 pm as he can at 11 so I don't think a curfew would help with that.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Well you can't base his curfew on a current girlfriend. What are you worried about, in particular? You know a curfew won't stop them from having sex if they want to, right? That can happen any time of day.

I do know some parents who have curfews for their 18 year olds, usually around midnight or 1AM. Their rationale is that (sad but it's reality) drunk people leave bars at 2AM when the bars close, and they want their kids home before there are drunk drivers out. Or because coming in late wakes everyone up, and makes it hard for the other people in the house to get the sleep they need to work the next day. The curfews apply regardless of who their child is with.

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N.G.

answers from Boston on

Weeknights 11 and weekends midnight.

I hated later curfews because I did not sleep until my child was back home safe.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Truthfully he's 18. I don't think he should have a curfew of any sort.

If he's living with you and out of school you should probably let him know if he's going to be out all night that he needs to let you know by 11pm. That way you can lock up and go to bed.

If he's going off to college in the fall then he REALLY needs to have a lot of freedom with you there to pick up the pieces if he makes a mess of it so that you can guide the lessons he should learn from the mistakes.

We want our kids to fail while they live at home so we can help them learn those consequences. If he is restricted and not allowed to grow then when he's away at college this fall he's going to go nuts with the head rush of freedom and not know how to handle it. You won't be there to support him.

So I think letting go is best while he's still at home and allowing him to get some consequences.

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