One of the issues that I never really thought about when my children were younger were curfews. If they wanted to be at a friend’s house, they’d need to be home in time for dinner. No complication, no problem. During the summer, if they were neighbors we knew, they could stay for dinner, but certainly needed to be home just after.
Move forward a few years and sleepovers are in the mix. Again, not really an issue because if they’re spending the night with someone, I’m rather out of the loop with schedules, though I usually request that they have a reasonable bedtime, and on the few occasions that it’s ended up a sleepover without sleep, I can shrug it off, though I know my child is going to be in pretty poor shape for a few days afterwards. Go figure, kids need sleep.
But now I have a 15yo daughter who is poised to drive and gain true mobility after her entire life being reliant on someone else being the driver. I don’t have a chauffeur, after all. 🙂
So for me, I try to work backwards with a standard bedtime. 10pm on weekends, 9pm during school nights. Therefore I just back up 30 minutes and her weekend curfew is 9:30pm. I’m a big believer in rhythm and schedules, though I’ll occasionally let the schedule change if there’s some special event like a party, play or concert, etc.
But what I had to figure out was the consequence of her being late, her getting home after curfew. After all, a curfew has no meaning unless there’s a consequence for violating it.
So here’s what I came up with: If she misses her curfew time, the next time she’s out of an evening, her curfew is 30 minutes earlier. And on and on, as necessary, until she simply can’t go out of an evening because she’s lost the privilege.
What do you think?
I’ve found it interesting that she’s quite accepting of the idea and this weekend when I told her that her curfew was 9pm, not 9.30pm, because of some hiccups with her planning and communication last week, she simply said “ok” without a fuss. Chalk one up for consistency and rules, perhaps?
In any case, I’m curious how other parents of teens deal with their children’s curfew. Do you have one, and if so, what is it? Also, what happens if your child breaks curfew?