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This isn’t a groundbreaking topic but one that maybe a few are currently navigating in their family and with their teenager.  Hopefully this adds value as you think through boundaries, guardrails and teaching greater and greater responsibility.

As your kids transition to the next grade level, it might be time to renegotiate their curfews. Some teenagers will argue curfew times just for the sake of arguing. Yet, a well-negotiated curfew time also can help teenagers exit undesirable social scenes. It’s way easier to say, “I need to be home by midnight” than to admit being tired or not wanting to be around certain activities.

Approach the bargaining table with these standards in mind:

  • School nights are non-negotiable.
  • Weekend curfews should comply with city ordinances.
  • Special events, such as prom, are open to compromise; on a case-by-case basis.

Regardless of what the clock says, you should always expect to know where your teenagers are. If plans or locations change, let your kids know you expect a call or text.

And, though it may make you seem paranoid, staying up until your kids get home is a great way to ensure curfew compliance. Knowing that someone will see them enter the house can help keep them on time and out of trouble.  This is also a great time to be praying for your kids.

WHEN CURFEW IS BROKEN

When teenagers miss curfew, consider each child’s personality and history.

Grounding may work for some teenagers, helping them quickly comply with the agreed-on “be-home” time.

For others, that might push them toward sneaking out and breaking more rules.

A good conversation may be the most effective course of action.  “I’m not happy that you ignored our negotiated time.  I expect you to follow the curfew we decided on together.  And if you need to be late, please call.”  Let them know that there are consequences when rules are broken and have them agree to those consequences.

You know your child.  You know what is effective and what isn’t.  The goal is consistency in discipline, in action, in follow through and love of your child.