What is a reasonable curfew for your teenager? You can survey other parents and see what their rules are, but there are so many variables.
Instead of a one-size fits all approach – or even one curfew for all situations – I came across this interesting approach recently on Quora.
A young woman, Briezy, wrote that her parents set a curfew depending on where she was going and who she was with:
Wrong place + wrong people = earliest
Right place + wrong people = earlier
Wrong place + right people = later
Right place + right people = latest
As a teenager, Briezy organised her social life around these guidelines. She wrote: “If I wanted to be out later, I chose to go out with certain people to certain places. If I REALLY wanted to go somewhere not so great or with not as good people, I knew I had to be in earlier. When your teen understands that effectively THEY are in charge of their curfew, they make decisions to show responsibility. You’d be surprised how quickly they start choosing safer venues and more positively influential friends. They feel like you respect them more, and in turn respect the time you set for that night in particular.”
I think as parents we might do this subconsciously anyway. For example, I have a general rule that there are no sleepovers after a party, however there are a couple of my daughter’s friends who I would relax this rule for. To be open with your teenager about the ‘curfew grading system’, you would need to know their friends pretty well to know which category you’d put them in. But of course, this is always a good idea anyway.
Do you think you know your kids’ friends well enough for this system?