Curfew Considerations for Teens
When should you expect your teenager home? Use these tips on choosing a time curfew for teens.
By: Gregory Germain, MD
Whether your teen comes home when she is supposed to tends to be pretty symbolic of how she is pulling her weight in the rest of her life. Curfews are good for teens, who still need boundaries and to know that people are watching out for them.
What’s an appropriate curfew? Luckily, many cities in the United States have legislated teen curfews; in those places, what time your teen should be home is pretty clear-cut. If your city doesn’t have a curfew, talk to your child and come up with a time that works for the whole family.
Tips for Choosing a Curfew
- Consider your child’s maturity and how much sleep he needs.
- Be very specific about the rules and consequences. You may want to say something like: “This is a school night: Be home no later than 10:00. If you are going to be later, call. If you are home more than 15 minutes late without a good excuse, you are grounded.”
- The best time to decide on penalties for broken curfews is before the fact.
- Solicit your teen’s input—“What do you think should happens if you break curfew?”
- Be flexible and allow exceptions from time to time.