How to get your teenager to respect curfews
As your child enters his teenage years, it’s only natural for him to start asking for more freedom to experience life. Curfews are a great way to allow teenagers experience freedom and responsibility without getting out of hand. But how do you ensure your teenager respects his curfew?
Setting a reasonable curfew for your teenager can give him the freedom he needs, while still keeping him out of trouble. Here are some ways to get your teenager to stick to a curfew!
Include your teen in the decision making process
Sit down with your teen and take a good look at his school and personal schedule. Allow your child to give his input on what he thinks his curfew time should be, and give him the opportunity to explain himself.
Take note of all the extra circular activities that he’ll be involved in before deciding a curfew for school days. He may want to go out with his friends every weekend, so set an age-appropriate curfew for him based on the activities he likes doing.
Some activities, like barbeques or concerts, often take place in the evening, so make sure you give him some allowance to enjoy those activities with his friends.
For major events, your child may request for an extension of his curfew. In situations like this, it’s best to take into consideration factors like his company and the location of the event. To be safe, you can also offer to pick up him directly from the event once it’s finished.
Make sure everyone involved is clear on curfew times
Curfew times should be clearly written out and communicated so that both parents and the teenager are certain of what time he’s expected home.
Your spouse should not give him curfew extensions without your consent or vice versa, as this causes confusion. To avoid hearing excuses about not being sure of curfew times, send him a single message when he’s out to remind him of his curfew.
Take action when curfews are broken
When you are coming up with an appropriate curfew time with your child, remember to discuss the consequences of breaking the curfew. Ensure that your child is well aware of what will happen once he breaks his curfew. A 10-minute grace period is acceptable, but if your child is blatantly showing disregard for his curfew time, action should be taken. You may want to remove his weekend privileges for the following week, or restrict his Internet usage until he shows that he is taking his curfew seriously.
Whatever you decide, just make sure that your spouse and your teenager agree it on as well while setting the curfew rules. This way, your teen can’t accuse you of being the ‘bad guy’ because the choice it’s entirely up to him to respect his curfew and avoid punishment.