Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Curfew Styles: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | April 1st, 2013 | Teen Perspective, Teens

midnight plusAs a driving teenage boy, my curfew can be a pretty big deal. I enjoy spending time with my friends and/or female acquaintances, so knowing what time I have to be home by matters a lot. More importantly, though, I have begun to notice the various types of curfews that are imposed upon teenagers — four basic types I see. Each has its own rules and effects on the individuals it’s applied to ( responsibility, timeliness, etc.).

  1. The Strict Curfew. This is the type I have. There is only one rule: be home on time. An 11 pm curfew means that I should be parking the car in the garage at or prior to 11 pm, not leaving my friend’s house. If I roll in one or two minutes late, I can get away with a scolding, but anything more than that and I am in trouble. The only way I can get away with being late is calling ahead with a valid reason to not be home on time. Also, things like the weather are not valid excuses. I live in New Hampshire, so I should be able to account for the driving conditions. Pretty simple, right? As for the effects, I find that I am a timely and responsible person. Or at least I like to think so. Anyway, this teaches you to be on time and follow the rules. Otherwise, you are in trouble. Like I said, it’s simple.
  2. The Lackadaisical Curfew. I know kids with this style of curfew and it always feels like the trickiest kind. Essentially, if your curfew is 11 pm, you need to be home “around then” I fail to understand this. What is the limit between “around then” and “too late?” This allows for an undefined amount of flexibility in the rules, which is like asking for people to accidentally get in trouble. Also, this doesn’t do nearly as much for responsibility and timeliness. A bit, but not much.
  3. What Curfew? This curfew is the most lenient, obviously. I am friends with several individuals who simply lack curfews and have to be home “whenever.” Basically, they just have to be home before 1 am (state law prevents drivers under 18 from driving between 1 and 4 am). This gets really weird, because now and then someone will get punished for coming home too late. Is that possible without a curfew? Also, this teaches you nothing about responsibility and timeliness. The people with this curfew style tend to be late a lot. Huh…
  4. The Surprise Curfew. This one is just terrible. I know someone who will basically just get called at a random time and be told “Come home in 10 minutes.” In other words, they are slapped with a time out of the blue. It does nothing to teach responsibility or timeliness. Instead, it just screws you over while you are hanging out with friends. You may be in the middle of something, but too bad. You have to leave.

I never thought I would say this, but I like my curfew. It’s easy to understand and follow. Be home or be in trouble. That’s easy enough for me. Also, it helps me in the long run.

Comments on Curfew Styles: From the Teen’s View