The Importance of Curfews

When it comes to teens, I’ve always been a firm believer that nothing great happens after midnight.

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Posted in , Apr 15, 2015

Clock showing a minute before midnight. Photo: 123RF(r)

I was probably a little tough on my teen sons when it came to curfews, but I’ve always been a firm believer that nothing great happens after midnight. 

Initially, they had to be home by 11 p.m. on weekends. As my last son entered his senior year in high school, I lightened up, allowing him to be home between 12:30 and 1 a.m. only if he had plans to attend the last scheduled movie time at the theaters and needed extra time to drop off his friends.

One evening my son’s new friend, a girl, drove to our home to watch a movie, and she stayed way past his curfew. After a few kind reminders that it was time for her to leave, I finally threatened to drive her home myself. I was surprised to find out that she didn’t have a curfew. No curfew or no restrictions? Was I the only one worrying about the safety of this teen girl?

Does your teen daughter have a curfew? Here are some thoughts to help her understand why:

1)  Talk to her about why it is important to be home at a responsible time. Safety is important. Bars and clubs usually close around 2 a.m. and many people leave them and then drive while intoxicated. Drunk drivers can cause devastating accidents. Even if your teen daughter is one of the safest, most responsible people, being out late can still have serious consequences for her.

2)  Let her know that curfews give you a time frame to know when she'll be home. If she misses it or is late, you'll know to call or check on her safety.

3)  Discuss consequences on missing curfews and in which circumstances you will allow more time. Curfews teach your teen daughter responsibility and respect. If she knows that she needs to be home at a certain time and there will be consequences if she doesn’t, she’s more likely to comply. And allowing her more time if an unforeseen circumstance arises, such as car problems, will teach her about grace.   

Curfews may cause occasional tension within your home, but keeping your teen daughter safe is more important than a few grumbles.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1, NIV)

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