While teens see it an attempt towards freedom and independence, parents see it as something that has the potential to bring about trouble. Missing a curfew might seem like a trivial thing that requires very little attention and Lilliputian punishment but the truth is that it is way more dangerous than many parents think. Although teens around the world contradict it with several arguments but the truth remains that curfews keep teenagers out of trouble.
On coming home late, teens may defend their action with several reasons but it is important to make them realize that this is a serious matter and they cannot negotiate with you on this. While negotiating is an important skill that will come handy later in life, be sure that you never make them think that they can out-smart you. If they manage to lessen their punishment, they might take it as a blow to your authority over them. This will lead to further disobedience and consequently, further trouble. What they fail to understand is that safety of teenagers is parents’ first priority compromising on which is not an option.
Your relationship with your teen
Your general relationship with them is going to ensure your teens compliance with your rules. Measuring how much influence you have over your teen is going to determine the quality of your relationship with them. If your relationship with your child is already going through a rough patch, your teen is more likely to defy you on small, as well as more serious, issues. Moreover, it is important to mend this relationship so that you have little difficulty leading your teen in the right direction when they falter.
With teens, simply saying no does not make them obedient to you nor will it make matters easier for you. Teens do need to spend some time with their peers outside of school, but they need to do so within the limits that have been defined for them. Laying a strict and inflexible rule is going to motivate your teen towards a rebellious attitude while a compromise is going to help them understand your point of view as you have understood theirs.
Coming to an agreement
Any agreement should be made keeping in mind whether the teen has school the following day and where they will be during the time they are out. Also consider how old they are and discuss with them why they want to stay out late. Explain to them, with reasons, why you want them home at a specific time and what trouble they might fall into if they stay away from home after the curfew.
Learn to have confidence in them
Making your teen understand that you trust them and their judgment is going to have a very positive effect on the relationship you share. This is going to decrease their chances of feeling the necessity to break the rules and they will be more likely to think of you as their well-wisher who makes decisions with proper reasoning.
Tell them which places you approve of
Suggest different places where they can go and spend their time. Explain your reasons for suggesting said places. Tell them you are comfortable with them staying at that place till late. For instance, you can tell them that you think they will be safe at the cinema even if they stay late. Knowing when the movie is going to end will help you set a curfew for your teen.
Acting as their taxi
While you might be already doing enough of it and it might seem a bit of a hassle, but to make sure that the rules you have set with mutual agreement are being followed, picking them up is a very good option. This is also going to help you keep a track of their whereabouts.
Make a safe haven for them
A separate room for the times when their friends come over is going to assure your teen that they will have privacy and some time alone with their friends even when they stay home. Secondly, it’s going to solve the problem of your teen missing curfews and staying out late. Moreover, you can see till what time other kids are allowed to be out at night.
As useful as it is, this also might create a problem. You might face some difficulty in getting their friends out of your house even when it is past a suitable time.