Setting Teen Curfews: What is Realistic?

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Parents go through the bumpy ride of parenting our preteens and teens. It is indeed a tough act, especially when it comes to imposing certain house rules such as curfews. This topic even raised debate in several countries. Whose job is it to decide what time a preteen should be home or in bed: the city’s, the parent’s or the young adolescents’ themselves?

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The big surprise is in the poll of 1,000 teens was that three-quarters of the teens agreed with the rules. It is very important for a parent to know where your teen is, if he goes out with friends and with whom. 

Nightly curfews with teenagers have shown encouraging signs of reducing juvenile crime in several key cities across the nation. Yet a number of experts say that while curfews are overwhelmingly popular with parents, they may produce temporary benefits and do not resolve the fundamental problems of restoring family discipline. 

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Implementation of curfews in every Filipino household is low but the enthusiasm among parents is unbelievably high (based on Ateneo De Manila University’s Center for Family Ministry research). Dr. Nenita Lopez, co-author of Parenting 101, suggests the following points as guidelines in setting curfews for your teens:

  • Teens do want limits. Boundaries are reassuring because they say you care. Talk to your teen about it, compromise if you need to, for you to be able to understand each other well.
  • Teens are loathe to admit all this. Do not expect your young adolescent to utter hooray when you say what time to be home.
  • Curfews for 13-year-olds or any age should be calculated on several issues. How much sleep does your child need? What are the average curfews for his friends? Are these reasonable in your view? Ask other parents of your teen’s friends. Make your own survey and research.
  • Let your teen know and understand that abiding by a curfew shows responsibility and maturity. The more of this you see, the more lenient you become in the future. “Parents in our survey said that maturity was the barometer for doling out more freedom and privileges. So even if she’s already 18, but she isn’t quite mature, you must be more careful in guiding our son or daughter,” explains Dr. Lopez.
  • Finally, do not be sexist. Give girls fair curfews too. Sometimes we allow boys more leeway just because they are boys. Thus, this move is sending a message to girls that they are less competent and trustworthy. 
Vance Madrid

Freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, social media manager, events coordinator, scriptwriter, film buff, wanderlust and certified foodie.