Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

No teen is a fan of curfew, and it comes as no surprise when they start pushing back when you set limits on their adventures. Your teen may try negotiating the point, but curfew is just one of those things that parents shouldn’t budge on.

Even Teens Still Need Rest

Despite your teenager’s insistence that they are “grown up, ” they still need rest. The human brain is not finished fully developing until the early 20s, which means sleep is actually more important now than when they were little.

Many teenagers are involved in extracurriculars that keep them busy throughout the week, and  no matter what they think or say, it’s not mean of you to insist that they spend some time relaxing at home.

Teens Are Learning Boundaries

There is absolutely nothing that your teenager needs to be doing late at night, but we got quite a few eye rolls and exasperated sighs from Kira when we told her that no, she could not go joy-riding with her friends. Stores are closed at nine or ten, movies stop running at midnight, and only the bars are still open. Not only do we try to keep our kids safe, but we try to communicate the necessity of making good choices. It’s important to teach responsible behaviors while your kids are still in your household.

Of all five kids, so far Kira is the only one to have really pushed her boundaries, and became an expert at getting home one minute before curfew. But no excuse, teenage tantrum, or other level of convincing could let us believe that she needed to be out past midnight. There’s nothing for underage kids to do late at night, and it is better that we help our kids avoid the temptation of bad influences. The next couple years will tell if Anika, our youngest, will push the limits of curfew in her own way.

It may be true that your teenager only wants to hang out, watch movies or play video games at their friend’s house on a Saturday night. Some overnights are completely acceptable, especially at another parent’s home that you trust to uphold similar standards. For the most part, however, we have opted to enforce a curfew and keep our kids at home at night.

Hold tight to the boundaries you have established, and encourage your teens to enjoy the time at home. They will be out on their own soon enough, and hopefully they’ll take the lessons you have taught with them.