Responsible curfews are a right of passage. You know whether you have a responsible child who never does anything wrong, and is completely responsible about everything. For most of us, this is the firstborn. Curfews are those rules we make, which are usually slightly negotiated between the parent and child. We say 12:00 pm and they push to 12:30…we compromise.
Reasonable curfews are dependent on several relationship factors.
- Is your child trustworthy?
- Have the abided by previous curfews?
- Who are they with?
- What is the nature of the event?
- How comfortable are you with all of the above?
- How are they getting home?
- Where are they going afterwards?
- Is alcohol involved?
You like their friends company, and this is a special occasion such as a prom. They have always been trustworthy and you are not nervous about their decision making process overall. Their grades are good. This creates a high trust environment where you are going to feel it is ok to give them full reigns with the understanding that their ride home is established and you are comfortable with that person.
You do not like their friends, and this is still a special occasion like a prom. They have been rebellious and you are nervous about their decision making process. Their grades are not great. The trust environment is low. You will not over accommodate the curfew because you feel nothing good happens after 2:00 AM
Curfew is a matter of what kind of relationship has been built between parent and child. To the degree it is a trust based relationship will determine the amount of latitude the child has earned.