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Teen Curfews: How to Set Limits but Set Your Child Free (page 2)

Teen Curfews: How to Set Limits but Set Your Child Free

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Updated on Feb 10, 2008

4. If your teen has missed curfew because drinking or drugs were involved, then the consequences are more serious. Simply enact these more serious consequences that you and your teen set up together.

Sometimes it really is okay to say yes, according to Debi Yohn, Counseling Psychologist and author of Parenting College Students: 27 Winning Strategies for Success. But, "it never hurts to check on your teen from time to time,” she adds. “If your teen says she is going to be at the coffee shop at 5 p.m. with their friends, drop by and see for yourself,” says Yohn, “You do not have to even let your teen know. If she sees you, just wave and keep on walking.” Yohn explains that kids need to know that there will be some unscheduled checking by you. If they are spending the night at a friend’s house, call and ask to speak to your child at an unusual time. “Parenting is active, and that means you have to make that effort to check on your teen,” she says. This takes courage, but it is the price of making sure your child is safe.

Does that mean you should follow your teen around or attach a tracking device to his clothing? Of course not. But as a parent, you should listen to your intuition. If something sounds sketchy, then it’s at least worth taking a closer look. But if you are open and honest with your teen about the rules of the house, there will probably be a lot less sneaking around. And that means a more harmonious household. Even if your teen would rather jump in an icy lake than be seen with you at Starbucks.

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