Patented Q & A Database


My sophomore loves to go to parties with juniors and seniors and to stay out late. What's an appropriate curfew for a sophomore in high school?


Sharon Buchalter Replied: The topic of curfew is one that every parent of a teenager has struggled with at some point. The important thing to remember is that you come up with something reasonable and stand your ground. Teenagers like to push us to the limit, so be sure to know what your stance is and to be on the same page with your spouse. Believe it or not, although teenagers moan and groan about curfew, many actually want and need one. If they are out at a party and being pressured to do stay later even though they're tired, it's an easy and effective way to say that you have to be home for curfew. That being said, be prepared for an argument and lines such as, "Johnny doesn't have a curfew" or "you're controlling my life." Don't take any of this to heart. Be sure to stick to the facts of safety and health. As you can explain to him, you're not trying to cut off his independence, you're simply watching out for his well being. As far as actual curfew goes, this can have different variables, such as: whether it's a school night, whether it's a school event, who he's hanging out with, etc. Parents differ on their views. Many parents give a curfew of 9:30 or 10pm on a school night, and something more lenient on the weekends, such as 11:00 or 11:30. Special events such as prom or homecoming can be negotiated. No matter the curfew, the single most important thing is to know where he is and who he is with. He may not want to tell you, but this needs to be a condition of him going out and how late he can stay out. If you know he's at his friend's house studying, that's much different then if he is hanging out with juniors and seniors at a party. Do you know these juniors and seniors he is hanging out with? Are they good kids, or do you sense trouble? Stay on top of this and be sure your son knows right from wrong. Keep the lines of communication open and be sure he knows that he can talk to you about anything. You must also be prepared as to what you are going to do if your child breaks curfew. Have a set discipline in mind. For example, if he arrives late and does not have a valid excuse, he may lose his driving privileges for the week. Be careful not to get into an arguing match with your child if he is late or breaks curfew. Stay calm and rational and let him know what the consequences are. One other thing that parents often find effective is staying awake until their child comes home. If your child knows you are waiting for him, he will more likely be on time. Best of luck to you.
Posted On 2010-06-22 00:06:26
Jack Marcellus Replied: Your sophomore is at a very delicate and vulnerable age. It's important you act swiftly and effectively. This can not be a case of being a good friend to your sophomore. Set the guidelines as you see fit as parents and teach the lessons of fairness, honesty, trust, accountability and responsibility. The kids today take big chances and often times feel like they can do anything with no consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Know the people they are hanging out with and if they prove to be a potential danger or risk to your child remind them who the parents are and who loves them more than anyone in the world.
Posted On 2010-06-20 23:02:13
Ashley Hammond Replied: Aside from the rules that you may have it is important to check out local bylaws on curfews and at a minimum aknowledge these. I believe that curfews should be seasonal and by day. When school is out or it is a Friday or Saturday these times can be different. I recommend that you try to get your child to be a part of the decision, "ownership" of the decision is likely to lead to better compliance. Sit down and have a discussion about acceptable behavior and curfew. High school students are still "minors" and you certainly hold the final word and can dictate as needed but working with your child is better than telling. Research other families in the area who have sophomores. See what times they set and if these times seem acceptable then this is a good place to start. Additionally seek guidance from the school counsellors. Good luck.
Posted On 2010-06-20 21:38:08
Pamela Waterman Replied: Of course the sophomore loves hanging with the older kids (mine did too), and I assume you're talking about Friday and Saturday nights. If your teen is responsible and is with a group that stays out of trouble (and are safe drivers - another topic), I think that midnight is fine. But, hold firm on that so it doesn't keep getting pushed back, and set specific consequences ("If you're late, you will not be allowed to go to the next movie/party when asked and that note is going on the calendar as a reminder"). We always said, Remember SHAM: Stuff Happens After Midnight (mainly with regard to drunk drivers being out and about). Also, insist on the cell-phone being turned on and not ignored so they can be reached if something comes up on your end, and, if they change plans of where they will be, you need to be updated.
Posted On 2010-06-06 16:46:11
Press Esc to close