Teenagers vs curfews

Over the years I’ve always set curfews for my kids.

During the week I expect them home by 5pm and on the weekends 6pm is fine.

They go to youth on a Friday night and I expect them home before 10pm. And same with Sunday church service, they need to be in the house by 8pm.

For teenagers any other evening event has a 10pm curfew. I feel this is fair.

My adult kids have more or less the same rules. If they want supper over the weekends ( as they hardly in ) best they let me know by 4pm if they will be home . During the week I’ll assume they in for supper if I haven’t heard from them by 4pm and I lock up at 11pm.

If they going out I expect them to let me know so I can check they have a key. With this rule in place I know not to panic if they not home when I lock up and how to get hold of them if there is a problem.

This works for us.

It means my neurotic mommy brain doesn’t panic as to where the kids are if they late and they are respectful and responsible enough to consider those they live with.

When Monkey moved to us two years ago from his dad all hell hit the roof. Used to doing his own thing and becoming verbally violent to get his own way along with having Aspergers and being overwhelmed by his emotions and the inability to always correctly handle a situation meant there was alot of shouting, power struggles and chaos …

Until I sat him down one day and explained that I was implementing a curfew and set of rules that would work for both of us .

Doubtfully he looked at me as I continued to explain.

I could no longer deal with the pubescent drama , his running off if he felt overwealmed and the verbal torrent of abuse for doing my job –parenting him.

I agreed to allow him space but on the condition that he was to be home by 6pm regardless.

This allowed him some time to cool off, go for a skate on his long board and reflect on his behaviour.

He knew he would get the reprimand, punishment or consequences of his actions when he returned but if he returns on time in a better mood it won’t be as harsh.

If after he came home and faced his actions he still felt the need to escape he is welcome to sit in his room, door shut, earphones in .

Knowing the dangers on the street and that he can get hurt, he understands that this is for his safety.

For the last year this has worked for us.

I’m always the first to say that what works for one child may not work for all and parents know their children best so therefore know the best way to deal with each child.

This last week Monkey has broken his curfew 3 times. The first 2 times he messaged so I knew not to panic but today he chose to come home 2 hours after curfew, phone off and without me knowing where he was.

Naturally I lost my shit when he got home.

I reminded him why we have the curfew and the consequences of breaking them.

He sat and listened, apologised and calmly took his punishment. As angry as I am with him , I’m also proud of the progress we’ve made.

A year ago he would have slammed doors and thrown things, swearing and shouting how much he hates me but today, he responsibly owned up to his behaviour.

As he gets older he will naturally push my buttons and test his boundaries .

As much as I’d love to close my eyes and pretend my child was an angel who listened each time, the truth is I was given a little extra patience just for him and He knows regardless no matter how much he messes up he can come home to his mom who loves him unconditionally.

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