There’s an old saying: “the carrot and the stick.” Its roots are a bit base, but the gist is teaching someone to abide by the rules shouldn’t be all about punishment or reward; there should be a healthy balance of both based on the failures and successes they’ll encounter along the way. This is especially true with regards to adolescents who have violated the curfew regulation. As you teach them to follow the rules they’ve been given, there are numerous ways you can congratulate them for taking important steps. One such tactic involves rewarding punctuality.
You should be mindful of the attempts your child makes to reach their destination in a timely manner because it means they acknowledge the essence of curfew. If school ends at 2:50 in the afternoon and they arrive home within the next half hour, take a moment to verbalize your appreciation. They clearly headed home immediately after class, which displays a willingness on their part to prove themselves. A few simple words like “good job today” can go a long way toward giving your teenager a boost in confidence.
A Supervised Night Out
Offer to take them out with friends for a movie night, ice cream group date or other similar activities. Make light of the fact that it’s a bit of a buzzkill for a parent to hover around during social time, but let them know you’ll keep your distance so long as they behave responsibly during the occasion. Be sure to check with law enforcement officials first to ensure this is allowed, of course. If all goes as planned, your teen will feel happy by the opportunity to be out late, even if its chaperoned.
More Stay-at-Home Social Hours
Just because your teenager has gotten into trouble for violating curfew, it doesn’t mean that their social lives have come to an abrupt and definitive end. After several weeks of good behavior, allow them to invite their friends over. Since they’ll be stuck in the house for quite a bit of time depending on the legal rulings of the scenario, they should be granted the opportunity to invite the party to them rather than going out looking for it themselves. As mentioned too in Parents.com, this is a key way of showing your parental desire to bend the rules without breaking them, helping your teen as best you can whilst sticking to the letter of the law.
Lots of fun activities can still happen even if your teen isn’t allowed to go out past a certain hour. Look up on local events that finish before sundown. You might be surprised of how many concerts and festivals are open earlier in the day, particularly on weekends. Suggest to your son or daughter that they check on these events and also, you can discuss with them the importance of keeping up with the schedule. Being stuck in the house at night doesn’t have to stop them from watching local bands on TV, trying out new cuisine like Indian or Mediterranean, learning about crafts, and a lot more.
Keep Your Foot Down
Remember, don’t get too lenient. We’ve given you ideas for rewards, but don’t turn these things into an everyday routine. You may also consider other reward ideas that your children may find it cool. Let those rewards for good behavior come in due time. Your child will recognize it as occasional splurges on their way to maturity, and you can slowly ease the ropes while giving them more of the proverbial carrot. They need to prove themselves first, but it doesn’t have to be a boring time. With a loving parent at their side, they’ll do just fine.