One of the most important things you can do as a parent of a child or teenager who has been cited for breaking curfew is to help teach them why curfews matter in the first place. Being as they’ve willfully decided to ignore the regulation in the past, it should be clear that they lack crucial awareness on the subject. Yes, it’s true that a spirited act of adolescent rebellion also plays a key factor, but that rebellious overtone can be mended (or at least, redirected!) if your teen has a better grasp of the fundamentals. Curfew is not only for keeping your child from mischief but also as a way of keeping them safe and protected. Read more about young kids getting into serious trouble.
Curfews Matter Because Safety Matters
Personal safety is the bottom line when it comes to curfew. Your teen may be involved in sports, martial arts, or bodybuilding and hence, they might think they’re impervious to the dangers of the nocturnal world. But even Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan hire bodyguards! Bring this up to them if they object to the idea. It’s probable that if you live in a smaller city or town, they’ll also mention that your family is in a totally safe place. With this, have a few links handy. Show them the area’s criminal history and be prepared to explain why this place is still your home, if and when they fire back.
If your teenager is at least 14, there’s a good chance he’s ready to hear about how and why the whole world can be unsafe and that we all need to take precautions. In which case, iron down the fact that wherever you live, curfew as a concept is necessary. Lastly, be sure to emphasize that your child’s safety is the “end-all, be-all” rationale here. You’re passionate about this, and perhaps more to-the-point, law enforcement officers are supportive because they want everyone to be safe and secure.
Curfews Matter Because Peacekeeping Matters
Here’s the other side of the coin: law enforcement can’t do its job well when there are roaming kids on every street corner. At night, folks with ill intentions — burglars, vandalizers, you know, bad guys — are more likely to be on the prowl. This is why it always seems like cops are everywhere in the middle of the night, as anyone who has ever worked a third-shift job can attest. Police officers need the roads to be as clear as possible so that they will have proper line-of-sights when the bad guys show up. Imagine if a pack of loud and merry teenagers turned a street corner in bustling Brooklyn at three o’clock in the morning – this would distort visibility for a dedicated officer who’s tracking a convict down that same alleyway. Cops can’t do their jobs under such conditions, which is another reason there’s a push to keep kids safe inside their homes at such hours, especially on weeknights.
Curfews Matter Because Responsibility Matters
Growing up is a rigorous process. Kids gradually learn about respect, dignity, and self-worth, and they’re rewarded for it. Increasingly, they’ll be granted responsibilities and the privileges that come with it. Trust factors into it all. The trust that a teenager is responsible enough to be allowed out into the world at the so-called “Hour of the Wolf” is a thing that comes with age and repeatedly-proven maturity. The temptations, distractions, and dangers of the city all come alive when the sun goes down, so it’s up to your teen to prove their wisdom time and again until they’re of age. It’s a rite-of-passage, and it’s part of growing up. Someday, they’ll get there, and you can encourage them by reminding them that adolescent curfew is a transient concept. Soon enough, they’ll be trusted to go out and grab that slice of pizza at who-knows-when A.M.