You are here

Curfew- debate with DH

justmakingthebest's picture

DH was irritated with my dad last night bringing my son (who turns 16 this week) home late. 

I told DH that I was irritated too, and would have picked him up myself but when I called they were on the way. They just decided to go cruising around and get ice cream and hang out- without asking me. So what we were expecting an on the way of less than 5 minutes turned into 2 hours. However- he is 16, about to have his license and will be out until curfew starting this week. It was my fault for not being clear on when to be home with BS and my dad. 

I said that there are going to be plenty of nights when he won't be until midnight anyway. DH got PISSED. "Not under my roof" -- blah, blah, blah. That of course set me off, but that's for another day. 

He believes that 10 pm should be the latest curfew for BS, with exceptions for everything under the sun- movie times, work, plans, etc. 

I said what's the point of a curfew if you have constant exceptions? 10pm on weeknights and midnight on the weekends. We have cameras to check his arrival time and he should text to let us know he is home. We can verify with the cameras. DH thinks that is way too late and he has no business being out late like that. 

I was- my parents were strict compared to my friends and that was my curfew. That was before cell phones too. They just trusted me. I trust my son. He hasn't ever given me reason to not trust him. As long as he is working, still making straight A's in all very advanced classes and hasn't given me a reason not to trust him- why wouldn't I? In 2 years he will be on his own, at some point we have to loosen the grip and give him room to learn and make small mistakes. 

What time do you feel is a normal curfew for genuinely good teenagers? I am curious what others think! 



Tried out's picture

kinda cool that your dad and your son like to hang out together. I often wished my dad had been in better health when my kids were growing up to do stuff just like this.

justmakingthebest's picture

I was SUPER close to my grandparents and I am so happy my kids are like that with mine. My dad will go on any adventure the kids suggest and has always been that way. I love it! 

I wouldn't have been irriatated if they would have just called to say "we are going to go driving around" or "I will be home by __" it was the on the way and then not showing up! They are a couple of teenagers together! LOL

Tried out's picture

The Beach Boys "Sloop John B." (Minus the getting drunk and spending the night in jail for getting in a fight, of course.)

missgingersnap2021's picture

I'm confused. Why do you need cameras to see when he's getting home? Aren't you going to be there and still awake at 10 o'clock or even midnight on the weekends?

as for curfews all I know is what tDH is doing with SD now 17. basically if she is at a friends house she needs to leave around 1030-ish to be home by 11. Same thing with guests being here. Her boyfriend who is also 17 (and they're both seniors) has to be home by 11 PM if he's hanging out here. Honestly I think DH and this boy's parents do it out of respect for one another I know this past Friday when he left I was ready for bed the second the door closed. Obviously if she's going to a concert or party or something like that then on the weekends it can be later. I also think 10 PM on school nights is late enough for 16 and 17-year-olds

justmakingthebest's picture

No, we we go to bed really early. DH gets up at 4 and I am up at 4:30am for work. By 8 our butts are headed to bed! We just aren't late night people even on the weekends. If we are up to 10 on a weekend, we were out doing something. Home on the couch and we are passed out! LOL

I think 11 on the weekends is reasonable too, I thought 10 was early, I mean if he goes to an 8pm movie he wouldn't make it home by 10. 

bananaseedo's picture

I think 10pm weekdays and midnight for weekends at that age is reasonable.  I would stick to your instincts and in the end, you make the final parenting decision.  He will have to compromise.  He's a good kid, not getting in trouble, if you pull to hard, he may rebel more.

ESMOD's picture

I kind of agree with your DH.  Unless he has a work/school/EC need, 10 on a weeknight and 12 weekends is a little late to be coming home.  I don't see a problem allowing "standing exceptions" for a work schedule.. or EC game schedule... and possible known school issues.

Beyond that, I don't think teens need to be out and about late at night with no clear purpose other than hanging out.  Personally, i would say 11pm is otherwise late enough on a weekend.. maybe 10 on a weeknight.. but I would lean towards earlier personally.  And.. I might have a different curfew during school week vs non school week.  10pm is fine when no school the next day.. but depending on when the kid has to get up?  they should be home in enough time to prepare themselves for the next day at school.. do their evening routine.. and have enough time to get at least 8 hours sleep before they need to get up the next day... 10 might cut that too close depending on the school schedule.

I don't think that curfews really impact when they are out with someone like your dad.. but both of them should know to give some expectations on arrival though...  

Cover1W's picture

I had roughly the same curfew schedule as you are proposing. Busy high school stuff and an after-school job which didn't end sometimes until 9 or so, wouldn't get home before 10. I didn't need the sleep at that age, seriously, I was up anyway.

12 midnight is ok for a responsible kid. I had this maybe a little later, my senior year?  I think it was around 11 before (?). Anyway the only time this was an issue was after I moved to college and came home for a visit and for some reason my parents thought I should still have a midnight curfew after being on my own (full time college with excellent grades and a part-time job) and being responsible - THAT caused a problem.

justmakingthebest's picture

I feel like after they graduate if they are home visiting, I will only want to know IF they will be home that night. As long as they aren't disrespectful coming in loudly and waking us up, whatever, they are adults at that point and hopefully off in college. 

I think 11 is totally reasonable, it was just DH's reaction that really pissed me off I think. I wanted to point out that he never raised teens. MIL had SS21 when he was in high school, not that he has friends or a social life anyway. He has no say in SS17's life. 

So why is he blowing up over my proposal for a responsible kid who hasn't given us a lick of trouble, exept leaving a mess in the game room? Really, if that is the only problem we have with a 16 yr old- we are in GOOD shape! LOL

Cover1W's picture

So why is he blowing up over my proposal for a responsible kid who hasn't given us a lick of trouble, exept leaving a mess in the game room?

I'd straight up ask him this in a neutral setting.

justmakingthebest's picture

I plan on it.

I suspect that it has to do with not being able to have a say in anything regarding SS17. Of course he probably won't see it like that, but I do believe that's the reality. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Are you planning on telling DS what his curfew is or are you just making a mental note of "this is when I expect him to be home when he asks to go out"?

Honestly, I think blanket curfews for new drivers and/or teens who are going out with new drivers isn't a good approach. At 15/16, I think DS should still be telling you roughly where he is going and propose a time when he expects to be back. If he doesn't propose a time, then you can propose one for him.

You can mentally keep 10PM and midnight in your head as the cut-off, but I wouldn't offer those times upfront. DS is a trustworthy kid in a structured environment. Give him some structured freedom for 6-12 months. If he does well with returning by the time you ask him to, and he (seemingly) goes where he says he was going to go/do what he says he was going to do, then open up next his junior/senior year with just a curfew.

justmakingthebest's picture

I was planning on a blanket curfew but I can see how for the first 6-12 months of driving making him ask each time could be beneficial.

I am trying to find the balance between letting him grow up and keeping him close. I know every family handles it differently, and can even do things differently between kids. We just have to figure out what the right thing is for our kids. 

Livingoutloud's picture

He was out with grandpa. So why is it a big deal and why he needs curfew when with grandpa? It's not the same as being out with his buddies 

your DH comes across very controlling. He is angry out of proportion. He is probably angry about something else but instead he wants to control your kids' bed time and their time with their grandpa. Annoying. Your DH might need some therapy. He isn't channeling his anger right 

stepmomnorth's picture

 I could understand saying to grandad something like, it's a school night try to have him home a bit early cause he has school the next day. But the way it happened, your partner being so mad after the fact about him being out with his grandpa, sounds controlling and kind of strange. The whole curfew thing doesn't really apply when they're out with their grandpa/family. 

justmakingthebest's picture

I agree this was a projection of crap with SS17 and BMs parents. 

However, I was irritated with my dad too. BS has spent the night there Saturday, when I called to come get him, they were on the way to our house (less than 3 miles away), an hour later no show. Called again to find out they were cruising around 30 mins away, going to get something to eat, etc- all while we are trying to head to bed. 

No, it wasn't a BIG deal but it was inconsiderate of my dad to not let me know what they had planned to do or that they changed plans so that I could act accordingly. 


shellpell's picture

I agree with PP regarding the fact that he WAS OUT WITH GRANDPA. Hello! Let them have their time together. I wish I had more time with my grandparents. A curfew for when he's with family? Come on. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Eh, being respectful of each other's time and schedules should apply to family as well. 

shellpell's picture

Did you have something important for DS to do? Was there something scheduled? Does your dad do this all the time or is this a rare occurrence? If it's an occasional thing, I would let it go. If it's a pattern, then address it for sure.

ESMOD's picture

I agree that grandpa and/or your son should have given you more of a heads up if they were going to be coming home late at night.  I would be less concerned if it was "we will be gone for the afternoon" and they show up at 6 vs 4 or 5.. but late at night with no word and change of apparent plans that makes them hours later than expected?  I think it's a matter or respect for your parents to let them know where you are and to ensure nothing is wrong.

We actually didn't really have a blanket curfew for my SD's.. they were generally expected to tell us where they were going and when they would be home.. and the cutoff for the time depended on the reason for being out.  Doing homework?  9 pm is probably reasonable.  Going to a movie that doesn't get out till later? maybe an exception (though I would encourage an earlier showing on a school night).  Work committment again would be different.  on a school sponsored event like an out of town game..etc...


PetSpoiler's picture

I had a curfew until I moved out. I wasn't allowed to go out on school nights unless I was working, then I had to come straight home from work. Weekends, until I graduated from high school, my curfew was 12.  After I graduated it was 1am.  If I was going to be late, I'd better find me a phone somewhere and call my mother.  

Livingoutloud's picture

It's understandable that you were irritated. The issue isn't that though, but your DH demanding things are done certain way in regards to your son and your father. Does he make all decisions in your home? 

Is the issue that your dad being inconsiderate or that your DH demands your kids follow his rules (even though his don't)? First you were irritated with your DH for being unreasonable but now you are irritated about your dad bringing kid home late? What's the real issue? I feel like you aren't saying something 

justmakingthebest's picture

My 2nd sentence is that I was irritated with my dad. I am not sure what you mean by not saying something.

This is the first time DH has ever tried any power trip on my which is probably why I got as mad as I did in the moment.

We have settled on a 9 pm on school nights (work is the exception) and 11 on the weekends for now. Next year we will make it later to allow for more freedom. I feel like we came to a happy medium that does allow BS to grow but isn't free reign. 

Mamabearof3's picture

I understand your upset over your dad and son not telling you what they were doing. They would have had me stressed thinking there'd been an accident if they told me they were just a few mins away and didn't come for two hours. I'd for sure say something. Not that they did it in malice but it is rude. Your husband should have some say in what goes on in his household though if he's paying the bills. Idk if I'd want kids coming in after I'm asleep. I'm not sure. I guess it's different for every family. Hopefully he can calm down enough to hear your side snd vice versa. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Thanks, yes, it wasn't out of malice and we love the relationship the kids have with my parents. All of them, even SS21. However, it was just rude the other night and I let my dad know that I wasn't impressed. Common courtesy isn't too much to ask.

I do also agree that DH has a large say in what happens in our house. We are equal parents and needed to come to a reasonable middle ground. I refuse to be like BM and tell DH he has no say over the kids, especially when he allows me to actually parent and run the house with the SS's like they are my own. It was just the way he came about it that night, which was off for him, he is usually very level headed. It is all resolved now and we were able to talk about it. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I never had a curfew and this was back when you carried a quarter in case you needed to use the payphone to call home! My Mom approached it like you are - I was a good kid and she gave me a lot of leeway with the understanding that things would change if I ever gave her a reason.

I would tell her where I was going and with who and about what time we would be home. If I was going to be late, I would use that quarter and call and let her know. This worked for me and my younger sister.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

I have no advice.  My curfew varied from lights at out 9am at the convent boarding school in term time to being allowed to run feral from the age of 15 in the holidays.  My mother had two rules:

  • don't do anything that she would disapprove of
  • don't wake her up

I'm not sure that is the best model for most young people.  *diablo*