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Parenting Issues Message Board


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Hello out there! I'm looking for advice on dealing with my 17 year old son (or at least to see that I am not alone in my thinking - as he is positive that I am).

How late of a curfew should a 17 year old be given?

Here's the dilemma:

He is a good kid. We have battled since he's been about 13 since I am the parent in the house (and his father is more kid than adult), and he has friends who's parents basically have 'no rules' - and never have. So, it's been a difficult situation. But, all in all, he is a good kid, and I've known his best friend since they were 5, and he is a good kid - if not a little on the wild side. Unfortunately, my son has not always the most 'honest' of kids. In fact, his new philosophy on that subject is that 'what you don't know, won't hurt you:)' (Which in a parent's case is not necessarily true:) Had it not been for this attitude and lying in the past, this probably wouldn't be the issue that it is.

He has just graduated from high school, but unlike all of his friends who are 18, he won't be 18 until October. Therefore, high school grad or not, he is still a minor. Obviously the car is under our policy, and should something happen - we are still responsible - and that is the basis for the curfew.

His friends may have never had a curfew, but his has always been midnight. He is working right now at a job where they go to work at 4 and get off at 11. He wants to stay out basically until 3 or 4 in the morning - every night - to which my question is - where do even 18 year olds go until 3 or 4 in the morning every night? It's not that I wouldn't be willing to discuss certain plans or events or to extend the curfew until 1 (or even later - for an actual event) - but 3 or 4 I don't understand - and I'm wondering if anyone else does?

What amazes me even more is that he's already been told that when he turns 18, at that point, he will no longer have a curfew. So, we're talking about 3 months. Like a lot of kids, I've heard the threats that 'I'm moving out right away' - which once he really started figuring out how much it cost to do so - he discovered that wasn't really an option (if he wanted to go to college full-time:). He has a partial scholarship (which should he get into trouble, they will yank), and we planned on paying for the rest of the tuition. He's going locally, and wanted to stay in a dorm room - to which I said he'd have to pay for that part himself (as it's more than tuition, and he has room and board here - plus that will pay for an entire year of tuition). My family also started giving him savings bonds when he was very young, and he's got a small nest egg built up. Therefore, he has the ability right now to go to school for 4 years, be able to get out of school at that time - debt free, with his nest egg still in tact plus any amount of money that he saves while working - and where he works will actually reimburse him for the cost of his tuition if he works enough hours (which right now, he refuses to do). A college degree, debt free, plus the ability to have thousands in the bank to start off life with? I wish someone would make me a deal like that:) And four months of staying out until 4 in the morning is more important? Someone please explain this to me.

I am not made of money, but like most parents, I wanted my child to have a better life. I have given up things that I wanted and wanted to do so that he could have a better life. Right now, I am having to deal with legal issues that my husband created, which my son is very aware of - things that have already devastated us, and could completely destroy our entire lives. I am trying to keep things afloat here, but I already have enough to deal with - so I am even more perplexed as to why he would aggravate the situation now. If ever there was a time that I was going to have less patience - it's right this minute - and as a very intelligent child - I don't find this to be that hard to understand.

So, I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this - and if other parents truly are fine with their kids strolling in the door at 4 in the morning?

Advice welcome!





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