There are many words or phrases that teens dread hearing from their parents; one of these words is “curfew.” Many teens see the adolescent years as a time to break away from their family and parents, and experience more freedom in certain aspects of their lives. Having a curfew seems unfair and unreasonable, but what many teens fail to realize is that curfews are actually beneficial to their overall well-being.
Curfews have many advantages that teenagers might not realize; these advantages include staying out of trouble, better time management, less sleep deprivation, and increased focus in school. When following curfews, teens tend to stay out of trouble more because criminal activity or high-risk behavior is more likely to occur later in the evening when parental supervision is not present. Curfews help teens to become used to setting a schedule which they routinely follow, and become able to develop important time management skills which they will carry out into adulthood. Being able to manage time effectively is useful in a variety of situations including school, work, and personal relationships. Setting curfews also help teens to be able to get to sleep at a decent time, which leads to subsequent focus and wakefulness in school, this could ultimately even lead to better grades.
It is important to note when exceptions to curfews should be acceptable. For example, if you are out studying, working, volunteering, or participating in an extracurricular activity, it would probably be reasonable to ask your parents to extend your curfew for these activities. However, staying out till after midnight to see a concert, movie, or hang out with friends would probably not count as an activity which deserves a curfew extension. When negotiating such time extensions with your parents, it is important to be reasonable and realize that each situation should be weighed differently when considering the activity you want to participate in, and the amount of time you want your curfew to be extended to.
Ultimately, curfews are reasonable guidelines and should be followed. It is important to maintain respect for your parents and the rules they set throughout your adolescent years. While it may seem unfair or unreasonable at the time, you will eventually realize how beneficial such rules were and will thank your parents for looking out for your well-being. So next time you are heading out the door in the evening and your parents remind you of your curfew, instead of rolling your eyes, shrugging your shoulders, or complaining, recognize that they are looking out for you and thank them.
Jenna Welsh is a local high school student who supports and participates in NOYS - the National Organizations for Youth Safety. Jenna has experience in public, private, home and cyber education programs in the U.S. and internationally. Jenna is the founder of J.E.Welsh Productions, offering the personalized production of Family History multi-media presentations on DVD (jewelshproductions.webs.com).