Dear Hope: Ridiculous Curfew

Dear Hope,Curfew
I need your help. I’m 16 and my curfew is 10pm on the weekends and 8pm on weekdays. It’s ridiculous! My friends that have curfews can be home at midnight. I have asked my parents why and they said there is no reason to be out later than that. I have missed out on a lot of things because of this. Most weekends my friends go out to eat and then see a movie. The movie usually gets over after ten. I can go to eat but then I have to go home and miss the movie. I don’t know what my parents think I’m going to do. I just want to be able to have fun with my friends. Last weekend my friend’s mom took them all out for late night pizza, again I missed out. How can I get my parents to ease up on the curfew?
– Jessie

Dear Jessie,
Parents set up curfews as a way to keep their children safe. They like to know that you are home where they can keep an eye on you. It’s really not to aggravate you as much as it can feel that way. Parents don’t always realize how you feel or what you have going on. You need to talk to them.

Make a plan- What do you want to ask them? Think about what you really want.
Some ideas: When your friends go to dinner and a movie can you come home right after the movie.
If they are going with the mom for late night pizza, can you go?
Maybe their mom can call your parents since there will be an adult with you.
You can still come home other nights at the normal curfew time.
Let them you know you will text every hour or so just to check in.

Try to think of ways to start slow so they don’t feel shocked. They are less likely to say no if they think you are trying to compromise.

Talk to them- Let them know you want to talk when they have time. Don’t force it. Parents are busy. They may need to plan a time to sit down and talk to you.
When you talk to them, be calm. Not matter how they react, stay calm. The goal is to show maturity. Show them that you are ready to stay out until a later time. Answer any questions they ask the best you can.

If they say no- Respect their decision. Thank them for listening to you. Even if you are angry, don’t show it. Give them some time. Show them for a couple of weeks that you are responsible. Then ask if you can talk to them again. Explain that you have acted responsibly and that you think you deserve a chance.

If they say yes – Again thank them for listening. Now stick to it. Make sure you come home on time. Show them they made the right choice. Give it a month or two to see if all is going well. Then you can ask them to make it every weekend night and maybe extend the weekday time.

Above all, stay calm! It is your parent’s decision. Good luck and let us know how it works out!

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

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