Senior Year – Coming of Age

Oldest Son had a group of friends over last night. I love that. I love being able to hear the laughte and bits of conversations that take place. He has good friends. They are really good kids. I know, because I wasn’t a good kid. And they don’t pull any of the shenanigans I did. {Let me just take a moment to say sorry Mom and Dad and kudos for getting through that without shooting me!} Oldest Son’s friends are good students, active in their youth groups, involved in lots of community service {not the court-mandated kind}, just all-around good kids.

So during the course of the evening, which started at 10 pm, the question came up of starting a movie. Someone thought there wasn’t time to watch it before they had to go. That’s when they realized that technically, Oldest Son was home, so he was there before curfew. The rules didn’t say anything about everyone else having to leave by a certain time. Loophole! That’s when I hear, “Mom, how late can they stay?”

To which I reply, “Give me a minute.” I have to think this one through. Better they are here than out getting in trouble {like they would get in trouble}. I like having them at my house. What could it hurt? Will I ever get to sleep?

Then I hear the conversation in the other room. “How do parents decide those things?”

Without thinking I said, “We make it up as we go along.” And the secret’s out. Sorry to all you parents who were trying to maintain the image that we had this all figured out and there was a very deliberate process to making up the rules for our kids. I’m really just making it up as I go along.

But, I’m still thinking about whether they have to leave at midnight or not. {Side note: Apparently Oldest Son is the only one in the group with an actual curfew. I don’t get that. They are good kids, but I think a curfew helps keep them that way:)} Then it dawns on me. In a year, I will have no control whatsoever over what time he comes or goes. In fact, I won’t know if he even goes home at night. Hmmm. Hadn’t thought about that.

And moreover, Oldest Son turns 18 very soon. He will be a bonafide, legal, adult most of his senior year of high school. So, does a curfew make sense?

Let me be clear, I’m not a parent who will let my kids run my house. As my father so succinctly put it, “As long as you’re living under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.” I’m not giving up “rule” of my house. But, the reality is, he’s nearly an adult. If I haven’t taught him by now, it’s not going to happen.

So, curfew or no? What do you think?

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12 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Senior Year

12 responses to “Senior Year – Coming of Age

  1. Tonya M.

    If he is still coming home by curfew now, I would say, even if he didn’t have one he wouldn’t stay gone all night… the ones that don’t obey a curfew to begin with are the ones that will get in more trouble without a curfew. “Be home at a resonable time” gives him the responsibility of deciding what is reasonable without giving him all the control by saying nothing.

  2. Denice

    Your dad is a very wise man, Judy. Your house, your rules but he can have input after he graduates from high school.

  3. I’d say “no”… impose the rule that if he leaves the place he told you he’d be – call, tell you where he’s going. If he needs a ride – call. If he isn’t going to be coming home (staying over at a friend’s) – call. Same with if he thinks you guys will be in bed before he’s planning on being home. You’ll know exactly where he is, but he’ll have a bit more freedom. Sounds like he’s a good kid – he needs the chance to be the good adult you raised him to be.

  4. Maria

    depends on the kid. with me #1 – didn’t matter. #2 omg – YES he needs a curfew. are these two kids really related?! some kids are easy, some are scary. so far I have one of each 😉

  5. Carolyn Olson

    We kept the curfews for the girls until they went to college. Mostly because they like to participate in a lot of church and school activities, so sleep was important. We also have the thing about being guilty by association, which they are good about. At times they appreciate(d) the fact they had a curfew – it saved them from uncomfortable situations.

  6. Curfew, with options and exceptions. If he gives you a call, you can have the option of granting and extension, or not. If he’s really a good kid, which we know he is, eventually, you’ll say, “stop calling me, just use your best judgement.” And that’s when the curfew goes away.

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