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How do you determine an appropriate curfew for a driving teenager that doesn't have a job?

My son just got his license and I am trying to give him a fair and appropriate curfew. 

Lori | Expert


Teens tend to think they are “all grown up” once they get their driver’s license. They want to be independent and they want us to treat them like adults. 

However, they still lack the experience necessary to be out late at night in a car. Each teen is different with varying levels of maturity, and determining an appropriate curfew depends on each child’s maturity level.   

Even the most mature teen needs boundaries and that includes having a curfew, although there will be times when the curfew can be pushed back for special occasions.  Once you’ve decided on the curfew explain to them that it’s not that you don’t trust them or their driving skills, but you worry about the other people on the road late at night. People leaving parties and bars present a real risk for all of us, and as parents we want the peace of mind knowing our child is safe at home. 

However, curfews are not just for teens without jobs. When your teen works nights they need to know how long after they “punch out” at work that you expect them to be home. It’s always best to make the rules (and consequences of not following the rules) clear with your child before it becomes a problem.

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