ask an expert

How do we set a reasonable curfew?

We seem to have ongoing discussions with our daughter regarding her curfew. She is 16-years-old and we feel that 11 p.m. during the week and midnight on the weekend is very reasonable. She tells us many of her friends have later curfews on the weekend. What do you think is a reasonable time for someone her age?

Dawn | Expert


Curfew as children get older is always challenging. On school nights, 11 p.m. is very reasonable.

The only exception we ever had was if the time had to be adjusted due to a work schedule. Generally, most employers do not expect their high school age employees to work that late.

On the weekends we adjusted curfews as needed for special events, such as for homecoming or prom.

As a parent, it was hard for me to understand what a 16- year-old would be doing after 11 p.m.

Also, when the 'my other friends' card was pulled, I explained that all people have choices and as parents, we have to assist our children in making choices that are best for them and our family.

We always put safety first. The later in the evening it gets, the greater the risk of being on the road with people that could jeopardize their safety.

Plus, many communities have a mandated curfew that limits how late people under the age of 18 can be out.

Read more answers by Dawn