curfews - FamilyEducation
04/23/2007 at 13:36 PM

What do you think is a reasonable curfew for a 14 year old? I set my daughter's curfew at 11 pm, but she says her friends can stay out until 1:00. I think that seems too late for freshman in high school. What are other parents doing?

1:00 is way to late for a 14 year old - I even think 11 is pushing it. Geesh. Elisar

Hey bernlo, I just happen to have a 14 year old. I think 1:00 am is WAY too late for a kid that age. My question would be, what the heck are they doing until that time in the morning? They don't drive so what is happening that she needs to be out that late. My daughter doesn't have a set curfew, she has an event by event curfew---like for her homecoming dance it wasn't over until 12:30, so the parents decided they should leave at midnight putting them home about 12:30 but that was a big exception to the rule, not the rule. My friends and I were talking about this the other night and we all came to the conclusion that nothing good happens after 11 or 12 at night!! Marti

I agree with the others that 1:00 seems way too late! I like Marti's idea of doing an event by event curfew for special functions.

I like that idea, too. Thanks for everyone's suggestions! I think my initial instincts were right, but it is tough to know if you are doing the right thing. Especially with teenagers!


Yes bernlo, I agree being the parent of a teenager is very difficult.

To me it is the hardest time thus far even with a kid who has never been in trouble or anything.  It is just a really hard time for parents and for kids.

I read something a few years ago about teenagers that said something like, having a teenager is like having a toddler with keys to the car.  YIKES!!



I guess I'm the odd man out on this one.  If we're talking on Friday and Saturday nights, I think an 11 o'clock curfew seems too early for a kid already in high school.  On weekdays curfews should be much earlier, but why not let her stay out a bit later on the weekends?  Do you trust your daughter?  Is she generally responsible?  Does she do her fair share around the house?  If so, show her that you trust her and compromise - settle right in the middle and make it midnight.


Well, I might be a strict parent but my daughter isn't allowed to go out on school nights at all, except for activities that involve school---plays, sports, that sort of thing.


I think that there is a big difference between a 14 year-old and an 18 year old and that 14 is high school but barely.  I think that 11 is a reasonable curfew for a 14 year old and I like the idea of increasing it each year.  Probably we will do it by about 30 minutes or so a year.  But as I said there are special occasions and I do tend to do things on a case by case basis.  When I was a kid we had midnight movies and occasionally I was allowed to go to one when I was in 11th or 12th grade and I would probably let my daughter do the same but not all the time.




I agree that at 14, nothing good can come of staying out so late when they can't even drive. Our city curfew is 10 week day and midnight weekends, so kids that age out walking around at that time will be arrested and parents will have to pick them up at the police station.  Our kids' curfew from 14-15 was 9 pm.  (Friday & Saturdays, 10 pm) 16-17 10 pm.  (Friday & Saturday, midnight).  UNLESS there was a special event.  Whenever my kids would come in and say "the other kids parents don't care if they stay out that late", I'd say "I'm sorry they don't care but I do care."  That was all it took and I never had a problem.  They had to be in the door before the bells stopped the chime on the hour.  For every 5 mins they were late walking in, it was a 1/2 hour earlier for the next night's or event's curfew. Each only had to do that once when it made curfew 6 or 7 pm :)  Teens can be great fun and I had no troubles and their friends respected my rules whether they liked them or not.


It's interesting to read other parents comments. I am a parent living in New Zealand. Here, statistics have shown a dramatic increase in teenage problems. There is no doubt that the world seems different to what it was in grandmothers day. However I would allow my 14 year old out late at night to 11.00pm with the exception on knowing where she was going, who she would be with and what she would be doing - (no dating, dances etc). I still feel I need to be making minimal decisions for her to protect her own interests while she is still maturing. Our girl knows that we love her and our decisions as parents are seen for her own protection.


What sense does it make to allow a 14 year old to stay out past midnight?   A 14  year old is still very young and I don't see what good is happening after midnight.   I believe to allow your children to have these late curfews unspervised is a big mistake that leads to serious future problems.

As for me my son is 15 and goes to bed at 8pm every night.  My reasoning is that there is no children's programming on tv after 8pm.  The only way he stays up later is if we are watching a sporting event or autourized movie together.



Encore! Thanks Nanny416, I was afraid to be so specific but I just had to smile and nod my head up and down when I read your curfew comment. 


Thanks Zoe!

There's no need to beat around the bush when it comes to our children. 

We need to have integrity as parents and teach our children what is right from wrong.  Why would you want your children to be exposed to adult things in the late hours of night?  At 14 they are still children. There are too many bad things that children can be exposed to these days.  Why would you out them in situations to be exposed to such things.  By letting them stay out till 1am at 14 years old that is exactly what you are doing. 


Some one mentioned trusting your children.  I trust my child to do the right thing however I am not the parent of the other children he is hanging around with.  Those children may have a different set of morals and upbringing.  What I think is right for my son might be upsurd to others.  But hey!  I am the one who is taking care of him all by myself, and up til now I continually received compliments on his behaviour.

“It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” - The Golden Girls


I agree with the event by event curfew ( for things such as after school activiteis, special events, etc.,) but I also thing that there should be a standard curfew for all other times. Mine is at 8pm your head better be touching a pillow. Children need consistency and routine. I don't have to worry about my son because he follows a routine and I can set my clock by it. It's not Army like in my home, but I don't have to look up to know wat my son is doing. However, that does not mean that I don't double check on him.

Bernio! It's not tough to know if you ar doing the right thing. Doing the "Right Thing" as parents is different for everyone, however doing the right thing in my home is "What I Think is the Best Thing" to do for my children. As the adult in my home I set the rules ( THAT IS MY JOB!) and I don't worry if my son is going to be upset with it. Does your boss at work worry if you are upset with the rules? If you are you find another job! If your intentions come out of LOVE for your children, then IT IS the right thing to do. You should not give into anything you feel uncomfotable with. Actually, thatis exactly what I say! "Sorry! I don't feel comfortable with this. I don't feel this is right for you. maybe when you're older."

I deal with a moody teenager just as you do and I am a single mom. Being moody is there nature. You don't deal with this my giving into there needs if it is against what you think is right.





“It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” - The Golden Girls


Yes, Yes Nanny416. The curfew question would not be so much of a question if more parents in our communities were just as committed to keeping good time expectations. It would help relieve the moody teenager from temptation that could lead to trouble. I think the Teenager at 14 years no matter how good an upbringing can be emotionally influenced by his/her peers depending on there personality/nature if consistently left to their own devices etc.  By setting good standards and time expectations our children feel secure and also learn responsibility that help prepare them later in life. Yes, I also agree with the event by event curfew since there are situations where it would be suitable.   


1am is way to late for a 14 yo girl to be out.  What is the state law curfew? I believe the law is what you need to be going by!  Where im from, the curfew law during the week is at 8pm and on week-ends its 10pm.  I have two teen age boys and they aren allow out past these times and they are boys!  I also believe you should not be even considering any other times as well as any space to allow her to be throwing what she feels is a reasonable time.  whos the parent here?  and if thats the case your only setting yourself up for trouble once you allow her to make suggestions.


ok so i am only 21 and definately don't have a teenager but i was one not that long ago. and i know what happens after 11:00 Partying drugs ( i mean that can happen during the day but if your child is in school odds are ) ok so when i was 14 my mother wouldn't let me go anywhere by myself unless i was chaperoned by someone she knew and trusted. a little strict maybe. but the thing is my mother knew me and that i still needed to be guided at 14. I really believe that teenagers under 16 chould be in when the streetlight come on and the stores close which around here is generally 9;00 also to make exceptions to the curfew it should be earned and looked at like a reward. you might think i'm off the wall but like i said it wasn't that long ago that i was one of these kids. it's better to be over protective and explain that it's because you love them then to give in. because your 14yr old daughter might come home and say mom i'm pregnant or i have a huge drug problem and i don't know what to do

I am in  total agreement with the statement "nothing good happens after midnight".  In my own neighborhood,  it is true that the ones roaming the streets after midnight are inevitably up to no good.  I recently read some articles regarding curfews.  They might be interesting to share with your children.  It takes a little pressure off of us parents.  Hope you enjoy them!


I know some 17 year olds that their curfew is just now 11pm. Point blank no exceptions.

14 is way to young to be out till 1:00 am


My oldest is only 9 so I have somethime to think about curfews. The way my mom did it was grade school I had to be home by 7. Then through jr/sr high school it was grade level plus two. (so in 7 grade 9pm --- 8 grade 10pm --- 9 grade 11pm --- 10 grade 12pm --- 11 grade 1am  ---12 grade 2 am) I was 18 when I graduated and the rule in my mom's house was no drivers license till I graduated.


I don't think 11pm is unreasonable.  My 15 year old daughter, who will be a  Jr in high school this fall, has a curfew of 11 pm.  I have a 13 year old daughter also, and she doesn't have a curfew.  I drop her off at the movies or such, and pick her up as soon as it is over.  I think your being pretty fair!!


1:00 is too late for a 14 year old.on occasion, say at the movies and a mom is picking the kids up, then ok. but just to be home at 1:oo no way! if she insist that her friends can stay out that late or that they are at a party...  and wants more time.... just ask to talk to a parent... she"ll be home at 11:oo. I have  four teenagers, and it is easier to hold on to the reins than to pull them in later!


Our city ordinance says 14 year olds have to be in by 11:00pm and 16 year olds by 12:00am. Curfew for my 14 year old is 10:00pm unless she is in a place where there is a parent present.


My son has a curfew at 11:00 also.  But now that school is starting back it will be 10:00 if home work is completed and 8:00 if home work is not completed.  And being in highschool there is always something to study. What I do for the first six weeks is we do it together.  We review the daily work and if possible I will talk to teachers (and he knows I will).  I like to get it from the horses mouth.  He has learned that I will call a teacher in a micro minute.

Once we know what he has to study he chooses the flow of study what's first and so forth. 

Even though he goes fast doing something every night helps in the long run.

A little bit every night is better that all at once.

By the end of the week he has retained most of the important imformation.


***I  (MAKE) him do his flash cards daily also. So by the end of the week if he has a test his notes are already formated on the cards.




When I was that age, It was ten on days that I had to get up in the morning, but on weekends or days where work didn't start til two or three, I was pretty much allowed to stay out as late as I wanted to, povided I called if I wasn't coming home and woke my mom up to tell her I was home and give her a goodnight kiss when I got home. If I had something special (playing open mic at a local coffee shop, ect.) then exceptions could be made. The oft-repeated idea that nothing good happens after midnight is simply a false one. Just because it is late doesn't mean there's mischief afoot. Plenty of nights I was out til two or three, just playing pool or talking. If your child is smart and strong-willed, you have nothing to worry about. One more thing, when I was too young to drive I was allowed out later, as I had to walk or skateboard home.



I believe our law here is 9pm weekdays and 11pm weekends but it could be 8 and 10. I have a 14 yr old and i cant think of something she should be out at 11pm for. Unless it is a specific even. Just hanging out with friends? No way. They can get in too much trouble or danger and whose fault would it be? Not theirs since they are a child. And its not just about trusting your child, your child may be next to perfect and as responsible as can be but when her friends want to go to the corner store at midnight how responsible is the pervert on the corner gonna be when he sees a young girl coming towards him with no adult in sight? Just my thoughts


DaMoKi Bob


That is the correct answer from a responsible parent, and all parents should be responsible for 'raising' their children. If you let your daughter's friends determine your values and your children's behaviors, you are giving away your authority, and shirking your responsibility.


The result of your actions (letting her stay our too late) would create a disconnect next to impossible to repair. There is a BIG difference between friends and parents. Friends can influence (have authority over) your child and have no responsibility... you need to, and must do, both... that's your job!

Both of you will be happy you did.



i dont have a teenager yet, but im still pretty young so i thought i might be able to help. i know when my son gets older i will be very strict. it wasnt too long ago when i was out late and just getting into trouble. i think you should just make sure to know where they are and what they are doing. or have something fun for them to do so they can bring their friends over so you know that they are safe.


I am a recenty graduated high school senior. I come from a town with a curfew. I am 19. I graduated National Merrit and all Honnors classes.

The point of this message is very very simple.

Curfews made no diffrence in my towns crime rate. It only and I will repeat only makes you as parents feel better about your actions.

 The fact that teenagers can and do drink, smoke, have sex, and pretty much you name it during the day. Why am I taking the time to tell you all this?

Because I find it very funny. You parents who place the strictest rules on your children (in by 10 for a 16 year old is my favorite example) end up with the worrest kids.

It was always the repressed children that drank the most at the parties.

I dont really care at all how you raise your children.

My parents were very open with a curfew they wanted me in the door by midnight but even that was flexiable.

And the reason for that time was because they didnt want to be awake past that time.

So going back to the beggining of this message I turned out probably better than half of your children will. Yes this would be arrogance.

But do you feel better informed in all of this?


Hey thisdoesntmatter,

I'll give you points for jumping into the pool, but, you lose points for spelling, grammar, style, and incoherence... Mr. National Merit! Or, was your post meant to be a joke? If not, here are just three observations:

1- Curfews imposed by a municipality versus parents can have different motives and results, yet, you mix up observations and conclusions: the city does it to feel good, and your parents to get some sleep. It has yet to cross your mind that potentials are a greater concern to the city and most parents than statistics.

2- And of course, you tell us how informed and wise you are (yawn!).

3- "Worrest": did you mean  "worst"? You might want to review honors (not "honnors") composition and proof reading. I don't mention this lightly, you must remove all of these distractions from your presentation or people will focus on them rather than your content.

I always shake my head with sad humor when a child crows with such puffery about knowing so much about being a parent and raising children. It is sort of like a dog walking on its hind legs: limited entertainment with no lasting benefit.

But, another positive: I do feel better informed. I now have another example of immature thought in action, which supports the old saying, "You can't teach someone what they think they already know!"

The real problem is, like many children trapped in the arrogance of ignorance cycle, you think you know all the answers when you've heard so few questions. For instance, I suspect you are wrong about the total motives of your parents regarding your curfew; even if you are not, generalizing their actions to others, is not supportable.

The good news is, there are lots of kids who don't agree with you, and even for you there is hope. When you have children, and the associated responsibility and authority, you will hopefully morph into an adult. I know you think you have "turned out" better than most, but the reality is, you are just getting started!

As Sponge Bob, with some levity, said to the Sea Cucumber trying to take over the world... "Good luck with that!"

DaMoKi Bob


I have some friends whose 13-year-old daughter was allowed to go across town to a shopping center on the weekends without parental supervision and stay out until  midnight or even later.  She is now 16 years old and is getting poor grades, lying and ditching school, has been with guys, has drank and been to parties, and has sneaked out of the house numerous times.  They never did a thing and still don't to my knowledge.  She is now a sophomore or junior in high school and is wild with no direction.  I never had a curfew which was harder than having one.  I wasn't allowed to just hang anywhere I wanted with friends unless it was football games, dances, sleepovers, or other events where at least 1 adult was present.  It wasn't until I was a junior I think and had my license and car that I actually went out on the weekends with friends but still came home around 12 a.m. or maybe 1 a.m. if we were at a drive-in movie.


i think you're daughter is very lucky! I'm 18 and in uni...and my curfew is 12am...sometimes, if i go out during the day, the curfew is before dinner time....i my parents just don't understand that i need to have a social life!



If you approach this from your parent's view point, they probably know they are being too protective (I hope) but simply error on the 'safe' side in their eyes. They are wrong of course, unless you have given them reason to be this strict at your age. If not, your task is to affect a change in their perception of you and your maturity level. Simply demanding your 'freedom' may get it, but the cost of your relationship with your parents could suffer a lot. Take the high road and convience them by example that you are more adult than child. Realizing your limits is a great place to start, then you can grow.

Don't envy those with different circumstances; you don't know the negatives in their lives. Focus on you instead.

Good luck.

DaMoKi Bob



I dont think that 1:00 am is un-reasonable for a senior or college student because they are learning to set their own sceduals and are mature enough to realize that they are responsible for their own actions.

How many 14 year old girls can keep from getting knocked-up, if they are partying till the wee hours of the morning.

As adults we should set the examples of responsible living. I work from my home and although I have flexable hours I do not have a clear focus on projects if  I dont get enough sleep.

Do your daughter a favor by not letting her ditch a deacent curfew for a year. Then have her count how many of her peers (who have been staying out all night) have encountered problems. Ask her for HER openion. Ask her how she would want others to treat her if she were in the same circumstances. Afew acceptions wont hurt if she knows that you need to nail down the details in advance.

If your child is the designated driver tell her to take the keys and offer to help get her friends vehicles home the next day. You don't have to condone the behavior but incoherent teens don't need to drive.   love-em with your eyes open


Hi stay @ home mom,

Good answer! I like your idea to ask the daughter's opinion which can make her think and engage in conversation. It will also demonstrate the mom's willingness to show respect for the daughter without simply caving or being bellicose, which is good.

As far as setting the right time for curfew, I believe mom should set the daughter's arrival time in consideration of the entire family, not just for the daughter. They both need to achieve some level of comfort because they both live there. But, a 14yr old is certainly not in charge, and her buddies are way not in charge. I believe the child gets to put in their 2 cents worth of the dollar, and the parent then puts in the remaining 98 cents.

Most 14 yr olds allowed, as a rule, to stay out till 1:00am are not necessarily immature for their age, the it is a good bet their parents are. 1:00am is too late for her to be out without adult supervision, period! I simply can't think of an exception.

DaMoKi Bob


I think 11 is a fair enough curfew if not maybe pushing it for 14...16 sure...14, I don't know, I think 10-10:30 would be more fitting though.


Maybe I am a little old fashioned at my ripe age of 31, but I feel that a 14 year old should be in BED no later than 10.

A girl out at 1:00 am quickly gets a bad reputation, no one wants that for their daughter.

You also have to consider that this is coming from the "horses mouth" she wants a little more freedom that what you are willing to give.  In addition, her friends may not be 100% truthful, knowing that she will not be out at 1:00 to confirm such.

One thing that I plan on doing when my daughters (and sons) get older, is to get together with other parents with same sex children of the same age and see if the old fashioned slumber party can live again.  If the children are in my home or in a trusted environment, a curfew will not be needed.


Isn't there laws that state how late a child (which a 14 year old is) can stay out? In my town it's 11pm until your 17 then it's 12 or 1am. So if you are letting them stay out later without an adult present don't they get a curfew ticket if they get caught?



Hi all

I just so happen to BE a 14 year old. my cewfew is 12:00 on weekends and 11:30 on week days. I go to Isaac Bear Early college so you cant say I am a slacker. On week ends the least you can do is let them stay out till 10:00 because if they are attending a football game that is the earliest they will come in. If you restrict your child they will go to extreeme lengths to break out and attend the wrong parties. I have a friend whose curfew is six on weekends and she will go to drinking parties really early and act like shes been there all night. she is one of the most socially accepted people i know and shes not the only one who does it. If you really think your kid is going to do something stupid make sure theyre with a friend. Not the kind of friends that wil encourage the behavior but say one friend is a good influence and the other is a bad influence allow your kid to stay out later with the good influence and shorter with the bad. Really ladies were all hinting that you think your kids may be having sex, but trust me if theyre hanging out with enough people its not gonna happen.


My kids didn't have 11:00 curfews until they were sophmores in high school and had junior drivers licenses. And that was weekends! During school they had to be in by 10:00.  During their senior years in high school, they still had to be home by 10:00 on weeknights, but could be out until midnight on weekends.  I always told my kids that I didn't care what their friends were able to do.  That, as a responsible parent, I had the priviledge of making the rules for them.  I also explained to them that we had these rules, not because I didn't  trust them, but because I could not always trust their friend's parents to be responsible. Kids, even teenagers, need clear, fair boundries and perimeters.  It's what helps them to make good decisions for themselves, later on, when we are not there or are no longer needed to guide them.



Ok...please tell me how your son can be in bed at 8 PM!  Does he play after school sports?  What about homework?

Where I live, practices and games aren't over until 6 PM  or later.  Add dinner in even the fastest form and homework and there is absolutely no way a teenager could be in bed at 8, even if he/she wanted to sleep!


Nanny 416, are you pulling our legs. That was my first impression, and a nice little joke. I had a wee chuckle.
Now I realise you were serious. How do you manage to get a normal 15 year old boy to go to bed, and sleep at 8pm. Does he not resent being different from all his friends. I would worry that I was storing up trouble for the day when he rebels against such a tight regime. It doesn't matter if there is anything on TV after this time for him, as TV is sooooo unimportant. There are lots of other wholesome things he could be doing instead. Things like hobbies, reading, etc,etc, etc


way to go Nanny416!  parents everywhere should follow your example....all of our children would be better for it!!!


Well at least your son keeps out of trouble I guess Nanny 416, but when does he find time to do any hobbies or for that matter any study? Surely there are many hobbies and pastimes of which you would approve, many of which can be done at home under your supervision.

I agree that children should have a reasonable curfew time, which should be set not only according to their age, but also on how responsible they are. Late nights are okay if it is a special occasion and arrangements have been made for their safe return home.


Ok, I'm 27, so I'm not that removed from my teenage years. Let me tell ya: there is absolutely no reason for a child to be out past 10pm on any sort of a regular basis. Sure, there are exceptions to this, and those can and should be made as appropriate, but unless it was a sporting event or I was with my parents, after 10pm judgement gets BAD!

Also, I think Nanny416 is a little extreme in her timing, but we need to realize that teenagers are way, way under-rested. They often stay out way too late, then come in, get on the computer, text/call their friends, etc... If you read the parenting manuals, they clearly show that young children go through a phase where they gradually need less and less sleep, but in the teen years, the trend reverses and they need more sleep at 16 than they did at 12. When I was a teenager, my parents regularly had me go to bed between 9 and 10 and I got up at 7. I haven't ever been healthier than I was during those years.

I don't think it's mainly an issue about trust (although that should be a consideration), but about wisdom and what's best for your child.

Maybe this changes a little on the weekends, but even then, they still need the sleep.

And yes, it's true, those hours of sleep before midnight are much more valuable than your children think they are. 10pm to 7 am is a lot different than 12am to 9 am.


I'm 13 and even I know that no mom should let their daughter out til' 1:00

You'd think since I'm only 13 , but I'm on my mom's computer, would fully support the 1:00 curfew! But even I think that 1:00 is way to late for a 14 year old!

Buenos Noches Chica!


I think the right curfew for a 14yr old is 8:30pm in summer and 7:00pm in winter. I also say about the friends staying out untill 1:00am is just crazy because thats why you are always hearing about this teenage girls just kidnapped all the time you are doing the right thing dont let her think that she is your boss you are the PARENT not HER


While I agree that 1am is far too late a time for a 14 year old to be out until, I don't think you can set an exact curfew time for any age group. It all surely depends on circumstances such as how mature and trustworthy a child is, where you live and how the child is getting home. There is also the factor of special events to cater for. A sensible approach is called for like in all things, and sometimes you just have to play it by ear.


yeah i would have to go with stephy as well


Stephy makes a good point. I think that an appropriate bed time for a 14yr old is between 8 and 10 depending on what time they get up.

With Love,RamBaby


I am new to this site, but I had to respond to your discussion.  As a mom of 3 girls, I have to say that your curfew of 11:00 is very generous.  Stick to your convictions!  I know it is hard, sometimes their arguments are SO convincing,  but there is nothing that a 14 yr old can do after 11:00 that is productive.  My youngest daughter is now 20 yrs old and though she doesn't "thank" me for staying the course, she does say that it was the right thing to do.  Now, if we can just make it through the last child...our son.  Heaven help us.


i think 1am is far far too late to be coming in this world isnt safe anymore for anybody, i think 10.30pm is an okay time for a 14 year old.