Survey of Teenage Kids' Behaviors

dooneMay 2, 2006

Hi. My son is now 17. I'm wondering what other parents allow their 17 year olds to do regarding:

1. Curfews (school night and weekend). Is your child allowed to go out all three nights? (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

2. Are your kids allowed total freedom at this age?

3. Chores?

4. Do you have cell phone cut off times on school nights and weekends?


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My kids are older now, but here's what we did:

1. We were a little loose on curfew. When they went out, I asked where they would be and what time they would be home. If the time sounded ok, I said fine, but if it was too late I requested an earlier time, and they usually complied. I told them I don't like to worry, and I want to know what time to start worrying! LOL!

2. Total freedom? Who has total freedom? Birds? Even husbands and wives and other family members check in with each other to let them know where they are and when they will be home. It's just common courtesy.

3. Our sons had a few small chores for the weekend. I wish I had given them more. They also did their own laundry by age 17. They need to do this so when they go to college or are on their own, they can take care of themselves. Also, they made their own beds. Often they helped with dishes after dinner.

4. They had no cell phones, but I know all teens do now.

I think teens want to be treated respectfully and as adults. I usually tried to appeal to their sense of fairness in helping me and not making me worry as far as chores and curfew are concerned.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 7:33PM
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Teens don't need restrictions so the parents can feel more in control.
Why forbid "going out" 3 nights of a weekend? Is having a friend over "going out"?
I also agree "total freedom?"...They could go anywhere we deemed safe. I set no curfew, but demanded to know where they were and would be. If a party "evolved" I wanted to knoiw where it went from the first location.
One time, when the kids were naybe 13 and 11, we went to a dance which was over at midnight. They knew and were "In charge". Well after someone said why not come to our house for eggs and coffee and we went ( all this was within about a mile of our house) and when we came home about 2, my daughter was standing by the door saying "Where WERE you?"....We gave the standard teen excuse..."with our friends, you know them, we didn't want to call and wake you, we didn't know you would be worried etc"..
Well that made a live in this house, you afford everyone the same courtesy. Tell us where you are, don't worry about waking us, because if we worry wwe are already awake. And even now the old married parents of my grandchildren let me know where they are and when they will be back when visiting.
Chores? Not really....take the garbage out if I ask, empty the dishwasher if it's full, clean and no one else is doing it, mow the lawn so when your dad comes home he will be surprised. Make your bed and clean up your room, or shut the door.
Again the cell phone was not an issue, but why cut off the time on school nights? The only exception might be going over the allotted minutes or not maintaing at least a 3 point grade.
Our kids were so busy in highschool these things were never a problem, they were in band, JA, chorus, theater, swimming, basketball and both worked, my son was a DJ after school until the station went off the air at 11:)) PM and my daughter taught swimming and worked as a waitress evenings. I think there was never a time when they had 3 days of a weekend off work, or rehersal or night was good!
Back to my original point, I see no need to restrict a teen's activities to make you more in control, but only because of poor grades, or spending money meant for college expenses.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 11:32AM
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A 17 year old isn't an adult and most are still living in their parents' house. As far as curfews go, they should have a curfew. No teenager should be roaming around at 1,2,3 in the morning. Of course there are exceptions such as parties, work, etc. Personally, I think if there is school on Monday, they shouldn't be out late on Sunday night on a regular basis. And I totally agree on the idea of letting the parents know where they are. That is a must.

Chores? Why not? It's a family that works together, not a hotel. Make your bed and clean your room, put your clothes in the laundry and put them away when they get washed, set and clear the table, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, etc. Don't be a slavedriver, but giving chores prepares kids for life on their own.

In our house, we try not to call people before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. because that's what we feel is courteous. Maybe on weekends with teenagers you could be a little looser with the rules if you choose to set a curfew on the phones.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 8:55PM
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A LOT depends on the responsibility level of the kid, I had one that was WAY more responsible than another. SO that will depend.

1. Curfews (school night and weekend). Is your child allowed to go out all three nights? (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) -
They had to be home by 10 on any school night, Friday and Saturday, depended on the plan and WHO they were with and prior permission. 12 without permission.

2. Are your kids allowed total freedom at this age? NEVER. If they were to get in trouble I would be called, and I didn't want that responsibility! When I was no longer responsible legally for them, then they got total freedom.

3. Chores? I work full time, so does my husband, I am not a Maid, nor is he. They did their own laundry, I did not clean their room. I cooked most meals..but they were in charge of 1 meal a week (I swear son could only cook hotdogs, man I got so I hated hot dogs). They each had a chore room. I never purchased a dishwasher, why when I had 5 people in my house capable of doing dishes!!! (Boy did they hate that statement, but 3 kids, two adults, - plus no room for one, but hey I had to use something!!)

4. Do you have cell phone cut off times on school nights and weekends? Didn't allow cell phones until 17, and wish I had monitored this more than I did. I think cell phones should be turned off and given to Mom and dad at curfew/bedtime. That gives them a full nights sleep.

These are just my opinions. My kids are now 24 (with child of her own, and no longer thinks I was the worse Mom in the world), 21 and 19 tomorrow.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 7:40AM
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Thanks everyone!!! Blackcat333, we think alike!!!

Everyone thinks I'm strange because I don't like to get calls after 9 pm. To me, that when we shut down for the night. Talk about the next day...get showers done, etc. I think that's total family time. Sometimes, I'm even in bed at that time... zzzzzzz

Hi Vickey! Can't seem to get away from me, eh?

Thank you all!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 4:33PM
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HI Doone, I didn't even read who I was responding to. Remember with all of these to start them with your daughter too. She's old enough to have chores and responsibilities. MAYBE you can prevent some of the problems you're having with your son from happening with her. BUT make sure it doesn't look like it's a ssexist thing. When I was growing up it was GIRLS do inside chores and boys do outside chores...well I'd rather have mowed the lawn (how hard was it to mow with a riding lawn mower, plus get a tan, come on!!!), than be the one having to clean up after three piggy brothers in the bathroom!!!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:12AM
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Hi Vickey, yup, I got that one covered. DD loves to mow! She's just too scrawny right now. But, she tries!!

I do realize this. Since my divorce, I've replaced all the molding in my home (with a hand-miter I mgiht add), sanded all the doorways. That was a huge job!

Then, I've also ripped up the carpeting on my stairwells and put down laminated wood flooring on the stairs and landings. That was also a huge job...never want to do that one again...

I've had to learn how to do a lot of this kind of thing....I love to do this kind of work...but I don't always have the patience to search it out and most times I just create bigger problems for myself! LOL Like when I was hammering a piece of molding on the stairway wall...couldn't figure out why the nail wasn't going in...gave it a BIG whack!...went through the wall...(sigh)...I had to sit down and cry over that one!!!!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 10:32AM
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Parents today find it hard to descipline their children. Some behaviors of their children are uncontrollable. One thing to do is to use positive reinforcement. You kid would love this way of desciplining. Another way is to send them to boarding schools. Boarding schools would teach your kid to be independent and well descipline. That would be a good thing that your kids would have. Just choose the best or the top boarding schools that you know in your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: top boarding school

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 2:51AM
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    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 8:50PM
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