Summer is often a time of year when many parents consider extending their child's curfew.
Many teens who receive an extended curfew have earned it by following instructions and rules, showing responsibility and meeting their parents' expectations. Curfews and their extensions should vary according to age and the whereabouts of the youth. Curfews can also be negotiated when special circumstances occur, such as a birthday party or even a sports event.
Below are a few tips if you're a parent considering extending your child's curfew.
Be aware of your state's laws.
If your child is providing transportation or being transported by another youth, be sure you're aware of your state's laws regarding curfews for minors.
In the state of Nebraska, those under 21 driving with a provisional operating permit may only drive unsupervised between midnight and 6 a.m. if they are driving to or from work or a school activity. Your teen driver may drive any time if they are accompanied by a parent, guardian or licensed driver who is at least 21.
During the first six months of the provisional operating permit, young drivers can only operate a motor vehicle with no more than one passenger who is not an immediate family member and who is under nineteen years of age.
Check in often with your child.
If you decided to extend the time your youth can stay out, have check-in times and be aware of your child’s location, as well as who they are with. Make sure you know if they will be travelling from one place to another or if they're staying in one place.
If they are moving from one location to the next, ask who will be providing transportation. Depending on how trustworthy and how old your child is, get the phone number of the adult present in order to send text messages.
The privilege to stay out past curfew can build trust and bring enjoyment to your youth, but the decision must be made safely. If you decide to not extend your child's curfew after they've asked, explain your reasoning behind your decision. Then come up with a plan together that will help your child reach your expectations for extending their curfew in the future.
Angee (Henry) Nott is a former University of Nebraska track athlete who was a three-time Big 12 champion and a 10-time All-American. She was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. She has coached track and cross country at Boys Town High School since 2004, where she is also an English teacher. She continues to empower her students to reach their potential on the track and in the classroom.