Children at the adolescent stage want to have their freedom just like the adults all because they are becoming mature. They want to move at any time without being cautioned. They want to return home the time they feel like getting home. So many parents are experiencing this challenge. Thus, we need to discuss this issue so that we can raise Godly children and also build a happy home.
Are you having this same challenge? Have you been thinking on how to resolve this issue with your child who always gets home late at night?
To help answer that question, let’s understand the meaning of curfew.
According to the dictionary, Curfew is defined as follows:
- Any regulation requiring people to be off the streets and in their homes by a certain time.
- The time when such restriction begins.
Parents set this rule to make their children be at home on time which prevents them from keeping late at night. What if the rule is broken, what will you do?
Imagine yourself in this situation:
It’s 45 minutes past your son’s curfew, and you have been waiting for him since he is not yet back. You know how you will feel as a parent. Your son thinks you’re asleep and gently opens the door to sneak in holding his footwear so that you won’t hear him walk. But you are not asleep as you sit with your mind focus on him. Then as the door is opened, and your son’s eyes meet yours. What will you say? What will you do?
There are options for you. Either you take the matter lightly or you do the other way round. You might say “Boys will be boys,” or “Why are you just coming?” and this depends on the mood and action. I want you to know that it’s not only male children that do break curfew, female children also do.
Instead of acting impulsively, listen first, in case there is a valid reason for getting home late. This can help you turn a broken curfew into a powerful teaching tool. How? You might ask.
Here is my suggestion for you:
Tell your child that you will discuss the matter with him or her tomorrow. Then at the appropriate time, sit down and talk about how you will handle the matter. Some parents have tried the following: If their son or daughter comes home after the time agreed on, then for the next outing, the curfew will be moved 30 minutes earlier. This will help to avoid going beyond stipulated time. On the other hand, if the boy or girl regularly comes home on time and builds up a record of reliable behavior, you might consider granting reasonable freedoms on occasion, perhaps even extending the curfew to a later time. It is important that your child clearly knows what time he or she is expected to be at home and the consequences set for failure to abide by the curfew you have set. You need to enforce those consequences.
So, before imposing a curfew, you might want to discuss the matter with your child, allowing him or her to suggest a time and offer reasons for that preference. Take this request into consideration. If your child has demonstrated himself or herself to be responsible, you might be able to accommodate his or her wishes if they are reasonable.
I will say punctuality is a part of life. Setting up a curfew, then, is not just about getting your child off the streets. It’s about teaching a skill that will benefit your child long after leaving home.