The Importance of Curfew (For Kids)
If you were ever lost for words to explain to your children why they should care about curfew, do not worry – we have been in the same boat and we are here for you. It is vital that you never tell your kids, ‘because I said so’ as a justification for any of your actions. While it might be a quick answer to most of their questions, your child will lack the proper knowledge about the essential things that you want them to learn, and the things that you are trying to push them away from. Imagine what will happen if your teenager tries to look for reasons to not stay out past curfew. Will it be just because you say so? I encourage you to read on for more important parental information.
Choosing The Right Time
The best time to tell your kid about curfew might come as a surprise to most parents, but it is now. The rumor that there is a certain age to start talking about curfews remains to be a rumor. When is the right time to start teaching responsibility? When is the right time to not worry about your child? When is the right time for someone to snatch your kids off the streets? While it is impossible to keep your child 100% safe (unless you are fortunate enough to afford to homeschool), it is possible to reduce the chances of them being put in danger. The timing is not what you need to worry about, but rather the phrasing.
Stern But Fair
When you are telling your kid about curfew, it is important to establish a stern, but fair tone. Coming off as too stern might cause your child to become rebellious in later years and might miss curfew just to spite you. However, if you are too lax, then, the seriousness of the curfew will fall on deaf ears which is just as terrible. Read on if you are having trouble understanding.
Now, to sound like you are setting these new timelines for their safety rather than for other reasons, you need to speak to your child like an adult. This should be a conversation that they are going to need to remember for years, so talk to them like you’re talking to an intelligent adult. Do not spare any of the gory details. Tell them everything from curfew police to the drunks to the child molesters that walk the streets. It is also important to teach your kid that not all strangers are evil, just the ones that are overly friendly at first or seem rough in appearance. There might not be a way to tell your kid what a child molester looks like, but you can tell them what a decent stranger looks like, and under no circumstances should they follow or take anything from all strangers.
The last and the least important thing that you need to tell your kid after all else has been mentioned is that they will not go unrewarded. This site has an excellent article on creating a reward system but here is an overview of reward systems that you can do depending on your budget:
*Tight Budget Reward System
Have your child write a list of the top ten things that they want for Christmas. Tell them that you will put a check mark to the positive behavior that they follow according to the curfew rules.
*Moderate Budget Reward System
Use your knowledge of your kid to your advantage. Give them their most/least favorite food in accordance with their behavior. If they have been consistently good, an expensive thing or food that your child likes would make a great reward.
*High Budget Reward System
Give your child allowance and increase or decrease it according to his behavior. Something you wish your parents had done, huh?