Got teenagers? Here’s an awesome alternative to curfew. Post contains affiliate link.
My oldest child is only 3 years old. But I’m writing this post, see, because I like to plan ahead. Okay, I’m kidding. This was just too good not to share. Plus, I know many of you have older children.
I follow an amazing Christian writer and speaker who is a mama to 4 boys, the youngest now a late teenager.
When I heard her speak in Sydney, Australia I remembered a lot of what she said about spiritual life. But this curfew business was what I thought about for days. Days, see. Why? Because I tend towards worry and it’s genius.
So let’s talk curfew. Most parents put boundaries and parameters on their teenager’s activities both to protect them and teach them responsibility. And as my mother always said…
“Nothing good happens after midnight.”
Of course that isn’t strictly true. Lots of good things can happen after midnight. But if those things are really good – and good for you – they can probably wait until the light of day. Under supervision. In a group. With everyone wearing True Love Waits rings. Read this on that subject.
The genius alternative (although you could also do this in addition to a curfew) was this.
A kiss good night upon returning home.
Why this is genius
Oh there’s a few reasons why this is great. If you’ve done your best to train your children in good decision making and wisdom, then at this point you are giving them some freedom to make their own choices. However, there is still oversight.
When they kiss you goodnight you’ll see the time they got home.
If you go to sleep and they’re still out, then they wake you with a kiss when they get home. There’s no fudging the time and you don’t have to wait up for them just to monitor it. You’ll know exactly when because your bedside clock will tell you so.
You’ll be able to smell them.
If they smell like alcohol you’ll know they were underage drinking. If they smell like cigarettes you’ll have to give them a four hour slideshow on lungs and addiction. If they smell overpoweringly like perfume, cologne, spearmint, or strong coffee you’ll know they are hiding some other malodorous substance you probably wouldn’t approve of.
Speaking of coffee. She once tweeted that coffee was, yet again, proven to be amazing because research showed coffee drinkers had more “marital relations.” I replied, “Well, what else are they going to do when they’re still awake at 2 am?” Read her book on the marriage story here.
Anyway… another reason it’s awesome is this.
They’ll know they are coming home to you.
When they know they will be coming home and kissing you goodnight, it is also a heart issue. Your teenagers won’t be able to slink into their bedrooms at 4 am after a night full of bad decisions without having to look you in the eye. When they come in and go to your room and kiss you, their conscience will be very awake.
Of course we cannot and should not micromanage every aspect of our kid’s lives, yet we should provide guidance and wisdom. We train our children up in the way they should go, and then we have to let them go it. But they don’t need to go it alone. No matter what type of curfew, or non curfew, system each family has, one thing is universally true…
Who doesn’t love a good night kiss?
Note: she only shared about the good night kiss upon arriving home, the rest are my own thoughts.