Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up
Logo
Get Print Edition

#ParentHack: A Clever Way to Check Curfew

It’s a Saturday night, and it’s been a long week. I’m not as young as I used to be, and staying up until my teenagers get home at 1:00 a.m. for their curfew is a real struggle.

Here’s how it usually goes. My teenage son is out having fun, but I’m yawning. I’ve got to get some sleep. “Just wake me when you get home,” I tell him. “You know you have a 1:00 a.m. curfew.”

“I will, Mom. I promise.” And he goes out, and I go upstairs to bed.

And then the next thing I know, it’s morning. I confront him: “When did you come home last night? I told you to wake me.”

“But Mom, I did wake you, and you said, ‘G’night, honey.’ Don’t you remember?” he protests.

Did he? Did I? Maybe … possibly…

A teen curfew is easier said than done.

This scenario played out every weekend when my oldest was a teenager and his friends started driving. Try as I did to stay up until they came home, I would always fall asleep. And, listen, I remember being a kid myself—nothing good happens after 1:00 a.m. Nothing. But arguing and fighting about when he got home or if he was late? That gets old really quick.

To be honest, I couldn’t be sure if he was telling the truth. If they didn’t really wake me, how would I know it’s “only” 1:00 a.m., anyway—what if it was 2 or 3? How could I know they were home when they said they’d be, and that they were sober and in one piece? Would my kids lie to me knowing that I had no way to know what time they had actually gotten home? You bet they would.

I finally found out a way to outsmart my clever “of-course-I-woke-you” kids: I went to sleep in their beds while they were out.

Now they had to wake me up—all the way—when they came home, and I could really rest easy.

GET YTM IN YOUR INBOX!Receive our weekly newsletter with the latest articles, media, and resources.
STAY IN THE KNOW!We've got the wisdom and advice you need

Enter your email below to get the very latest from YT - weekly updates, expert advice and insights, tips to keep you sane, and more