Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How late should a 14 year-old stay out?

(12 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 14-Jun-11 18:37:45

(This is another Ask a gran question sent in by readers of the Radio Times.)

How late should my 14-year-old be allowed to stay out at night? I say not at all on school nights and until10pm at weekends. She’s now refusing to cooperate. What should I do?

GrannyTunnocks Tue 14-Jun-11 18:43:01

It depends where she is going. If it is am organisation eg scouts or youth club then till it finishes. If just hanging out with friends I would say 9pm or earlier if it is dark.

dorsetpennt Thu 16-Jun-11 09:32:35

Teenage girls what a night mare! My son was so easy compared to his sister. I think with boys you worry about danger to themselves . with girls they seem to do things that could spoil their whole life. And that is our worry, With my daughter it was home by 9pm unless it was something special. One of our local night clubs had a weekly under 16 night and it didn't finish until 10pm. She was allowed to do that if she had kept to her curfew. Weekends it was 10.30 unless again something special. She more or less kept to it - although they do try it on with the I'm sleeping at a friends - then I find she'd been to a late night gig. All actions have consequences - so I'd hit them in the pocket - as she was too lazy to get herself a job like paper girl - this worked too. Good luck!

BoffinGran Thu 16-Jun-11 13:44:10

The more co-operative and communicative my daughter was, the more I let her roam, so if she was honest about where she was and came back on time, I rewarded that by being generous in terms of curfew. Despite being stroppy in other ways, she approved of this arrangement. That having been said, generous in our house at 14 was 9-9.30 on a school night and 10-10.15 at the weekend at that age, unless something amazing was going on. Homework had to be completed before any going out, as well.

Myfanwy Thu 16-Jun-11 17:09:42

I think you have to "tough out" teenagers. No-one knows what to do about them and anybody who claims to is deluded. I made rules which were continually broken and sometimes adhered to without thunderous rows. One of mine pushed every boundary in a war of attrition that started at his very early adolescence and ended when he went around the world in his gap year. Many's the evening I made a plate of sandwiches and a hot drink only to find that he had slipped out of his bedroom noiselessly.

I used to try and have a chat with him last thing at night when I was in bed. He would get under the covers with me and I would explain how I felt sitting up waiting for him to come home, how I was often afraid that something terrible had happened to him and how I was legally responsible for him. This "look at it from my point of view" approach worked intermittently but much better than shouting, no pocket money or grounding.

mrshat Thu 16-Jun-11 17:48:25

Never on a school night unless it was organised (e.g. guides). Fridays once homework was finished until about 9.30p.m. and 10.30 p.m. on Saturdays as long as I knew where she was going and who she was going with (and I approved!). She also knew I would 'phone and check she was where she said if I felt I needed to. I never actually needed to as she was OK. Thankfully most of her peer group had parents who felt as we did!

crimson Thu 16-Jun-11 18:03:11

Best to get teenage girls interested in ponies; it delays their interest in boys for at least a couple of years. Some of us grew up to wish it had been forever! confused

jackyann Thu 16-Jun-11 18:40:12

I agree that where and with whom is more important than actual time. Can you get together withthe other parents to agree ground rules? Difficult depending on friendship groups but if possible can be very useful!

I remember defending my position about going out with my mother by pointing out that one of our group was the son of a Methodist minister. "Ha" said my mother "I knew his dad BEFORE he was a minister" !!!!

Lynette Thu 16-Jun-11 19:20:15

Special occasions - barmitzvahs etc then as late as necessary but with definite lift home prearranged. Out with mates, then 11.30 at weekends, 10 midweek. Again, prearrange lift home or go through transport options.

Have a prearranged signal/ password she can send you by text to say 'get me out of here' and she can blame her mum for fussing if she wants to leave a situation she doesn't fancy.
NEVER let her change the arrangements without consulting you FIRST. Make that a rule.

Faye Fri 17-Jun-11 00:25:00

Stay out where? I think this is the problem with all the violence and young girls getting pregnant. Exactly where are they hanging out? My children had to be home before it got dark when they were fifteen and I always knew where they were. I also picked them up at midnight from parties etc myself until they were 16 and still after that age if I had to. By the time my eldest was 16 I was a single parent of three the other two were fourteen and eight, so I had to do this on my own. No husband to pop out and pick them up. Plus I didn't bother to date even though I was only 37 when my eldest daughter was 16, my children always came first.

I never considered myself to be a strict parent and my now 38 year old daughter told me that because she could tell me anything she always felt that she had to behave. They also knew that I trusted them but I didn't trust the creeps out there.

When my youngest daughter was 14 we were living in Essex and my daughter was telling me that her friends were talking about going to London on a Saturday night. There was no way I would let a 14 year old go to London on a Saturday night, what were those seemingly normal parents thinking and then when they were 15 these girls went abroad on holiday together without any parents.

Do parents ever say No any more. I think the trick is to start off young. No means no and you are the parent and you need to act like the parent. Fourteen year old teenagers are not adults and are certainly not mature enough to look after themselves.

gurugranny Sat 18-Jun-11 08:45:54

My daughters only had two rules to remember when growing up - no lies and no going out just to hang around. Parenting is hard and these rules meant we had to make sure there was a lot on offer they could go out to (swimming club, guides, drama group, etc). Consequently they had busy social lives but every event had an end point and then they came home. Incidentally my second daughter famously broke both rules at once - she lied about where she was going and then went out to hang around! I had to admire her nerve! She got found out of course, and was grounded, but I think that was a relief for her because the hanging around was boring and being grounded gave her an excuse to say she couldn't go any more. Win win.

jackyann Sat 18-Jun-11 15:48:19

I do think it is important to be honest, and one of the problems of being too strict is that the child may lie. We too had a pre-arranged "get me out of here" code, and we always said "do this, even if you have broken the rules, it is so much more important to be safe".
Letting them help make the rules can be useful as they do see the dangers - and in a changing world, maybe even better than parents can.
A colleague of mine was very strict with her children, so they never developed "street-wise" intelligence. There was a big family row about going to an Eminem concert at age 13, and she asked me to ask my kids - just a year or two older, and veteran concert & festival goers.
What made us smile was that my kids said "no way" should a 13 year old go to an Eminem concert!

I would always say as well that it is better to have a few, properly enforced rules than a lot of healf-hearted ones.