Teens without curfews could spell trouble.

What Can Happen When Teens Don't Have a Curfew?

by Kathryn Hatter

As much as your teen probably complains about her curfew, without firm limits, adolescents can get into trouble if they stay out late at night. Teens need boundaries such as a curfew, and your approach can ease a youngster acceptance of these boundaries. A proactive and respectful discussion of rules and consequences often results in teens responding positively and cooperatively.

Sleep Deprivation

If a teenager doesn’t have a defined curfew, he may not get to sleep at an hour that will give him enough sleep. Teenagers require approximately 9 1/4 hours of sleep every night to ensure quality functioning during the day and to keep them healthy, according to the National Sleep Foundation website. Without a set time for a teen to report home each night, it’s likely that he will prioritize other activities and not get to bed at a timely hour.

Developing Responsibility

A curfew imposes a set schedule for a teenager, which encourages the youngster to develop and demonstrate responsibility, states the American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.org website. Without a curfew, the adolescent might not have the same opportunity to develop time management skills and the self-control necessary to adhere to the stated curfew.

Parent-Imposed Limits

When a teen has a set curfew, this can create a parent-imposed limit that the teen might use in some situations, suggests psychologist Carl Pickhardt, with the Psychology Today website. For example, when kids are exerting peer pressure to engage in an after-hour activity, a teen can fall back on a set curfew and save face from not participating because of the curfew. Without a set curfew, a teen could give in to peer pressure or she might experience negative reactions from peers when she refuses to participate.

Risks of the Late Hour

The later the hour, the more dangers exist for people who are out. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. have the highest incidence of fatal crashes due to speeding and driving while under the influence of alcohol. Drivers also have a higher incidence of feeling fatigued at later hours. Although risks occur at any hour of the day, teens without curfews have more exposure to these late-night risks of fatigued and intoxicated drivers.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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