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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 11/18/08

Should I set a curfew for my teenager?

For children, the most enviable child in the class is the one with the latest bedtime. When the children become teens, curfew replaces bedtime as the ultimate symbol of privilege. Teenagers, especially those that drive, crave independence. In a utopian world, teenagers would set appropriate limits for themselves and come home at a reasonable hour without getting in trouble. This dream, however, is so far from reality that some cities have actually imposed their own curfews for teenager in an effort to curb the alarming crime rate. Most teenagers are simply unable to deal with peer pressure and responsibility at the same time. Curfews help teens know their boundaries and assure them that people are watching out for them.

In the Jewish Community

If a poll was taken of the Jewish high schools about how many kids have a formal curfew, very few would respond in the affirmative. Many Jewish kids are members of large families, and it is difficult to keep track of the whereabouts of many kids at once. Parents often trust their children to come home at a reasonable hour, lock the door, and shut off the lights. Granted, some teens are uniquely responsible and have no need for a curfew, but they are the minority. All teenagers, even those who learn in school until late at night, need structure. For many, that structure includes setting a time in which students should be home. Just like elementary school teachers advocate for early bedtimes, high school educators should promote reasonable curfews and speak to the students about staying safe at night.

Use the following links to educate yourself about curfews. Learn about the importance of curfews and find out how to set an appropriate curfew for your teen.

Frequently Asked Links

Should teens be given a curfew?

Why are curfews important for teenagers?

At what age should my child have a curfew?

What can happen if teens do not have a curfew? more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can I set limits and give my child freedom at the same time?

How can I help my teen understand that a curfew is important?

How can I set an appropriate curfew for my teenager? more

What is an appropriate weekend curfew for my teenager?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What is a fair curfew for teenagers?

What should I consider when setting a curfew for my child? more

What should I do if my teen breaks the family’s curfew rules? more

Related Articles

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As your preteen becomes more independent, staying connected may seem like more of a challenge. However, it is as important as ever – maybe even more so now. Here are some tips.

A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Teen Years
you have lived through 2 AM feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the back-to-school blues. So why is the word "teenager" causing you so much anxiety?


Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families., developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.

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