Help Me With easy child?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mom_to_3, May 12, 2007.

  1. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    So....... I need some help parenting my easy child! I knew there were some great parents here that could offer some sound advice. :smile:

    My 19 yr. old easy child daughter still lives at home. She works and is going to college. She is a great kid, very responsible, and has truly never given us any trouble.

    The problem is curfew. What is a reasonable time for curfew for a young lady her age? Up until this point, it has been midnight and it has not ever been a problem.

    The last couple of weeks she has been hanging around a new friend. This girl is expanding my daughters horizons! That's not exactly a bad thing, as I realize that she needs to grow up and away from us.

    It began two weeks ago when my daughter came and asked me if she could go to a "club" with this friend. I was so naive, I thought she was asking to go to a country club!!!! Nope, it was a dance club. There is drinking there, but because she is under age, she is not allowed to purchase or drink alcohol while there.

    I gave my approval for her to go, along with my many apprehensions and cautions and encouragement to have fun. I did not tell her what time to come home. What a confusing time for me! I would prefer she didn't go to those places as a mother. I do remember being her age, all those exciting, fun, forbidden things to experience. I want her to experience life. I want her to live her life with adventure, with excitement, with joy. I want her to have it all, but I am so afraid for her. I want to protect her and make sure that nothing bad ever happens to her. I know this is not rational. I cannot protect her from life, nor should I.

    That first night she went out to the dance club with friends, she did not come home until 5 A.M.!!!! :smile: They did have about an hour’s drive to get home and then they also stopped to eat. Lordy! That time certainly doesn't work for me. The next night, she went out again. I told her not to come home at 5 am, but didn't give a specific time to be home. This time she came home at 3 am. That is still too late for me.

    Last night, she went out again. She and her friend had dates and they were going to eat dinner and go bowling. They had to wait for one of the guys to get off work at 10, so they did have a late start. My easy child didn't get home until 3:30am. :grrr: I had told her that I wanted her to be home by 1 am. She said she would be. At 2am, I called her cell phone and growled at her, told her she needed to get home. We have never had any kind of accountability issues with her ever.

    Today we talked. I told her how irresponsible and inconsiderate she had been. I reminded her how nice it is to have parents that actually care about you, and care if you are late because maybe your car broke down or maybe something else bad had happened to you. I asked about the other girls she was going out with and what their parents thought about their late hours. Guess what, the other parents don't care. She said the girls tell her that as long as they are home by Monday all is well. :surprise: We can't go there.

    So, what is a good rule of thumb for a 19 yr. olds curfew? I want to be reasonable and accommodating, but anything later than 3 am is too late for me. Also, give me some opinions on having friends over. This same easy child daughter is having her guy friend over tonight. There isn't an issue of going into the bedrooms or inappropriate behavior. We told her that he could stay until 1 am. We don't feel comfortable going to bed when the kids have friends over unless they are spending the night and we don't allow guys to spend the night here. We're a little narrow minded that way! :smile:

    We also realize that she could be living out on her own and coming home whenever she wanted and we would be none the wiser. Oh what a balancing act............. Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You know, you are right, You would be none the wiser.

    BUT. She is in your home. And as long as she is on YOUR home, she needs to follow YOUR rules. You need to make rules that you are comfortable with.

    I would say 2AM on the weekends is a fair curfew. With the stipulation that if you find that she has been drinking, you reserve the right to make it earlier. As far as having guys over, you choose a time that you are OK with.

    If your daughter is a reasonable, mature adult (and it sounds like she is), you could sit down and negotiate the times with her. If she balks because she does not like the rules, you could gently remind her how much you are saving her by allowing her to live with you.

    I had the same problem last year when Basset Hound turned 18. She whined about the ruled, and I showed her the door if she didn't like it. Well, she called my bluff, and she is on her own. Not my first choice, but she is not sneaking her boyfriend into MY house anymore.

    Good luck to you.
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    while it's been a LONG time since I went out dancing at clubs (they were called discos then, if that gives you any hints!) I do remember most closed at 2am. IF they then stopped to eat, and had an hour ride to get home, I could see 5am not being an unreasonable time to arrive (NOT saying it's a reasonable time to get in - just saying I could account for all the hours).

    I also remember bowling having start times as late as midnight, and depending on the number bowling, you could easily take 2 hours to get through it.

    But it IS your house, and you have every right to set the rules.

    As you can see in my sig - my son is in the service, and married, so I have no idea (or control) of what he does. I know he needs to be on the ship while it's in port at 6:30am for role call. He leaves tomorrow for a 2 week short cruise, so that won't be a problem!

    Work out what you and your daughter feel is a comfortable compromise, and hopefully she'll agree to it.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    There really isn't much you can do about where she goes or what she does when she gets there! Once she leaves the house, you really have no idea what she's doing, except for what she tells you. When they're that age you mostly just have to trust that you taught them right and that they have a little common sense ... and then you pray a lot! Of course, if underage drinking comes in to the picture, it's a whole different ball game.

    Curfews are difficult when they're that age. I tried to make it more a matter of "courtesy" and "consideration". I didn't want to be pacing the floor worrying because they promised to be home at 1:00 a.m. and it was now 2:00 a.m. And that went for ALL members of the family, not just the kids. It's just common courtesy - an ADULT thing - to let someone at home know you'd be home later than expected so they wouldn't worry.

    Even when mine were younger and had a curfew, I tried not to be too rigid with it, within reason. I always told them that if they were running a little late, say 20-30 minutes, to LET ME KNOW and it would be OK. No year-long grounding or anything for being 10 minutes late. I didn't want them doing 80 mph on our old country roads to get home by some arbitrary curfew to avoid punishment! And they were both pretty good about it.

    As far as someone visiting in your home - YOU'RE the boss there! YOU get to say when they have to leave. I wouldn't want a "guest" wandering around my house till all hours either!
  5. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    with my easy child son after he grad from high school at 18, I never had a curfew for him. I just told him to be quiet when he came in. he has never been a problem so it was easy to do that.

    with ant, at age 18 I threw him out because he not only would not listen to me at all, he brought criminals in at all hours, and made life scarey.

    when I was 18 I was married so I am not a curfew expert.

    I would say you have to discuss with your child what would be reasonable. if it is only happening on weekends, you may have to live with it. during the week, doesnt she have to get up for work or school?

    if you feel better, tell her if she is not in by 2AM she should warn you by midnight she will be late. after all you have to sleep too.
  6. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Thank you for your reply's! :smile: Like I said before, this daughter has never given us a problem, it's not that I don't trust her, I do. I don't believe she is out drinking or sneaking around having sex. We do talk and have a very good relationship. At this point, with her being 19, I really see us as a "partnership" instead of a parent child relationship.

    I have never spoke the words to either of my daughters currently living at home, but I did last week............ If you want to live in our home, you'll need to abide with our requests. I don't believe in threatening, but did want some clarity for our daughter. Her eyes got big and she shook her head no, when I explained that she could make all her own rules when she lived out on her own........

    So far, I have not gone to bed until all my girls were home. It just didn't feel right to lay down to sleep until I knew all my girls were home safe. It's funny, my 17 yr. old is a easy child also, she is most unhappy with her sisters new behavior. She doesn't like her going out to this dance club, she doesn't like that she met a guy there, and she doesn't like that her sister comes home late. I asked her if maybe she was a bit jealous and she assured me she wasn't!

    Since our difficult child left our home before she was 17, this is new territory for us. I did explain to our 19 yr. old easy child, that we were learning right along with her. Last night was fine, the new "guy friend" was really cute and went home at 1am.
  7. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    With my 17 yr old easy child I have learned that there are many parents that let the reins loose!

    I would watch for changes in her ways, just to make sure this new group is a positive group of friends and she is not walking into trouble staying out late and going to dance clubs.

    We can't sheild them from everything even though we wish we could and she has to experience things to mature and grow.

    My 17 yr old daughter has friends her age that are allowed to sleep over at their boyfriends homes. in my opinion that is just asking for trouble.

    Our curfews with easy child revolve around who she is with and what they are doing.

    I would wonder what is going on with a club full of drinkers and my 19 yr old in the middle of it, but as you said before, I remember the thrills of growing up and experiencing the same things and yes it is part of growing up. I just know how much things have changed since I was that age.

    I worry about the drivers on the road at that hour of the morning. Yes, some have jobs they are going to but alot are leaving the bars after drinking most of the night to return home.

    Hopefully you can find a happy medium between the wee hrs with your easy child. Talking to her and sharing your concerns will help her see you are not trying to keep her from having fun you are just concerned with her being out so late.

    My easy child is 2 yrs younger but she is always open to discussion and she understands our fears for her safety.
  8. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I haven't had to face this yet, but I believe that 2am is reasonable.

    I remember being 19, having a job, and living at home. Now, I had a VERY strict Father, but he did ease up the reins once I hit 18. I was like your easy child, very responsible. What they did was say if you are going to be home later than expected, CALL US so we do not have to worry.

    After I turned 18, it was never referred to as a "curfew". They also felt I owed them the courtesy of being home at a reasonable hour (which was open for negoiation depending on where I was going and what I was doing)and calling if I was going to be later.

    It never was a problem.
  9. dlgallant

    dlgallant New Member

    I have recently had this debate with family and friends. I was surprised at the number of parents that supported no curfew at all once they turn 18, even if in high school. My older 2 easy child had 11 pm curfew on weeknights and 1 am on the weekends after they graduated high school. Both kids found that reasonable. My difficult child considered that to be abuse.
  10. AliceLee

    AliceLee New Member

    What if you sit down with your daughter and work together on designing "rules" for going out. Having some input will give her a sense of power and ownership. Ask what she thinks is a reasonable time for curfew, etc. You might be surprised...once our difficult child picked a time that was actually EARLIER than what we had in mind!

    Of course this was when she was still a minor. When she turned 18, she had the "I'm 18, I can do what I want" attitude. She now does what she wants, but doesn't live with us.
  11. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> two adult kids here lol.

    sarah turned 18 prior to graduation. curfew remained in place until then. once she graduated there is no curfew.

    the rule for both kids is that i know what their plans are & who they're with. if they have specific plans they will let me know. for instance sarah & a friend go to rocky horror every couple of months & that means she won't be home until about 3a. jarrod sometimes goes clubbing & he'll let me know that.

    we have a friend of sarah's living here right now & she had a bit of trouble following the "let me know where & with-who rule" at first.

    both my kids are responsible so i don't feel like i need to give them a curfew. i respect their judgement.

    i've drummed into their heads that it is common courtesy to let the people you live with-where you are going to be & who with-in case, god forbid, the worst happens & someone goes missing. it's a safety issue these days.

    if they are going to be a lot later than they originally say, they call.

    sarah is set to start college come fall. we will revisit this issue when she gets her class schedule, but since she doesn't do well with-little sleep i don't foresee any problems.

    </span> </span> </span>
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Of course easy child is expanding her horizons and getting a feel for her new adult freedom. That's perfectly normal.

    With that in mind though, it is your house and your rules.

    My Mom didn't give me a cerfew once I turned 18. BUT if I was going to be later than I told her I'd be home I'd durned well better CALL long before stepping in the door or else I'd find her foot in my fanny right before I landed on the front porch again. And I was still expected to be home at a reasonable hour.

    I think it's a matter of respect and consideration. Period. easy child should not expect you to stay up at all hours worrying if she made it home safely. I'd agree on a reasonable time for both of you and make her call if for some reason she might be later than that.

    If I was planning to be out too late I'd make arrangements to sleep over elsewhere so my Mom didn't have to stay up. My easy child often did this too once she turned 18.

    My easy child groaned a bit. Her friends also seemed to have free reign. But they did during highschool too. I told her she was welcome to move out pay rent, utilities, buy and learn to drive a car, and come and go as she pleased. Suddenly my rules didn't seem so tough. It's all in how you want to look at it. :wink:

    The same rules will apply to N come June when she turns 18. They may "grow up" but it is still MY house.

    And heck, even when I go to stay at my own mother's on the rare visit her rules STILL apply. My 50 yr old brother discovered this when he went to visit my Mom and thought his new girlfriend would be staying there too. Mom had her set up in a hotel. :rofl: I'd have paid good money to see the look on his face!

  13. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    No time to read the other's responses, but I will tell you mine. Of course, I do not have any easy child daughters. :frown:

    When Angela was 19, she was going to "raves" (parties), doing drugs there, being gone from Friday night 'til Monday morning many times. We decided to give her a 1 am curfew to try to get her away from that scene and away from the drugs. She refused to keep the curfew. We kicked her out.

    One time I spoke with a policeman regarding curfews for underage kids, and he said nothing good happens after midnight. I think he's right. Plus I worry about drunk drivers on the road in the early morning hours.

    Melissa is 21 and of drinking age. She is not a partier. She does go to a bar with a friend occasionally and has a drink or two. She is usually home early. I never actually gave her a curfew because she does come home early. It's usually by midnight. She calls me if it's getting late.

    Anyway, I don't think it's too much to ask your daughter to have a curfew of 1 am, especially seeing how she is underage. Then I would have a consequence if she did not come home at 1. (or at least tell her she has to call with a good excuse as to why she will be late)

    As far as having a male friend sleep overnight, we absolutely would not allow it when Angela lived at home. But then for Melissa, we allowed her boyfriend to sleep over. However, he had to sleep in the living room, and she slept on our bedroom floor. Being in college, she slept in his room and he slept in hers plenty of times. I had no control over it except to tell her that husband and I did not approve. (she is always so honest and she had told us they did this) We do not want her getting pregnant, so I insist she be on the depo provera shot. husband thinks that is condoning her having sex. I say she'd have it anyway. (OK, I know you didn't ask about sex, but I thought I'd throw this out there anyway. Hope that was OK.)