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2 Bumps

Curfew for my 12 year old step daughter?

Me and my husband have recently had a disagreement over my stepdaughters curfew. I have said before it should be 10 on weekends and if ANYTHING changed with plans, that should be communicated asap. Well last night her plans were that she would ride back home from an event with the friend she went thirr with. However we get a call 10:20, that her friend left and she needs us to come pick her up. I feel very strong that this is a huge deal, but my husband disagrees when i mentioned she needs to be disciplined over this, that we are just starting yo let her go out and do things, that we need to put our foot down now, he didnt want to hear it and with her being my step daughter i have mixed feelings what to do. I am legally responsible if this irresponsible behavior gets worse or if she is out past city curfew, or even i also worry, her being a girl, i should know exactly the plans and what is going on ?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:00 AM on Feb. 2, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (17)
  • You have a right to be upset, but at the wrong people. You should be upset with the other parents who failed to uphold their responsibilities. Your sd did the right thing by calling you. I also think 10 pm is to late for a 12 year old. My 14 y.o has. A 10 pm curfew on weekends.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:05 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • My oldest boy will be 12 at the end of the month, and I think 10 is awfully late. As for the specific incident you describe, it really depends. Did her friend's parent know they were responsible for getting your step daughter home? When did your step daughter know she was abandoned? And did the friend's parent realize she was abandoning her? I think you need to talk to the friend's parent and find out exactly what happened and make sure of who you should be angry at: your step daughter or her friend's parent.

    Maybe in the future, the default for plans should be that you or your husband will pick her up unless you personally speak to another adult who is taking full responsibility for ensuring she gets home.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:20 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • Why not emphasize (with your husband) communication? You certainly can communicate clearly about the problem, your concerns, your issues with what happened, what you liked or appreciate about what happened, and how you want her to view situations. Use it as a learning experience, rather than emphasizing punishment. It sounds like your husband doesn't want to come down hard on her, and like you are fearful about NOT putting your foot down. You can address the issues you're afraid of (what you're afraid will happen if you DON'T "do anything") with communication as well.
    My suggestion is don't make it about consequences, anger, lectures. Make it about clear, personal communication (personal in the sense of "I messages" not "you messages," and clearly stating how the issue impacts you) and about responding to what happened, with a mind to a kind of "course correction" that doesn't target her negatively. Her dad might get on board.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:59 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • The best way to avoid the last minute I need a ride is for you or your DH to talk to the other parent since I am assuming her friend is not 16 to ensure she knows your daughters curfew and to make sure that she knows if your daughter promised to have her drive her home that way you aren't surprised if it doesn't happen. As for calling at 1020 that she needs a ride she should have thought about that around the time she would need to leave to be home by 10 so yes she should have some privileges removed so she can learn to plan ahead better.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 9:09 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • My kids are 15, 13, and 11. Their curfew depends on their plans and what they are doing but 10 pm is late for a 12 year old to be out even on weekends. If your dh isn't willing to say something, then there isn't much you can do.

    Answer by missanc at 9:10 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • Curfew? I cannot remember my daughter doing anything at age 12 that required issuing a curfew. My daughter is 16 and rarely out after 8pm on any given day. She is a cheerleader and has games and those are the only days she is out late. My daughter still does not date - they only go out in groups. 12 years old is too young to be out alone. JMO.

    Answer by booklover545 at 11:01 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • 10 is fine, but it should also be flexible.... she is 12, and there are going to be situations (like this one) that she can't control. Sounds like it wasn't really her fault... why would you punish her for another parents irresponsible behavior.

    Use it as a teaching moment about good communication. If she thinks every time plans get messed up that she is going to get punished for calling you then she is going to stop calling. I mean why bother... she's going to get in trouble either way, so why bother... might as well just have fun if your going to get yelled at either way.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:13 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • At 12, my friends & I used to go see 7pm movies & get picked up afterwards by like 9:30. I think 9:30 is good for 12.

    Answer by 3libras at 9:26 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • 1. You are right to believe it will go in one ear and out the other with DH on board. DH needs to know that unless she can make a plan and stick it you will not be involved in future plans or able to properly ensure her safety when you are incharge and he has to back you up on that.

    2. ALL plans must be confirmed by you or DH with the driving/hosting adult. I went through a bit of getting jerked around and following this rule ended that.
    2a. Always have your SD's friends' and parents numbers in your phone. It saves a lot a hair tearing out time when you need to confirm or speak to your SD when she is out and about.

    3. 10 is late for 12 yo's. We live in a suburban/rural area so most of my SD13's plans revolve around sleep overs, so it's not so much an issue for us. She has asked and been refused permission to attend late movies with friends.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 9:51 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • I messages being clear communication about what happened & what didn't work for you, and what you want. "I want....", "we want you to....", "When X happened, we were (upset, surprised, disappointed), because (it was not the plan & we expected.....)", and "In the future, we want....."

    Feedback that isn't about blaming but about clear communication.

    You can set up a future that is less likely to manifest the struggles you fear if you communicate & behave in ways that don't encourage a negative dynamic.

    Your husband's reluctance probably expresses strong feelings about how he doesn't want to react, so you can honor that and still respond to the issue. Once he sees that, you may find he is willing & able to join you in this and take the lead. Responding effectively when something didn't go as agreed/expected doesn't always have to be punitive.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:08 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

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