Is curfew really necessary?

The curfew topic seems to be one that brings a lot of controversy between parents and their teenagers. A curfew is a time limit or regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time set by parents and imposed on a child.

As teenagers grow older, we tend to think that we can handle any obstacle that is thrown our way. We want to prove how much we can cope with anything independently, that is why teenagers find the curfew rule unjust. To some extent, teenagers do have a right to believe that the curfew concept is unjustified because in most cases, parents don’t give their children opportunities to prove how responsible they can be. Whether they behave or not, they believe their child shouldn’t have a say in anything.

That is where a teen starts to rebel. However, this is just a misunderstanding that should be cleared up. Parents should understand that sometimes all a teen needs is a little bit of faith and trust that they can behave themselves without being forced to. Teenagers as well need to comprehend that parents care for them and they only want their children to come back home in one piece.

There are numerous reasons why parents believe curfews are mandatory. Parents have a responsibility to their children and it is their job to worry if they are out of the house after 11pm. So when they set a time limit for their child, it is for them to be able to sleep at night knowing that the child is safe.

Additionally, most of the time the worry is not based on the behaviour of the teen, but the behaviour of the people around their teenager. There are different people out there with diverse behaviours. It is up to the teen to understand the environment around them and know how to get themselves out of unpleasant situations. The excuse of a curfew could do that for a child.

“Curfews are essential because the world is not necessarily safe out there at night. So giving your child a time limit will get them indoors before they get into any trouble,” a parent of two teenagers says.

 Teenagers, on the other hand, occasionally don’t realise the essence of the restriction of time they are given. They argue that they need to be trusted more.

“How else are we supposed to learn how to take care of ourselves in the outside world if we are not given space to try? We learn by experience not restriction,” Lesa, a grade 12 student says.

I believe that curfews are crucial to the life of a teenager. However, some negotiations should be allowed to be made concerning different activities. Teenager and parents sometimes clash with their views. This could be solved, however, by a parent creating an environment where they listen to what their teenager has to say. The teenagers can also play their role by keeping in mind that a parent will always know what’s best for their child.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw