Curfews are often useful means of enforcing some sort of order on kids' social lives. That being said, teenagers are a different story. For the most part, teens are rational people that are capable of making a variety of important decisions on their own. While they lack life experiences, teens are quite intelligent.
Reliance on Others to Set Rules
Teens with curfews might learn, among other things, that others will set the rules for them. Unfortunately, come college, grad school or the "real world," these teens are going to have to start disciplining themselves. A kid that can come home at an appropriate time will take that skill into the future. A great way to teach children time discipline without enforcing a curfew is to be disciplined yourself. Parents, and their habits, set the example for teenagers.
Lack of Rights and Freedom
Although many dismiss this as a frivolous concern, teens are people with an inalienable set of rights too. Teenagers do have the freedom to associate with whoever they want, and should be entitled to a degree of personal freedom. Damian Collins of the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University conducted research on this very subject in 1999, arguing that it comes from a parental impulsion to prevent youth crime in the Western world. Collins and his associates found that juvenile curfews were most prevalent in the United States.
They Don't Cut Crime
Although most parents who enforce curfews believe that these rules somehow reduce a child's likelihood to get acquainted with the "wrong people," evidence has yet to support that claim. In fact, the nationally distributed newspaper "Youth Today" reported in 2009 that the effect of curfews on crime is negligible or even nonexistent.
Kids Are Not All the Same
Curfews rely on a central theme from their supporters: that children need to be regulated. Whether or not you believe in that statement, it is apparent that different children think and act differently. While some adults act like children, many teens are wise beyond their years. In 2007, nearly 40 malls enacted a ban on all young teens visiting their premises without a guardian during the weekend. Unfortunately for malls like the St. Louis Mills, these curfews judge all kids under 16 the same way as a few mischief-makers.
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