Discussion: Curfews are another area where appropriate boundaries and expectations need to be set. You need to know where your children are, know they are safe, know what kinds of activities they are involved in and with whom and who is supervising. In some situations it really is worse now than it was when you were a kid.
As fatigue or stress sets in, most of us tend to loose some or much of our ability to think through situations and make decisions based on good judgement, principals, and values. We are more apt to succumb to emotions, hormones, addictions, and pressure. Part of the reason for this is that when we are tired and/or under stress the more primitive part of our brain tends to gain more influence over our decisions, limiting our ability to make and follow through with decisions based on our best judgement. For someone who has not developed solid self-discipline, it is even more difficult.
There’s an old, almost humorous example called the stress diet. In the morning the dieter is eating half a grapefruit and by the late evening the “dieter” is consuming a carton of ice cream. Of course starting the morning with only a half a grapefruit is usually a lousy breakfast for anyone; however, the main theme is that we tend to have better control, judgment, and will power in the morning than we do in the late evening. It’s the same for kids.
There is a great deal of research regarding the benefit of a curfew for children and teens. You will find some articles which contradict this position; however, the preponderance of the research demonstrates the benefit from a number of positions such as motor vehicle safety and additional time with the family. Hopefully that additional time is quality time.
Google Scholar and Google Parenting below: "Benefit Children Curfew"; "Benefit Teen Curfew"; "Addiction Brain Control"