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Much of the trouble that is caused by teenagers is the result of unsupervised cavorting late at night when Halton Hills real estate developments are quiet and empty of witnesses who might object to their yard furniture being tipped into their pools or their mailboxes being used for batting practice. To keep your teen from slipping into juvenile pranks that can lead to police intervention, impose a curfew that keeps him or her at home during the wee hours of the night. More about curfews below.
Curfews are parent-imposed cutoff times at which a child must be home. Sometimes curfews are even imposed on all kids by a municipality, or by all people by the police in times of emergency so that they know anyone wandering around outside Toronto lofts at a certain time is up to no good. Curfews are enforced by patrolling police (in the case of a general curfew) or by parental vigilance and threats of punishment (in the case of a family curfew).
Curfew times vary from parent to parent and often vary depending on the age of the child. While elementary aged kids might have to be back to their Surrey townhouses or condos by nightfall, teenagers are often allowed to stay out until 11 or 12 at night. It's important to set the curfew late enough to give the child time to hang out with friends but not so late that it's cutting into the child's sleep time. Most kids need 8-10 hours of sleep in order to function well in school the next day, so curfew times are often earlier on school nights.
Curfews are useless unless there is a parent or responsible caregiver who is willing and able to stay up long enough to make sure the child comes home at the proper time. Otherwise they could waltz into your condo in Yorkville at any time and simply claim to have been home by curfew when you ask the next morning. If it is not possible for you to stay awake, have your child wake you briefly when he or she gets home.
Breaking curfew must come with consequences, so have a ready stock of punishments handy. For kids with driving licenses, you could take away their car privileges. For kids who don't, punishments could range from being grounded on the weekend to having to do chores such as resealing your Hamilton decks. Exceptions can be made for kids with evening shift jobs.