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ONLINE DOCUMENT: TEEN CURFEWS ARE EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE

SHARE ONLINE DOCUMENT: TEEN CURFEWS ARE EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE

Q: I get mad at my parents because they don't understand that I am young and want to go to parties. I want to stay out late and they don't like that. They think that if I stay with friends I will use drugs. I have a problem with what my parents think because my friends are cool with me even if I don't need drugs.

A: Your parents have good reason to be concerned. The later you stay out, the more danger you might encounter.In cities where there are nightly curfews for children under the age of 17, information shows that there is a decrease in the crime rate, burglary and homicides.

Not only are teens often involved in such crimes, but the curfew decreases the number of people out during late-night hours with whom the police must deal and keeps innocent teens out of harm's way. This also helps parents deal with the nightly issue of teens and curfew, giving them a stronger family influence.

What do you and your friends do into the early morning hours when you're "partying"?

- Are you drinking?

- Are you doing drugs?

- Are you tagging?

- Are you involved in sex?

These are some things that your parents might be concerned about. They also can create a dangerous situation for you.

Right now you might feel that you don't have to be directly engaged in this behavior. But in time will you feel too much pressure to say "no"?

Another concern might be that you become passive to this sort of behavior and begin to think that it's OK and normal ... and then you eventually engage in something you say now that you don't do.

It's legally your parents' responsibility to provide a safe environment. This is what they are trying to do. They are not trying to be mean or remove you from your friends. Guidance is their responsibility: let them be your parents.

Use your parents to your advantage. Let the guidelines your parents set up for your welfare be what you rely upon to either allow you to be in a good situation or allow you to leave a bad situation, whatever is best for your own safety, morally and physically.

Instead of being so unhappy about having parents who love you enough to want to set boundaries that will keep you safe, be glad of their care and concern.

Your parents appear determined to keep you on the right track. Many teens today do not have such a privilege, and they often express the wish to Teen Talk that they did.

Maybe instead of complaining, you should look at this situation positively and count your blessings.