Jesenia parents and lawmakers alike are creating and enforcing

Jesenia Albert

Dr. Jacqueline VanWormer

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December 13th, 2017

Weekend Curfew for Teens

            Every night, parents all over the United States of America are sitting
by their watches or clocks as they await the expected return of their child
before their set curfew. In the United States, every state has laws on juvenile
curfews. These curfews are in place to protect and prohibit teenagers from
being at risk of danger or exposure to illicit behavior between the hours of 10pm
or 11pm until sunrise. The implementation of said curfew laws are to prevent
teens from committing self-harm, harm to others, or being exploited and harmed
by others. To help the youth of this country, parents and lawmakers alike are
creating and enforcing curfew laws across the United States and in their own
homes. These curfews, though often viewed as limitations and oppressive
restrictions by most teenagers, are set for their overall well-being so that
they may continue living a safe and healthy life. Some teenagers may rebel and
sneak out and they have to face the individual consequences that their parents
decide is worthy of such an offense. Curfews have many benefits to the teen’s
life. When a teen has a curfew, their health has been known to increase. This
is because teens are getting home earlier which allows them to get to sleep
earlier. It is reported that teenagers need about 10 hours of sleep for optimal
functionality and brain development. This deep and long restful sleep also
helps their stress levels decrease as they can be rested and refreshed the next
morning instead of bringing stressed or otherwise anxious or unsettled. Teenagers
with an enforced curfew are also being prevented from entering the slippery
slope and life-altering habit that is substance abuse and alcoholism. Nighttime
is often associated with teen drinking and participation in illegal drugs or
activities, by keeping teens off the streets with a household and statewide
curfew, their lives are more secure.  It is important to ask the teenager where they
are going and who with. This way there is accountability and responsibility for
his or her actions with this friend. This also allows for the teen’s parent to
contact the friend’s parents in an emergency that involved the teens.  While some may believe that taking these
precautions are overboard, they are necessary so that the teen is in the safest
environment possible. Many teens also are risking their safety when
they are going out late at night When they are secured in their home with their
parents and family, they do not have access to potential threats to their life.

Such threats may be an armed robber, a drunk driver, or a parking lot stalker. When
there are less people out in the streets at night it helps lower crime rates
for the city and its citizens. crime rate or reports of having lawlessness has declined. A
teenager’s performance in school also improves as the data analysis form ICPSR
showed. This is because teens who get home earlier, have better sleep
schedules, which in turn have better daytime focus and functionality in the
classroom. Their parents are with them and able to assist them on homework or
projects as needed and they can rest easy about procrastination because they
will have had more time to work on their homework and projects.  Curfews help young adults get use to
following a normal routine schedule by being home before a certain time each
night. One of the advantage of curfew is to help make sure that teens aren’t
out all night getting into trouble with other young adults. It will also help
them get enough sleep at night since they have to be home by a certain time.

They will be able to function better at school also with work cause of getting
more sleep at night instead of at parties all night. And having a set sleeping
pattern will help with any other problems that a teen may have. Whether it’s
depression, or even lack of focus. Sleep helps eliminate a lot of the problems
associated with concentration and focus. And we all know that a good nights
rest helps anyone to function when it comes to making sure they are prepared
for class.

A curfew also benefits a parent’s peace of
mind.  Enforcing a curfew on a teen will
allow parents to rest easier at home knowing that their child will be home safe
in a shorter amount of time. They can also have confidence that their teen is
less likely to engage in unsavory behavior and the parent can be at peace.  Saving a parent the time and stress is very important
to the overall parent child relationship because the parent can be at home
relaxed knowing that their child will be returning home soon and there will be
positive reinforcement for the teen’s cooperative behavior.

I
gathered a vast amount of information and a data set from ICPSR that was
collected and analyzed from 1997 to 2001. This data set was titled “The 500
Family Study” and was designed to obtain in-depth information on 500 middle
class, dual-career families living in the United States.  The researched wanted to understand the
dynamics of today’s families from 8 cities while using multiple methods,
including surveys, qualitative interviews, standardized child assessments, and
the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). The 500 Family Study was designed to “address
different issues facing parents with older and younger children, families with
adolescents”. (ICSPR) This study of 500 American families explores the many
variables that take place in every type of American home. The hypothesis is
that a teens weekend curfew is significantly influenced by: how old they are, recent
report card grades, school night curfew. After running many tests I rejected
the Null hypothesis (H0) and found that the data supports my alternative
hypothesis (H1).  There is statistically
significant evidence to a parent’s curfew rule.

I also
gathered information from The
Role of Deliberative Decision Making, Parenting, and Friends in Adolescent Risk
Behaviors by Jennifer M. Wolff and Lisa J. Crockett. Studies
have shown that a teen’s decision making process is influenced by many factors,
this is commonly known as peer pressure and peer influence.  While parents want to protect their children
from risky or potentially harmful behavior and hobbies, a teen’s friend group
might be swaying him or her in the opposite direction. If a parent pushed too
strongly on a teen, the teen may feel the need to lash out which can create an explosive
and impulsive atmosphere. In these cases, the teen may regret their rash decisions
they took to get back at their mom and dad. It is important for a teen to have
a stable and reliable relationship with their parent so that they may feel
secure and comfortable talking with their parent about a curfew time or even
simple life problems.

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