Do Curfews Keep Teens Out of Trouble

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Do Curfews Keep Teens Out of Trouble? By Logan Keller It is 10:03 PM. You blow your horn at the still cars ahead, frustrated and stressed. You were supposed to be home at 10, and you know your parents will kill you. You try your cell phone, but it is dead. Now you think, are curfews really necessary? They are supposed to keep you out of trouble, but you are not a troublesome kid. The truth is, they don’t keep teenagers out of trouble, and here are a few reasons why. The first reason is a simple rule of adolescence: teenagers often like to rebel against authority figures, especially parents. If teenagers are causing trouble and breaking rules prior to their curfew, what makes parents think they will obey the curfew? Many psychologists agree that restrictions and rules are what cause teens to break them in the first place. Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D. states, “When parents feel hard-pressed by these acts of rebellion (breaking social rules, running with wilder friends for example) they are best served by allowing natural consequences to occur and by repeatedly providing positive guidance.” Teenagers will break rules if they feel too restricted by authority, and that will get them into trouble That brings us to our next point: curfews stress teenagers out. A survey of six hundred students showed two- thirds of the students were worried about stress. One local adolescent said, and I quote, “It makes you stressed with the pressure of being on time, or getting in trouble if you are not.” –Charity Throckmorton, Jacobs Fork Middle School. On top of this, teenagers have been found to have more eating and anxiety disorders than they did ten years ago. Curfew laws have been becoming more and more popular, and the two things could be connected. Now, I admit, it has been proven that curfew laws reduce crime. But do they really? In the United States, breaking curfew laws (even

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