The Help Line

Q: I’m a freshman, and I’m leaving for home in two weeks. I’m dreading going back to live with my parents because they were so strict and always set the earliest curfews. Now that I’m used to going out late and staying out even later, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to handle suddenly not having any freedom. What can I tell my parents so they loosen up?

A: Let your parents down easy. One friend of mine who had this exact problem started telling her mom over the phone that she had been out until 4 or 5 a.m. so her parents could get used to the idea that she partied late. It worked – when she got home, her parents relaxed their rules and she was able to enjoy pretty much the same hours she kept when she was at school. You only have two weeks, so if your parents don’t already know that you’re a night owl, start slipping it casually into conversation. Most parents automatically loosen up anyway; they realize that during the school year they have no control over their children, and so trying to crack down on them now, especially only for a few months during the summer, is pointless. Your parents might actually surprise you (as mine did), but if they are still stubborn over your curfew, tell them that if they thought you were mature enough for college, you are certainly mature enough to have a later curfew. Insist that you are older now and more responsible. And try a compromise if they aren’t comfortable with the idea of you being out until the early morning hours. Agree on 3 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.

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