How much freedom should you give a 16 year old?

Laurie - posted on 10/11/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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How much freedom should you give a 16 year old? I don't want to smother her but I don't want to give here so much freedom that she runs wild (although she wouldn't run wild).

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Brandy - posted on 10/24/2010

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just today my husband caught my 16 year olds girlfriend with her hands down his pants what do we do. we trusted them and now they have broke that trust.

Charla - posted on 10/19/2010

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We have a little reminder on our refrigerator that says:

WHO? exactly
WHEN? precisely
WHERE? exactly
WHAT? all the details

This reminds both of my teens that whatever they've planned, these are the things I have to know before giving any permission. Even with my 17 year old, these are the rules. And, they ask permission before hand. They know that I can say no. There's just too many variables when these questions aren't answered.

Kelly - posted on 10/19/2010

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My son is now 19 so I can tell you what we did. He was honest, trustworthy and answered any question we asked so... as long as we knew where he was going, who he was going with and what time he would be home we trusted him. The open conversations paid off for us. Give a little trust and see if she earns it. If so, you can continue to give her some freedom. If she breaks your trust she must know what the consequences are.

Louise - posted on 10/13/2010

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At 16 your daughter should have a curfew time that you have both agreed with and she should call if she is changing her plans. I don't think this is about giving her freedom just you having peace of mind that she is safe. As long as your daughter sticks to the house rules then she should have the freedom as she has earned it. Just make sure she knows what is expected of her and you wont go wrong.

Pam - posted on 10/22/2010

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I found that it works to give one freedom for one responsibility. Does she get up by herself and get off to school on time? That deserves a freedom. That way, she can "earn" her way to lots of freedom. My general rule to my teens is "Keep your mother comfortable." That means that as long as I feel comfortable with their friends, their attitude etc. they can do just about anything. If they scare me, they start to hear alot of "NO." They love the fact that they feel in control.

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Julie - posted on 06/25/2013

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Well, I have 2 teenagers, a 16 year old girl and a 14 year old boy. I think that the best way for them too be responsible is to give them responsibilities. I believe in the yes not no, instead of "don't stay out past ten", say "try to be home by 10 OK? then you can sleep in tomorrow..." i also give them responsibilities like letting them take the bus by themselves instead of having me drive them, letting them go to their friends house if they call me first, and letting them stay out late to the movies. When I give them responsibilities, they gradually get more responsible. trusting each other is a crucial step. If you treat them like you think they are trustworthy, not like rebellious teens,then that is what they'll act like. Also, when they make mistakes tell them, "I'm very disappointed in you,i know you can do better," instead of yelling at them and grounding them. if they are very out of hand, try to understand their problems, again trust is crucial, but you do want to lay down some more boundaries and punishments. Hope this helps, my teens are very responsible, and if they are straying out later they always call and keep me posted, I think these steps work ,and I hope they work for you :)

Marquel Khyree - posted on 10/24/2012

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Just give your daughter a lot of space, but make sure you guys have a good relationship and that you can trust her. Let her know that she can talk to you about anything and that your there for her. This will then make the relationship alot better and will then give her what shes wants, and that is called Freedom. She can then do half of what she wants to do but there must also be consequences if she does something bad. Let her have fun with her friends, go to movies, and go to party's but also like i said make sure that she isnt doing things such as; underage drinking, smoking, and have SEX! This is will make you and your daughter a hundred times!:))

Andree - posted on 09/21/2011

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I believe it is how mature that individual is. I have a 16 and a 19 yr old and the 16 is more mature than the 19 yr old and I find we allow her to do things we would have never ever considered our older daughter to do. Also look at the kids around you, some you like some you don't and the ones you don't do they have too much freedom, tone it down from there. Good luck,,,,,

Anna - posted on 09/03/2011

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I know this is going to make many of you "go through the ceiling" but my 16-year old is attending a school 240 km away from home. Therefore, needless to say, she is living away from home although it is with her 18-year old sister who is also going to the same school. I want to point out that this was a very difficult decision for me to make, but since we just recently moved to our new town due to my husband´s job I felt bad about taking her away from her sister and friends. She is a very responsible teen as well as her sister and as they are staying with friends of the family it makes my decision a little bit easier. And, since my husband and I were separated for a while she learned to take a lot of responsibility for herself. We each had our kids one week at a time. But then again, we live in Scandinavia and things here are a lot different than in the U.S. When they finish 9th grade they start something similar to Jr. College and therefore she is not the only student living away from home at this age. We´re expecting her home on weekends though, at least most of them. Luckily, we also have a 6-year old at home which makes it easier when his sisters have left the nest.

Jodie - posted on 11/30/2010

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set ground rules,put trust into each other,how much do you trust her,is the ?,if shes a good kid,and the freedom she requires is movies and malls and sleep overs,then thats ok,as long as you know where shes at and who shes with.a cell ph comes in handy,with teenagers,you need to try and trust them,make that clear to her,and if shes breaks your trust,then tell her she will be grounded,if discuss openly do what you require of her,then every thing should run ok.if its for partys,then i guess thats a different story,as we know how partys can work out,but if you can have faith and trust in her,that if anything sld go bad at a party,that she would be responsiable and txt you,to collect her.teenagers always do thing to seek our approval.some times their approval is doing or making bad choices.dont give her that lee way,talk to her gain an open and honest realtionship with her,be her friend,but be her mum as well.i have a 16yr old,and we have a great bond,she has freedom,but she knows what my rules are,if she breaks my trust,and she hasnt yet,and its been a year,just have faith in your girl.i can work,if you both make it work,as long as you are both on the same level,then you should be sweet as.good luck,and no you dont wont to smother her,or you will find to becomes a wild child,you can stop that happening,if you can both come to a good agreement,its just bout talking to her,and allowing yourself as a mum,that she can openly talk to you,bout stuff,1 thing teenagers are scared of,if they have parents with rules,around freedom,and now she wonts it. im not to sure how your realtionship is with your girl,like i said,ground rules and a curfew,and some understanding on both sides,you two should be ok.all the best,jodie white from hamilton,new zealand.

Nelly - posted on 11/01/2010

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I have also have a 16 year old and so far he hasn`t asked me for freedom I take him to school and pick him up he`s not allowed to go anywhere without adult supervision so far that`s working for us

Remy - posted on 10/30/2010

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of course she wouldnt.lol....i say that teens need boundaries. It all depends on the child to how sever. Is she trustworthy, does she make good decisions, is she easily influenced? Give her a curfew, rules about supervision, company, homeework and chores. Resprct her decisions to choose friends but if you see a red flag, trust your judgement.If she doesnt follow the rules, take i t down a notch to you guys find a steadt groove. My daughter is 15, she gets okay grades, she makes bad decisions, but she is a christian and she is not easily influenced, but she is crazy over her "boyfiend"..given all this her curfew is 9pm,weekdays, 11pm weekends(if gone out somewhere,), IF IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD MY RULE IS WHEN STREETLIGHTS COME ON YOU R IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE.PERIOD.NO MATTER HOW OLD UP TO 18. she brings her phone downstairs to charge overnight at 10pm weeknights, 12am weekends. She is not allowed to be in anyones house without parental supervision, none is allowed in my house if i am not home or my husband. She has to do chores and stay outta trouble at school to go anywhre on the weekend. No outings other than the library during the week.Not allowed in a car with a teenager driving unless i approve it. I usually let her always go on outings with the teen group at church . I dont approve of her boyfriend so she isnt allowed to go with him anywhere but im sure she meets him places. He does come to church. Thats about it..oh, i used to let her go places on the bus with her friends but she started lying and going unauthorized places so now she is not allowed on the bus and if she goes anywhere an adult has to be dropping off and picking up and i need to talk to them first. This is all for safety reasons, due to her poor decision making skills, she used to be able to do alot more, i had to adjust her priveledges according to her obedience. I explain that rules are inplace for her protection and I am responsible for her safety and actions so, thats that.

Danielle - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hey Laurie!! I have a 15 1/2 yr old son. We as mothers should always keep the line of communication open with our teenagers, but still let them earn their freedom. If they are trustworthy and comes home when told so, then it shouldn't be a problem with them going outside to hang with friends for a while. Just stick to your ground rules, because once they see you are easing up on them, they might try to test you. If your daughter is a great child, like my son, it shouldn't be a problem with her having freedom as long as she follows your rules.

Rachelle - posted on 10/26/2010

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i have a 16 female and she is a great kid til you give her a lil freedom then she runs with it comes in late not really late but doesnt call or ask if she can stay out later. then when we pull some of the freesomshe throws a fit. working on this boundries thing with her. she has broken a few major trust issues with my husband and i...

Tonya - posted on 10/26/2010

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mine has to be home by 9pm on school nights and 12 fri. and sat. But if he gets a job then he can stay later as long as grades don't fall. But if he does any cruzin with friends on weekends he buys his own gas. my thing is if your paying for it I can't tell him he can't do it.

Heather - posted on 10/25/2010

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I let my daughter hang out with her friends with the understanding that she is to tell me who she is with and exactly where she is going. If things change then I am to receive a text or phone call. And YES, I randomly pop up where she is suppose to be and check. For the most part she is where she says and who she says she's with and she knows I'm willing to go out of my way, if I have to, to check!

Raquel - posted on 10/25/2010

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i am a mother of a 15yr old girl and i let her go to her friends place but that is it, she doesn't go to the late nights at the shopping centres on thursday nights. no parties she basically stays here so i know of her whereabouts everynight. I am not strict with her just concerned.

Ursula - posted on 10/22/2010

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If you have given a good foundation she will not go wild let her make some mistakes and be there to help thru whatever she needs as a mom first friend second always. We need to give our teenagers more credit for listening to us even when we think their not they are so have trust in her until other wise given doubt. Let her know that she has your trust know and she can keep it that way by doing right. To lose the trust of a parent is a hard road to rebuild should be stated to her as well. Good luck and much blessing.
p.s. this does not mean don;t monitor her it just means not as much to start.

Rosie - posted on 10/22/2010

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I have a 15 year old son and a 17 year old daughter, I've learned that the amount of freedom they have is something that should be earned. When they were younger we had rules set up and as long as they were followed then they earned more freedom as they got older. If chores and homework was done and they didn't get into trouble during the week they can hang out with friends. I always ask the when, where, what and who questions before i give them permission. I also tell them that i need to know in advance if they have any plans, I do not allow last minute things unless it's for school or an extra curricular activity. If I don't know their friends then they can't go. I let them know that i expect to meet anyone they plan on hanging out with. I know that my children have more freedom than most of their friends so this limits what they do. I have encouraged my children to be very involved in extra-curricular activities and that helps give them a little extra of a social life. Communication is the key.

Jane - posted on 10/22/2010

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Your question is too general. I'm not sure what you mean by freedom. Dating? Curfew? What?

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My daughter has confirmed that she is a regular pot smoker. We have many restrictions, and are very protective of our daughter. We have gone so far as to report her as a runaway because she left to go out one evening without permission. Yes, she was brought home in the back of a police car. We certainly have our hands full with her, but she maintains fairly decent grades, doesn't have any desire to drink and is not sexually active. We are not thrilled that she smokes weed. One of her friends mom's decided that since she knew she wasn't able to control her daughter from smoking pot that she would allow it as long as she smoked in her room only. As moronic as I thought it sounded to begin with, I am in no means comfortable with her smoking in her room(or anywhere for that matter)but I know that she is smoking outside the home. Is this one of those "pick your battle" moments? I have two teenage boys that aside from foul mouths, occasionally throwing punches at one another and video games, give me no grief. Can someone please tell me what you think? I will not appreciate any rude or derogatory commentary since like you I am on the same roller coaster ride of teenagitis.

Dawn - posted on 10/22/2010

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Give her as much freedom as possible. Set boundaries, such as: We need to know where, who and when. . . . It's been by experience that they need to have as much freedom as possible while close to their parents in order to learn how to self correct and gain confidence in their decision making ability. You won't be comfortable, that is for sure but in the end, its worth it.

Tammy - posted on 10/22/2010

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Know your child, my son who will be 17 in December probably has more freedom then most his age because we talk about everything. He has a cerfew that he has to be home by, he normally does not travel to far and tells us where he is and who he is with. He also brings his friends to our house to hang out. Most times on weekends he is with his older (20) step brother who also tells us everything. We are very honest and open with our boys and that has certainly paid off.

Charu - posted on 10/21/2010

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trust builds up from early years and to maintain that as they get older, is as important.
my 15 yr old is responsible and knows his limits, he wont wander. initially he did seem to think he could get away being casual about being out late and not answering my phones, i told him that he wont be allowed to meet up with friends if he isnt showing his responsibilities.
that one conversation sounded like i was treating him like a child and not giving due respect to all his 15 yrs!!!!!! ;) but he understood where i came from and he hasnt troubled me, he always tells me where he is going, i usually drop and pick him up, also tells me who is going to be there, and always rings back incase he missed my call.
with girls also i guess they need to understand that as we are their parents, they need to show us that we can trust them to be alone and responsible.
different cultures and families have different boundaries but its upto you to set the standard the way you want your child to maintain.
however all said and done, its generally trial and error in many stages of life..

hope this helps.
:)

Suzie - posted on 10/21/2010

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You have your answer....She is 16....Smothering her is one thing but don't give her so much freedom it back fires on you....You have to be the parent no matter what she tells you. My son is 19 and he has not gone wild. You tell her what you want from her and you grow with it. Somethings are still age appropriate, don't forget that. She is growing up fast enough don't help her along. God bless.

Dawn - posted on 10/21/2010

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I have a 16 year old daughter as well. I have found that just making sure we are on the same page has been the biggest thing..meaning communication. I let her do most anything as long as I know where she is at and when she will be home (she does have a curfew) and that for the most part plans are not to change. Because they will at some point try and change them whether it is their own doing or the friends that they are with. If you let her continually change her plans, your head will spin! My daughter is very smart and very responsible. But she still is just a teenager. So if she breaks any of the rules that we have talked about, she loses some of those freedoms. It is good also to let them know of the dangers that are out there and that is why rules are made and enforced. Hope that helps.

Adrienne - posted on 10/20/2010

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well u have to give them some freedom but keep an eye on her. ya my sons rebelling on me and his dad/mom.

Sheila - posted on 10/20/2010

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If your child doesnt' know RIGHT from WRONG by the time they are 16yrs old then you are "HOOPED" !!!! By making them a big part of the rule making in your family from a very YOUNG age, will teach them alot of 'life long lessons'........ we care about you, we respect you, we love you, your INPUT is very important, we are a family and we need to learn how to harmanize together, you are respected" ......etc etc Teach them INNER DISIPLINE from an early age and they WILL make THE RIGHT DESCIONS, respect you as a parent, and grow up as a very VALUABLE Human Being in our SOCIET !! RULES and BOUNDRIES really start from a very, very young age, so keep up with them until they no longer are at home......and even after they leave the NEST they will still phone home and tell you when they are going to be late..........LOL ♥ ♥

Michele - posted on 10/20/2010

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Basically you asked... "How Much Freedom Should I Give a 16 Year-old” First of all you ask about an age! Age is irrelevant, what you should be asking, is “How Much Freedom Should I Give My Child?” Everyone here has given you some good advice, and said what they did or are doing… but only you can determine the boundaries. How well do you communicate with your child? How Trust worthy are they, do you catch them in lies often? How are their grades, and are they involved in any “POSITIVE” extra-curricular activities, such as sports, band, or the Debate Team etc.? Do you fight and argue a lot, are they disrespectful to you? Do you know and like their friends? These are all questions that only you can answer… and from those answers you can make a good sound decision on the boundaries to for your child, no matter what his/her age. I know 15 year olds that I would give more freedom too than some 17 year olds… It depends on the maturity, responsibility, and trust worthiness of the child! And just in case you are wondering… I’ve raised on teen son, and have a teen daughter still at home.

Alison - posted on 10/20/2010

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I have a 17 year old girl. I still insist on a curfew but as she has got older this has been extended gradually. If its just going to town of an evening with friends, then the last bus is the limit and if she is late then there are consequences. If its a special occasion i.e. a party, then I would either collect her or if she is with a friend who is also staying, then as long as know what time the party ends then there is a little more flexibility. Communication is key, know where and who with and what as another mom has said and you are normally fairly sure all will be ok. However, they must also know that if the bus didn't turn up or they suddenly found themselves on their own that they can ring up and either we would collect or there would be cash kept at home to pay for a taxi.
Each young person is different, but too much freedom can go wrong and not enough can cause rebelliousness which can just spiral.

Stephanie - posted on 10/19/2010

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You know your daughter best. You know she will not run will if you give her some freedom. Explain to her that with the new liberties come responsibilities, checking in, adhering to the the rules which go along with the liberties. I would not just go to her and say, ok, I'm going to start letting you have certain privileges. I think I would base it upon the situation as it arises. For example if she wanted to go the mall with her friends and you feel she is mature enough to be ok, then I would at that time, let her know she can go, just check in and let you know she's ok. Give her a time limit, and remind her that she has to keep you up to date. You will do what's best, I'm sure.

Jill - posted on 10/19/2010

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It always depends on the child. As others have said ... KNOW their friends ,,, AND their friends families!!! If you know WHO they're with & what they're doing, you're better equipped to know whether or not you can trust them!!

Lisa - posted on 10/18/2010

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Get to know your teenager's friends . Let them hang out at your house as much as possible. Then you 'll you can form a relationship with them and be able to trust your teenager when he or she is out . You wouldn't want to give alot of freedom if you know they're hanging with the wrong crowd

Wendy - posted on 10/15/2010

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There is no magic rule as to how much freedom to give a child at a certain age. It is completely dependent upon the child. Freedom needs to be earned. If your rules are followed, then that earns freedom, but don't hesitate to pull back on some of that freedom when rules are broken. Please don't assume that because your child has been a rule follower up to this point, that they will not rebel. I made that mistake. As long as you keep the lines of communication open (and insist on that) and take away some freedom when rules are broken and make them re-earn it, chances are you should be fine.

Lillian - posted on 10/15/2010

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don't they r still ur chicks n shouldn't wonder away from u coz it could be dangerous

Helen - posted on 10/13/2010

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it depends on the 16 year old - my daughter has little restrictions as she is very sensible and self sufficient. We talk over any plans that involve staying out so i know where she is and she can evaluate any risks and establish a help route in needed. If you have a 'young' 16 year old then I can see the need for stricter boundaries until they prove themselves.

Janet - posted on 10/12/2010

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you have to give her some, otherwise she's going to rebel like my son has done! if he wants to stay after school to get help, then go uptown with a friend, i make sure i know where he's headed and that he calls when he's ready to be picked up! also i let him go with a few of his friends i can trust, but set strict limits on how long he can stay out on a school night which i know is awfully early 8, but if he's got homework, that comes first and will give him ample time to get it done. living with my parents also has limits too, as they don't want him out later than 9 even on weekends as the 3 of us are usually ready for bed by that time due that my father and i get up between 4:30-5 as i have to leave for work by 6:30 and he's up by 5:45-6 so i make sure he knows he's got to take my parents dog out before he leaves for school on the bus directly in front of the house here. just remember to set limits on how late she can be out/stay up at night, as well as on weekends know her direction where she's going with friends and have her be home by a set time. my son knows if he doesn't get here near or just past the time he gets grounded for a week minus staying after to work with any teachers to get help. no friends can come/he can't go there and limits on playing on his video game systems too!

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