Odessa isn't late for curfew every night. Just every night that she leaves the house.*
I have tried "if you are a half hour late for curfew, your curfew is a half hour earlier for the next week," but she just doesn't go out then.
I've considered charging her money (that's a way to get a teenager's attention!) because when she is late for curfew, I stay up worrying, and it affects my time and my work. I haven't actually done this.
And then last night she was almost three hours late for curfew. Her phone battery was (almost) dead, she had no cash, our subways stop running at midnight, I felt like crap on a cracker, and she hadn't told me where she was until I got in touch with her after she had already missed curfew. I was completely overcome with worry.
So I am going to do two things. The first is probably a terrible idea but I need to do something. (By the way, she also was late for curfew on Sunday. It was because she was babysitting her niece and couldn't find her brother to drop her niece off--not really her fault.) I am going to make her write sentences. To be completely honest, if I hadn't seen on blogs that some other foster and adoptive parents use this with their children, I would have thought the punishment went away with the '50s. She was 162 minutes late, so she will write "I will be home by curfew" 162 times. It would have been better for her to do it last night but she cursed at me and stormed off to her bedroom before I mentioned it, and, again, I felt like crap on a cracker.
The second is much more logical and appropriate for a teenager. Her senior trip is in 3 weeks. I've signed the permission slip for her to go, but not given the money yet. I want her to have the experience of going, but I don't know that I can trust her to make good decisions. So we are going to make a contract. It is going to involve being home by curfew (with exceptions for 1. if I've given her permission to be out later, and 2. a cumulative hour of leeway for slight delays in buses and such), not cursing at me, and completing chores that I ask her to do (which are few and far between, to be completely honest).
*In fairness, she went out on Tuesday after having ASKED permission, she called at 9 asking if she could go to her cousin's band practice, and when I said no, she was home by curfew.
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