The curfew in Beverly Hills is 11pm and in Los Angeles, it’s 10:30pm. I didn’t make up the rules so if you’re like my Teenage Kid fuming about constitutional rights and teenage profiling, save it for another mom. I know what can happen when you break curfew.
At 17, my best friend’s kid was having a late-night snack at McDonald’s when an Officer approached and asked to see his ID. Just like that, he found himself standing in the parking-lot, McFlurry in one hand, citation in the other. Courtesy of said citation, he had to miss class to appear in court. That doesn’t sound so terrible except that along with the excused break from school, came a hefty fine.
No matter how many times I recount this story to my Teenage Kid, it doesn’t sink in. If it did, (a) I wouldn’t have to repeat myself ad nauseam and (b) I wouldn’t have text exchanges like this one from last night at 10:33 PM:
Teen: Might be a little late.
BH Mom: Be home @ 11
Teen: I don’t have my car with me, left it in Joe’s driveway
BH Mom: See u @ 11
Teen: I can’t get back in time
BH Mom: Done texting. Call if u want. Sorry I am not a “cool” mom
I’m an Uncool Mom. I don’t buy my teen and his friends booze. Their friends are welcome anytime, but if they trash the place, their ahem is grass. I aim for eight hours of shut-eye and to be asleep by 11pm. Pretty boring. Want exciting? Ask any mom who has a kid who has reached his or her eighteenth birthday what it is like to wait up until he or she is home.
The purpose of the Beverly Hills curfew is to reduce juvenile crime and juvenile victimization. According to sources like the news-journal.com, the research is mixed as to the effectiveness of curfews. Detractors like my son say it puts a crimp on social activities and that kids who are going to misbehave late at night are just as likely to cause problems during the day.
They may have a point. On any given weekday afternoon, groups of kids wander up and down South Beverly Drive and some inevitably cause trouble. The manager of Jersey Mikes recently complained, “Kids toss trash on the floor, scratch graffiti onto the tables and can start fights. We have to call the police sometimes.”
To my relief, last night my son made it home by 11:02pm. Close enough for me. Before I could congratulate him on following the rules I heard my College Kid yell, “You’re late!” Easy for him to say, he hasn’t had curfew in years.