"I'm headin' out, ma..."

When you were a teenager, did you (have to) tell your parents when you left the house? Those of you with kids currently in their teens, do you require them to do so?

I was a teenager in the '80s, and not only did I have to tell my mom that I was leaving the house, and where I was going, but also why I was going, and who else might be there, and what we were planning to do, and blah, blah, blah. And more than once, she refused permission, just to go to another girl’s house after school. At the same time, I knew kids whose parents often didn’t even know if they were home or not (the kids, not the parents) and thought my situation was for kindergartners.

Now, I thought my mom was unnecessarily strict. I still think so, even at the age of 34. Besides what I described above, I couldn’t even move from one room to another inside the house without her bleating a demand to know what I was up to. But if I ever have teenagers, I think I will want to know when they’re leaving, and a general itinerary. I don’t think it’s too cool to treat your parents’ house like a hotel, which some of my contemporaries did in all kinds of ways.

So how is/was it with you?

I used to routinely tell my parents where I was going and roughly what I was doing. Often theis amounted to no more than “I’m going around to Bill’s place and we’ll probably go out later. I’ll be home about 11.” It never seemed any great imposition but that may be because if I was worried about what they would think I probably lied about what I was doing. It seemed reasonable to me to tell them where I would be. My kids did the same.

Even now at work most people head off to lunch giving a rough guide as to where they are going and about how long they’ll be.

I suppose the advent of mobile phones may make some people think it is not so important.

If my parents were in I’d tell them when I was going out. I didn’t usually tell her where I was going or when I’d be back as I didn’t usually know. Friends would just turn up at my house and we’d just go out.

When I was 17 I started coming in at 6.30 in the morning sometimes. They didn’t mind because they trusted me.

Another child o’ the 80’s here. Coincidentally, the thread title is about as in depth as I ever got with my folks, once I hit the age of 15 or so. Even before that I was never compelled to submit a minute by minute itinerary of my comings and goings.

'Course, I was a “latch-key kid” from about the age of 10. I guess I’d managed to prove to their satisfaction in those five years that I wasn’t gonna get myself killed if left to my own devices.

I’ll also admit, however, that I was very, very careful about not getting caught when I was up to something illicit, either. The number of late nights/early mornings that I came home bloodshot and staggering would probably have lead them to chain my ass to the bed from dinnertime until breakfast, if they’d had any clue at the time.

During the schoolyear I wasn’t completely out of control, but summertimes I was the very definition of Rilch’s hotel guest. I was pretty much an insufferable little prick, looking back at it critically. I managed to never get anyone pregnant, never get arrested, and never end up in the ER, though I’m sure there were more close calls than I can recall right offhand.
I’ve got a bunch of years yet before I have to deal with being on the parent’s side of the equation. Not really looking forward to it. I bullshit myself with the idea that my own experience should give me an edge in spotting budding juvenile deliquency that my folks didn’t have…

And then my old man will tell me some story or another about his own misspent youth, and I realize I’m in for a rough time.

Not if I was going to our local village to the shops/chemist/library etc. Yes if I was going to a friend’s house or taking a bus anywhere.

But it was more, “I’m going shopping, see you for dinner” than a who, what, why, when, where thing.

BUT if I was going to stay at someone’s house I had to phone to say I had arrived safely.

We had to say where we were going, who we were with, and when we’d be back. My daughter and her friends come in and out as they please. Sometimes she’ll tell me if she’ll be in for dinner, or if she’s sleeping out. I know she’s with her boyfriend or her friends, and I prefer not to speculate on her activities. If i’m overwhelmed with the need to to know her whereabouts, I call her on her cellphone. I, on the other hand, have to report all my activities to her.

Me: “See you later. I’m going out”

Mom: “Out where?”

Me: “Out side.” closes door

I usually told my parents who I was going to be with, and an estimated time of return, but mainly out of general courtesy. No curfew, or anything like that. They had no problem with it if I came back far later than I estimated. My only real rule was that once I got back, I just had to wake up mom and let her know I was in.

More than a decade removed from that now, I still think that was a good policy. No children for me yet, but if I ever do have them, I suspect my policy would be about the same.

Like Skeezix I guess being a latchkey kid had advantages. I generally came and went as I pleased. I have a soon to be teenager (12) who has been pretty responsible, so I’ll evaluate and adjust as neccesary.

Teenager of the 70’s here. Every time my mother would ask what I was going to be doing that night, I would reply “I’m going out with my degenerate friends. We are going to drink lots of beer and fool around with godless women.” She would always respond with “Fine! Don’t tell me then!”

I never lied to my mother. :smiley:

But as common courtesy I would tell them when I expected to be back.

That reminds me of a few conversations I had with my mum.

Me - “I’m going out. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Mum - “Where are you staying?”
I then explained I was staying over at my boyfriends house.
Mum - “On the sofa, right?”
Me - “No, we’re gonna be sharing a bed, and we’ll be NAKED.”
Mum - “Ha ha. Very funny. No need to take the piss.”

I never lied to my mother either. (In my defence, theres no way my mother would have believed I was sharing a bed with my boyfriend, and NOT having sex. Which was actually the case. At the time those conversations took place anyway.)

My kids are required to tell me where they are going and all but really it is as much simple politeness as it is a “rule”. Even my older daughter (25) tells me where she is going and when she is likely to return. I think that is just common courtesy in any household. Even when I roomed with other people before I got married, it was pretty much standard practice to tell my rommates if I was leaving and give them an idea of how long I would be gone.

I was a teen in the '80s and I lived with my grandmother for the most part. My curfew was midnight. I had to give the when, where, who, why, what, and she would occasionally come by and check. I would also be grounded at the rate of one week per one minute late getting home. This is all before I gave her any reason to not trust me; of course, once she starting checking, she found all kinds of reasons to not trust me.
It was hard especially because I had a lot of friends whose parents let them do whatever, whenever. On the other hand, I’ll probably be much the same with my own kids. This overprotectiveness must run in the family. And just thinking of my own daughter getting away with some of the stuff I managed makes my hair turn white. (Or was I driven to do evil by my smothering guardian? Hmmm…)

I was a nerdy latchkey kid that had no life. Who was the heart of the house? Not my mom. If anyone qualified for that title it would have either been me or the cat.

Aside from the notes left on the table, *“Am out to Roger’s house. Back before 6” * usually I wouldn’t have a clue where my mother, father or brother were. Not just the kids, but the *whole family * treated the house as a hotel.
That attitude manifested itself in many things. For instance: the first person to find the newly bought cookies could get away with finishing the whole packet. No-one kept track.

Oddly enough, no-one of us did “wild” things involving sex, drugs and rock-and-roll. Such things just weren’t our cup of tea. My parents encouraged my brother and me to go out and pursue our interests, just like they themselves did. I’ll never know if it this attitude sprang from complete trust or because they just couldn’t be bothered, because my brother and I never got in any trouble, that would have tested my parents limits. Maybe we proved them right, in a way.

I remember when I was age 16, and phoned home and told her I would spend the night at a party (a party! at last!). She said she was glad I called. That was so different from her usual vague: “Oh? Were you at a party? Well have fun then, dear”, that I remember being pleasantly surprised.

My mom was like the OP’s. Until I went off to college, I had to give a fairly detailed initerary of what I was doing, where I was going, who would be there, and what time was I coming home? The what time I would be coming home was generally dictated by how tired my mother was as she always waited up for me to make sure I got home all right. That meant no parties or staying out all night. (She still sort of waits up now when I visit but realizes that since I live on my own, I can do what I please.)

If I went to a boy’s house (doesn’t matter if we were dating or not), the parents had to be there. Same went for parties of any sort, and my mom would call to check. Plus I didn’t have my own car so that put a lot of limitations on things- they actually did check milage. (And I never did anything to make them not trust me.) I was the oldest girl so I had the strictest rules.

Things got a bit better senior year of high school. I still gave a “detailed” itinerary but it was a big more vague- 'going to the coffee shop to hang out and stuff. I’ll call if we go anywhere else. '(She got pissed if I didn’t and she found out.) Of course the coffee shop meant a lot of things. Then I started coming home from school later- basically just going out and hanging out with friends. As long as I was home by 4:30ish it was ok. I think they realized I needed some sort of freedoms before going away to school.

My parents were strict, no doubt about it. Mom still likes to try as she’s a control freak. They tried to shelter me from a lot of stuff, which I really don’t think was a good idea. My boyfriend still doesn’t get it as he could do whatever he pleased.

I think it’s only common curtesy in a family situation to let the other members of the household know you are going out and approximately what time you will be home.

With my own teenage kids I would also expect to know where they were going and who they would be going with or to see. I had to do exactly the same thing when I was a teenager.

I’m a freshman in high school.

I always tell my parents when I go out, because it’s usually for a school-related activity, or to see friends from school. Since my school is about 20 miles away from where I live, they need to give me a ride there, and know when I’m done so they can pick me up.

Other than that, I don’t like go out much, so I’ve never figured out what my parents want me to tell them when I do.

My parents knew me well enough to know that I wasn’t going to take any risks or get into any trouble. My father occasionally tried to nag me into being MORE adventurous, but it never took.

They knew I would always be sober enough to drive (even if I DID get lost an awful lot!), that I was far too cautious to try any dumb stunts, and that I saw girls as unwanted pregnancies waiting to happen. Probably the only thing they worried about was that if somebody picked a fight with me, I’d lose control of my temper and beat him to death with whatever was handy.

My "party-pooping" tendencies were sufficiently well-known that one of my friends got permission from his mom to stay out later, just by proving that I was with him!      :rolleyes: