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My Dad trusts me abroad so why doesn't he extend my curfew at home?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 June 2014) 4 Answers - (Newest, 29 June 2014)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I'm 21 and I live with my parents in a big expensive city in the U.S. I have a ton of loans from school that I have to start paying off in 6 months (I just graduated) so moving out of my parents place would not be a smart thing to do. I work part time during the school year but now that the school I work at is on vacation, there's no money coming in, but I am in the process of finding a job.

One thing that bothers me is that I would like my father to trust me more and give me a later curfew and overall trust me more. My father is very very protective and gets angry if I don't let him know where I'm going, how long I'm staying, who I'm with, how I'm getting there, etc. And sometimes I have to tell him a few days in advance if I want to hang out with people, especially if I plan on staying over at their house (I have to warn him at least 5 days in advance). My current curfew is 10:00, my mom however believes that it would be fine for me to come home at 11:00-11:30, which I find reasonable.

I'm a good kid, and I rarely disobey, I do what I'm told, I never rebel, and I highly respect my parents but sometimes when I'm hanging out with friends especially after they work it makes me and them sad that I have to leave them after being with them only for a few hours. How do I get my dad to trust me more and give me more freedom? The funny thing is last year I had to go to Paris 2 for 3 weeks for a performance alone, without a phone or internet for 4 days while I was there, with barely anyone there to watch over me, and I managed just fine. While I was there he only called me once, and my mom told me he wasn't even that worried. I'm going back to work there again but I have a layover in London so I'm going to go explore on my own and he also is not so worried about that. So why can't he give me a later curfew if he trusts me to do all these things abroad?

View related questions: live with my parents, money

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 June 2014):

Your father is enjoying the opportunity of feeling like your dad while you're around. To some degree, he is also maintaining order and respect in his household. Letting you know that there will be no coming and going from his house at all hours of the night. House-rules.

You also have to standup for yourself a bit as well. You shrink into a little girl; because your dad intimidates you.

He can't bully you and swell three times his size when you're in another time-zone. When you're home, he still sees his obedient little-child. You have to show him you're now a full-grown woman. Teach him to respect females and see them as equals.

You respectfully remind him: "Dad, with all due respect; I'm a 21 year-old woman. I'm not a child! If I'm going to be out late, I will call you and let you know I'm okay. I'm not going to let you treat me like I'm 16 anymore. If you have a problem with that, I will simply not say anything anymore, and you will hear from me a lot less. We have to compromise on this. I love you, but I can't let you treat me as though I'm some irresponsible teenager. I do respect you and your wishes, but now I'm due respect for proving myself up to now. I may be out late from time to time; but I will be sure you and mom have nothing to worry about."

Your dad is trying to keep your spanking-clean reputation as a good-girl, untarnished. He's not standing-by while you're out late carousing all over town, and acting like a floozy. That's an old-school word. However; the curfew nonsense has to go. You will be in at reasonable hours during the week. Let them know ahead when you are spending days and weekends away. That's fair. Five days ahead is ridiculous. Give him 48 hours.

Let him stomp, grumble, and throw a tirade or hissy-fit. He is over-stepping his authority now. He will always be your father, but he does not reign over you like you're a half-witted child. Show your maturity by pushing back.

It is necessary at this point. Don't worry, he will not throw you out. You don't have to allow him to be a dictator over your every move. My guess is, he is just as controlling over your mother. You say not one word in your post of her opinion or reaction in all of this. She just quietly stands by. He will stop when you stop acting like a child when he bully's you. You can be respectful, without being totally passive and submissive to his every unreasonable demand.

I am suggesting that you do show some maturity and assertiveness. If you continue to allow your father to treat you like a child, it will carry-over into your relationships; and you will allow men to intimidate and control you. He has to recognize your transition from childhood to adulthood. You have that responsibility, to bring him into this century.

Your father is over-bearing and very old-school. He once had that right. He doesn't anymore. He feels he is still protecting you; and in his loving thick-skull still pictures you as a teenage girl. You have to remove that image, and post a new one. A respectful but independent adult female. He knows he can't stand over you and bark and growl; when you're in Paris or London. When you walk through the door, you're in his domain.

If your mother is a passive and submissive woman; time to change that family-tradition. You're the beginning of the next generation of women.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (29 June 2014):

olderthandirt agony auntGood question, but you might ask him instead of us. As a father of boys I can understand him wanting you out late-we all worry way too much about out kids but we can't help it. If something happened to one of or kids it isn't just an issue, it is a disaster. He sounds over protective but when you have kids you will understand the depth of parental worry. It is painfull.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 June 2014):

@Mark1978

Hey Mark thanks for helping me out. I'm the oldest, and they both know that I would never blow money on drinks at clubs, etc. Like I said I'm a very respectful and reaponsible person, so I'm not sure why he continues to be so uptight. His problem mostly is taking the subway late, which I understand is a concern, but where I live the subway is very safe, and I am never too far away from my house so I would only be on the train for a few stops at most. This situation is really depressing me, because I've tried to change his mind,but he's not budging. The only way he'll change is if my mom convinces him.

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A male reader, Mark1978 United Kingdom +, writes (29 June 2014):

Mark1978 agony auntTo be honest at 21 a curfew is a bit ridiculous. I can appreciate your parents not wanting you coming home at all hours disturbing them of course but to dictate that you must be home by 10pm is crazy. Your not 16! You say you are a good kid but your not a kid, you are a woman in your twenties.

You need to sit down with your father and explain to him that you are an adult now, a woman in your twenties. He needs to let you find your independence not treat you like a child. How long does he intend this curfew to go on for? You could be 30 and still have to be back home for a certain time.

Im at a loss to understand it - if it was because of your financial situation, or they were helping out with money, I could understand them not wanting you out blowing lots of cash on booze or clubs, but it seems something more than that.

He sounds over protective. Very over protective. Have they ever had cause for concern with you? I mean did you do ever get into trouble or maybe have older sisters or brothers who did?

Mark

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