[Dr. O’Donnell Compiles] Experts tell how to set age-appropriate limits for teens (originally published on-line by CBS Interactive Business Network: BNET.com*)
Setting timetables to determine when teens are ready for certain privileges varies from family to family, but experts can help you come up with a general idea on the best time to allow your teen certain privileges.
Author, Dr. Michael O’Donnell, executive director of the Center for Fathering, a network of 400 support groups for fathers, asked the opinion of 10 parenting experts to determine the timetables. Dr. O’Donnell is also co-author with Dr. Nick Stinnett of the book Good Kids: How You and Your Kids Can Successfully Navigate the Teen Years (Doubleday).
* Stay home alone at night while parents are out. Experts say by age 13, most kids could be left at home alone for a few hours in the evening. They say parents should be only a call away.
* Go on a first date that’s not a chaperoned school activity. Most kids should be 16 before they have their first unchaperoned date, the experts suggest. They say 16 is the age when most teens can drive and traditionally have more privileges in society. They say parents can drive a group of children to bowl, skate or to the movies beginning around age 13.
* Go to the mall with friends without supervision. Again, experts say, the golden age is 16. Kids 16 and older can go to the mall alone. Adults should be at the mall with younger teens. In fact, some malls will not allow kids under age 16 to wander through the mall without an adult.
* Buy their own clothes without parent’s consent. Experts suggest that kids learn to wash their own clothes before they’re allowed to buy them. They should learn to wash their clothes at the age of 13. Then they can buy clothes at age 14 with their parent’s supervision. By the age 15, they should be allowed to buy clothes with the money their parents have allocated to them or with money they’ve earned. Some parents have a list of clothes their kids can’t wear until age 18, but the kids need to have some room for creativity.
* Wear makeup. The recommended age for girls to start wearing makeup is 13. They should have some responsibility for buying it.
* Have a phone in their room. By age 16, parents might consider giving teens a private phone line in their rooms, but they should pay for it with allowances or earned money.
* Drive other kids in a car and ride in a car with other teens. Experts say kids can drive others in the car and ride with other teens at age 16. However, the teens should have to go through driver’s education and car maintenance lessons. And they should be responsible for filling the car up with gas, cleaning it and paying a portion of the insurance, the experts advise.
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