Tips for Allowing Your Teen to Go Out with Friends

Establish Rules and Feel Comfortable Giving Permission for a Night Out

teen party
Henglein and Steets/Cultura/Getty Images

As children grow older and enter their teen years, they start to enjoy going places and doing things. Quite often, they want to go out with their friends alone... at night!

It can be hard for parents of teens to get used to their teenager going out at night with friends. The lack of adult supervision is unnerving and all of the unknowns can make a parent very anxious.

However, at some point, you will have to let go.

It is inevitable that your teen will be old enough to go out. At night. Without you.

It is a fact of life and when the time comes, you can feel a little more comfortable by following a few simple tips.

Talk To Your Teen About Safety

Safety is, after all, a parent's biggest concern when their teen wants to go out with friends. There are many fears that are reasonable to have, but you will have to trust your teen eventually.

The best way to make yourself comfortable with their decisions is to talk to them about it.

It Is a Privilege

Talk to your teen about the overall privilege of going out with friends. Share that you are nervous, but that you want your teen to have some independence and enjoy their time out.

Make sure that they understand that privileges come with responsibility and that consequences will happen if they break your trust.

Start Slow 

You can build your own confidence in your teen (as well as theirs) by letting them go out in stages.


  • Begin by allowing your young teen to go to the movies with a group of friends.
  • The catch is that you will drop them off and pick them up!

Once you establish a good start for your want-to-be-independent teen, you can extend their privileges and freedom.

Tip: Reserve the right to check up on them, even if it is only to make yourself feel better about what your teen is doing. Cell phones make this very easy!

Establish the Rules

Before you give permission to go out, you will need to know:

  • Where they are going.
  • What they are doing.
  • Who they are with.

Use this parenting contract for an unsupervised night out if you want the agreement in black and white.

Tip: Ask for the names and phone numbers of their friends' parents and build a list in your address book.

Teen Parties

If your teen is going to a party at a friend’s house, you should call and check on adult supervision. Teen parties should always be supervised.

Curfews are a Must!

Your teen should always have a curfew. Make it very clear what time you expect them to be home and in the door. It will put your mind at ease to know when your teen is coming home.

Remember that some cities have a mandatory curfew for teenagers of a certain age. Make sure that the curfew you set also follows the law. This is most important for older teens.

No Drinking or Drugs!

Reinforce the no drugs and no drinking rules.

  • Discuss your family’s views on the underage use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ask that these rules be respected each night your teen goes out.

Continue Reading