Freedom is something that everyone wants because we as humans want to make our own choices when it comes to the decisions we do. When thinking about this topic, many people wonder how much freedom should a 17-year old have. They are at that age where they are still under 18 and in high school but at the same time, many are old enough to be mature in their decisions.
Deciding how much freedom a 17 year old should have depends on a few factors that we will go over below.
One thing that needs to be understood is that freedom is earned, not given. Many teenagers think that they should be given however much freedom they want but that is the wrong mindset.
It takes many different components to earn freedom and if the 17 year old has not earned their freedom, they need to know what steps to take so they can earn it.
The first important factor that decides how much freedom a 17-year-old should have is their level of maturity. This is important because too much freedom for someone who is not mature enough to handle it can be a bad thing.
They can abuse that freedom and make bad decisions that can cause consequences later on.
This is the same concept as to why there are laws that people have to follow. If there were no laws, the world would be a mess because not everyone is responsible enough to carry out life without having to be told what to do.
If the 17 year old has to be constantly told what to do because of their immaturity, it is best to limit the amount of freedom they have.
Another factors that determines this issue would be if the 17 year old is responsible.
Responsibility is a very important trait that many 17-year-olds might lack. If they are not responsible with the decisions they do in life, they will not be responsible with the freedom they have. This plays a role because if a parent tells their 17-year-old to be home by 9 pm, they are responsible to follow that command. If they come home later than 9, that shows irresponsibility from the child.
So when determining how much freedom the 17-year-old should have, you should see how responsible they are in their actions and that can give you a good picture of how much freedom they should receive.
Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to freedom. If you do not trust a person, you will most likely not trust their actions.
As a parent, we want to trust our children when they are not around us. If there is little to no trust, it is hard to give them freedom because as mentioned earlier, it is earned, not given.
Depending on how much the 17 year old is trusted is the amount of freedom they should have. These are critical years because they will turn into adults in a year and by that time, you want to have a good level of trust between each other.
If your child has betrayed your trust in your past, click here for a guide on how to fix that issue.
4. What Are They Doing?
Another factor that plays into how much freedom the 17 year old should have is what are they doing?
Having freedom to do certain things makes sense compared to doing other things.
For example, a 17-year-old should have the freedom to spend time in the gym every day because that is something that will positively affect them. On the other hand, a 17-year-old should not have the freedom to come back at 2 am because they were at a party.
So when you are deciding how much freedom they should have, it all depends on what activity they want to do.
If they are doing something that is beneficial for them physically or mentally, they should be allowed more freedom but if it is something that can negatively affect them physically or mentally in the long run, it is best to limit their freedom.
5. Are they On Track?
Another component to look at would be are they on track for success in their everyday life.
Do they have good grades? Do they have a healthy exercise schedule?
If they are slacking in school or are not taking the overall steps to better themselves every day, they should not be having the freedom to do whatever they want because the number one focus should be their academics and health.
17 is the age where they are applying for college and have a sense of the route they want to take after graduating high school. If the 17-year-old is not taking action when it comes to the next step of their life, they should be limited on the amount of freedom they have when it comes to having fun.
6. Friend Group
Another factor that determines how much freedom a 17-year-old should have would be what type of friend influence do they have. Many times, we are influenced by the people around us and if the friend group of the 17-year-old is a bad group, their freedom should be at a limit.
The reason for that is because if they are around bad influence, they will end up being influenced into doing the wrong things and that might cause consequences down the road.
It is important for them to be allowed freedom around good influence so if they do have a group of friends that you notice are a good influence on the 17-year-old, you can give them the green light when it comes to their freedom.
Something to remember is that even though someone that age should be limited in their freedom, it is important not to restrict them completely because that 17-year-old will then find ways to become sneaky and that is the last thing you want as a parent.
You need to find the perfect balance for them to enjoy some freedom but not to take advantage of it.
It will also make them resent you in the future if you hold back their freedom too much at that age since they are most likely experiencing their last year of high school and want to do many fun things that year.
Knowing how much freedom a 17-year-old should have depended on different factors. They need to understand that it is earned and not given so that means they have to work to earn that freedom by being able to be trusted and mature enough to handle it.
The factors listed above can be a checklist to know and decide how much freedom a 17 year old should have.