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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Teens Sneaking Out
My daughter is 15, I think she is a normal teen. She gets ok grades, she is boy crazy. But has never had a boyfriend, nor kissed a boy. The worst thing she has done (until last night) is curse at me. My husband and I discovered she was not in her bed at 3:30 a.m. I called her cell, she answered immediately, and said she was on her way home. She was with a girl friend, her age, and the girls 18 year old friend. Who is a boy, but not boyfriend. He technically is a man. He is a freshman in college. I called the girls parents, they said she was home. Maybe, they dropped her off first, so she didn't happen to get caught? The boy was home from college for the long weekend. Daughter said, they hatched the scheme earlier that evening. On confrontation, daughter said she wanted to do something ''bad'' for once. Everyone sneaks out, and she wanted ''bragging rights''. I had poor parent supervision as a kid, and I don't know how to handle this. I know what smoking, drinking and drugged people look and smell like, and she was non of these. Some one please advise me how to handle this. Do I come down like a warden?
Also, if she has needs that pertain to fitting in and having boyfriends, those should be brought out and discussed. There are great resources available out there on these issues. My favorite has been Boundaries With Teens, by John Townsend. It covers common issues that occur with teens. Best of luck! Marilynn
You want her to develop her own internal moral compass, not to calculate her actions based on fear of you and getting caught.
Your daughter sounds like a really good (if not perfect) kid. There are no ''shoulds''. Don't feel like you should feel something you don't actually feel: anger/outrage at what your daughter did, for example. Tell her that you are grateful she trusted you enough to tell you why she snuck out (if true, it's a rather endearing excuse, don't you think?)
Explain to her what problems her actions created and how it affected you - worry, anger, erosion of trust in her, your fears for her safety with an older boy (if these are indeed your concerns). Talk honestly and directly with her and tell her you need the same from her.
Sure, you could devise arbitrary punishment (grounding, removal of privleges are popular in our culture) but these are poor substitutes for developing a strengthened and closer relationship through open communication. I believe in natural consequences - i.e. sneaking out results in we, your parents having less trust in you. That's a pretty big consequence right there.
Sometimes when I'm stumped about how to correct a bad behavior I ask my kid/s what they think - what they'd do in my shoes. You'd be surprised at the thoughtful answers (and sometimes punishments!) they suggest. But best of all we have a good open discussion, free of the fear factor. By the way, a sense of humor can go a long way too in getting a little perspective. Parent of 15 year old girl
That said, no high school teen should be out at 3:30. I think you need to clearly explain to her the dangers of that behavior. I try to talk to my daughter about making good choices. I have talked with her honestly about drugs, alcohol, rape, listening to her inner voice, etc.
We enforce a weekend curfew of 12:00, although she can get extended time with certain conditions (advance notice, way home, etc.) School nights it's home by dinner time. The key is consistency so everything becomes a habit
Learning how to evaluate risk is an important part of growing up and it is one we tend to neglect in our desire to protect. Think of this as an opportunity you can use to start that process. This is maybe the most challenging phase of being a parent-at least it is for me! oh and breathe. Roxanne
Have an alarm installed. Cost is not that prohibitive they have specials all the time. (I got mind through ADT for 99.00--if you have extra windows you might have to pay more. For large areas you don't use at night, they usually include a motion sensor which would cover the entire room).
Do NOT give her the alarm code. When she tries to leave...wah la...alarm goes off you're up...that particular plan is a no go. Not having the code does not stop ANYONE from leaving the house in an emergency. You simply open the door/window and leave and the alarm goes off.
This serves a dual purpose in that your house will also have security protection. can't afford to have my child wandering out without me knowing
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