View Full Version : Sneaking out
03-21-2005, 11:48 PM
To cultivate good friendships in a safe location for my 14 year old son, my husband and I have allowed him to have his friends over 2-3 Friday or Saturday nights a month. This core group of boys sneaked out last year in the middle of the night to wrap a girl's house. (I should mention that we have a teen curfew in our city.) A parent found out, and the boys were banned from sleepovers for several months. Things got back on track and seemed to be fine.
Until it happened again this past weekend. Again, we tried not to scream, but to quietly (and with a bit of humor) re-enforce how dangerous it is to be out that late because of skittish neighbors with guns, the curfew law, skittish police officers with guns, etc. We told our son that we knew boys his age enjoyed stuff like this, but it wasn't safe. And we've banned sleepovers indefinitely again, but no other punishment.
Are we on the right track with our comments and discipline? How do we know these boys won't just sneak out on their own at night and meet up with each other? Does this behavior indicate that they might sneak out to do drugs or meet girls?
03-22-2005, 11:09 AM
I'm afraid that what you're doing is pretty much as good as it gets in the game of parenting teens. No matter how well we parent, our kids are going to do crazy things (like we did?). But if the worst story you end up telling at your son's wedding is about him sneaking out and "wrapping" a girl's house, then CONGRATULATIONS!
There is one thing I would add. I'd break apart the sneaking out into two parts with your kid. The first is the rule infraction, for which you've established a consequence of losing the related privilege (sleepovers). The idea is to say that with increased freedom comes increased responsibility, and if he is not mature enough to handle the responsibility, then he's telling you that he's not yet ready for that level of freedom.
The second, and most important issue is trust. Tell him that you don't have a consequence that makes up for lost trust, that you really don't know how to fix that. Say that having a truthful relationship with him is the most important thing to you, and that it really hurts to have him betray his promise to not sneak out. Ask him, "How do we fix that part?" Then just walk away and let him think a bit about trust. Getting our kids to think about the higher issues is the gold we should seek when disciplining.
09-16-2005, 09:12 AM
I have a similar story regarding our two teen daughters. They have both been caught out late at night during sleepovers. We did not punish either but we did try to instill in they crazy minds that eventually if they keep up this behavior that they will be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not soon after that had been mentioned to them our youngest was at a sleepover and they snuck out of the house around 3a.m. During there excapadies they met up with some boys they didn't know and one of them had a backpack, you see where this is going? The boy with the backpack asked our daughter to holdon to it for a minute, which she niavely did. Soon after that the police pulled up and everybody split. Unfortunatly our daughter was caught along with another boy she was with and with the backpack. The backpack had three bottles of beer in it, luckly nothing else. Bottom line is she was sited for minor in possession and has to go to court. She now knows the meaning of "be aware of your surroundings and if it does'nt look or feel right, it probably isn't and you should really consider getting yourself out of a potientialy dangerious situation".
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