If your teen is sneaking out in the middle of the night, there are all sorts of trouble he or she could get into. There might be drinking, drugging, or dancing all night. In fact, this article doesn’t need to go into all the dangers your teen is vulnerable to when out alone in the early hours of the morning. As parents, your worried mind will likely come up with many scenarios. However, if you are tired of feeling anxious about what your teen is up to, then perhaps get clever about how to stop your teen from sneaking out in the first place. This article will provide some suggestions on how to do just that.
Tips for Parents
Make an agreement. You probably have already thought about communicating with your teen about what’s going on. However, it’s how you communicate and what you say that might make a difference. For instance, demanding that your teen stop sneaking out at night may not work. Depending upon the relationship you have with your child, he or she might just skip over what you say. Yet, you might begin by making an agreement. For example, if she avoids sneaking out and improves her school work, then you’ll take her shopping. Or you’ll take your teen to his favorite baseball game. Making an agreement shows respect and has a focus on rewards versus punishment.
Take privileges away. If the agreement doesn’t work, then start to take away activities or things that your teen enjoys. You might start with your teen’s ability to come to and go as he or she pleases. For instance, you might have your teen let you know each time he comes home and leaves. And you might also take away the television, movies, phone, or computer. You might have to take away Internet use, the Ipad, or the game box. Slowly, as your teen begins to follow the rules you’ve set out, then you might consider slowly returning the privileges you’ve taken away.
Make sure both you and your spouse are working together. Even if you’re divorced, parents have the common interest of protecting their teen’s well being. Because of this, make sure you’re staying consistent with the way you’re responding to your teen’s sneaking out at night. Regardless of your marital status, if you’ve both raised this child, then talk to one another about your teen. It will be easier for your child to disobey you if the other parent is not standing by your side. To do this, talk to one another before communicating with your teen. Decide on your course of action so that you can remain consistent and clear as you talk to your teen about rewards, punishments, and agreements.
Get a therapist involved. If you still have trouble, talk to a mental health provider. There are many therapists that specialize in adolescence and who might have tips on what to do. There might also be something else going on for your teen, aside from bad behavior. If this is the case, a therapist would be able to detect this.
These are suggestions for working with a teen who is sneaking out at night. They might be useful in protecting and supporting your teen’s well being.