21 answers

Teenage Daughter Sneaking Out

I just stumbled across some shocking (to me) information regarding my 14 year old daughter. She attended homecoming this past Saturday for the first time, then had two of her girl friends stay the night. Apparently, after my husband and I were asleep, she and her friends snuck into the backyard to meet a couple of boys behind our shed. This is the first time we know of our daughter has so blatently misused our trust. We are going to confront her, but it won't be for a couple of days due to our conflicting work schedules. I found this information by snooping on her facebook account. We don't intend to let her know how we found out, but to let her know her parents aren't the only ones who watch out for each others kids on the block. My question is, what do you consider appropriate punishment? Also, how to approach the conversation in an open way without making her so defensive she won't communicate. We plan to have the discussion out of the house, as my pre-teen son does not need to be involed in the discussion.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the advice. We took bits and pieces from everyone and feel we have done well. We took my daughter out for coffee to discuss the incident. We were upfront with her and told her we were aware of the incident. She didn't deny it, but rather asked, "How long am I grounded for?" We skipped that question and explained how disappointed we were that she had betrayed our trust and the trust of the other parents who allowed their daughters to stay at our house. We also discussed how her reputation could have a smear on it, as she could easily become known as the girl who sneaks out to meet with boys. We allowed her to tell us how the incident came about, who;s idea it was, how they arranged timing, etc. I was very proud of her as she took full responsiblity for her part. It may not have been her idea originally, but she facilitated the timing, etc. with her cell phone. I think the hardest part for her was when we told her she would have one day to let her friends know their parents would be receiving a phone call from myself or my husband to alert them. I do know she did tell all the kids, as I am facebook friends with all of them and I was able to read their posts as they waited for the phone calls. However, none of the kids told their parents before I did. It was a shock to most of them. The boy;s mother was very upset, as he did not sneak, he lied. He told her we were having an inside party and he was invited. She now knows I will call and let parents know if we are having a party for teens that lasts past midnight.
All the kids except one received some form of punishment, most lost their cell phones. Only one was able to convince her mother that she had learned her lesson and did not need punishment.
It was never intended for us to keep the incident from our son. We just did not feel he needed to be around for the initial con versation. We talked with him after our discussion with our daughter. Again, we were up front with him about what had happened and what the consequences were.
As for the rest, my daughter is currently without computer, very limited cell phone (calls/texts can only be made to mom, dad and grandma) and no sleep overs/social activities outside school and extracirricular activities. There is no set time, as we told her she would have to earn our trust before the restrictions were lifted. However, over the past week she has been very accepting of her punishment and seems to be doing well. She will probably have some restrictions lifted within the next week.

Featured Answers

I disagree w/ letting her know how you found out. I think too many parents are way too concerened about their childrens privacy. First off, they are kids and imo, their only privacy should be in the bathroom. They can have their privacy when they start paying their own bills. I got caught sneeking out when I was 14 and my mom spanked me in front of all my friends. it was a little embarassing, and I knew my mom was always watching me, so I wasn't able to sneak out very often(still did it occasionally though). Also she always stayed up til 2:00 a.m. which made it really difficult too. Maybe if you do talk to her in front of her brother, and give her a hard enough punishment, it will make him think twice about doing that before he does something like that.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with Sue H. Do not let her know you've seen her facebook page or she will stop posting on it or set up a different account and only show you the one that show's she's an angel.
Have a discussion that you know about the sneak-out. She will get defensive. Take away her phone for a week. She will flip-out but tough. If she's sneaking out now and testing the boundaries, it will only get worse at 15, 16, etc. Teenagers lie. They just do. Keep open communication. Tell her you trust her but must inspect her. It's for her own good. And remember, "those who host, lose the most".

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I disagree w/ letting her know how you found out. I think too many parents are way too concerened about their childrens privacy. First off, they are kids and imo, their only privacy should be in the bathroom. They can have their privacy when they start paying their own bills. I got caught sneeking out when I was 14 and my mom spanked me in front of all my friends. it was a little embarassing, and I knew my mom was always watching me, so I wasn't able to sneak out very often(still did it occasionally though). Also she always stayed up til 2:00 a.m. which made it really difficult too. Maybe if you do talk to her in front of her brother, and give her a hard enough punishment, it will make him think twice about doing that before he does something like that.

3 moms found this helpful

As a serial "sneaker-outer" in my teen years (I an now 36 yrs old), I recommend keeping your knowledge to yourself. Then trap her. Really.

I promise you that since she thinks she got away with it, her house will become known as the house to spend the night and sneak out. Next time she has friends over to stay the night, you need to stay up and listen for them. You want to catch them in front of their friends. She must be embarrassed enough by the situation that she will not risk this kind of embarrassment again. You should have curlers in your hair and a blue mask on your face. You also must call her friends parents. I am sure you do not want a call in a couple of weeks from someone else's parents informing you that their kid said they sneak out of your house.

I really don't think you should try to have an adult conversation with her as though she is an employee who has abused your sick day policy. She is not an adult.

Kids sneaking out in the middle of the night will eventually do things that you don't want them doing and possibly get hurt.

3 moms found this helpful

One thing that struck a chord in me was that you said you were 'snooping' on her FB account. I think if you really want to handle this properly, you'll set her down and talk to her about what she did that night, ask her to be honest, and if she asks how you found her out, you BE HONEST right back with her.
I think it would be a good idea to then have a talk w/ your son about what his sister did (The sneeking out part), that she was caught, and this is her punishment. Filling him in on what happened would give him something to think about...like man! My parents are smart! Or Boy! My sister is dumb!
And back to you sneeking.....
My son is on FB, and so am I. And we are FRIENDS on FB, so what he posts I can see, and vice versa. Being dishonest and sneeky will backfire in the long run, and will not get you what you want.
As for a proper punishment for her, how 'bout no more sleepovers for a while?

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

I'm sure you will get much better advise but I have a couple of thoughts. As an FYI we have a 19 year old son and a daughter that just turned 15 so I can at least related to the age.
I agree with not letting her know you found out on Facebook. Our son has had a couple of questionable things on his facebook page but nothing horribly obnoxious. We didn't address it because it is a window into his world.
I also agree with letting her think that there is a whole network of parents watching her. Both of my kids live in fear of the "mommy grapevine."
But I personally disagree with not letting your pre-teen know what's going on for a variety of reasons. 1. IF they are close as siblings at all, your daughter will tell him her version of the events and he won't know the true story. Plus 2. I think it's good for a sibling to hear the discussion and see the consequences of the behavior and hopefully they won't make the same mistake.
I don't have any good thoughts for punishment. . .but it should be relevant and meaningful to her. *Our daughter got in trouble by YELLING at her dad via text/cell phone. We took her phone away because she was using it as a tool to speak to her dad in such a way that she would have never done if she was standing right in front of him!

Good Luck!

L. K

1 mom found this helpful

Use Love and Logic with her. Not sure I'd have a "conversation" with her first. Just wait for the first opportunity that she asks to do something and reply matter of fact that "No, you can't do that because you can't be trusted after you snuck out after homecoming." It'll catch her off guard and she'll have nothing to do but think about it and wonder how you know. And how long you've known. Read up on the Love and Logic books and be prepared with short to the point statements that she can't argue with.

1 mom found this helpful

*Smiling* Good Morning L., Our boys 12 & 14 at the time did the same thing. They weren't meeting girls though they were leaving the yard and walking around our small town meeting up with their buds. I found out they were gone and woke my hubby. We got lawn chairs and sat in the back yard until they came home. BOY were they ever surprised. They lost a lot of privileges.
We also nailed the window shut for a while. Was one of those little basement casement windows. How our oldest got his hinny out of there is beyond me.

What kids do behind our backs is a given to a certain extent. We want them safe, and to have a safe place to go.
I put up a sign on our doors that said "NO Escape Zone"
If you want to leave the house for any reason you come and ask FIRST! If it is beyond Curfew the Answer is NO so forget it.
Yeah they Tried it again 5 yrs later, the first night we moved to TX. Silly guys tried climbing out of the Apartment complex window. Well The security guard caught them half in and half out the window. OH Boy that did not go over well. That was the last time they ever did it again.

My Mom always told me no matter what you do, I will find out about it. Scared me Silly!!

You can tell her you are very disappointed in her behavior. Ask her what she would of done if something terrible happened to her or one of her friends? What if more then the boys they were wanting to see was out there also?
The boys they were meeting might of been harmless but if someone else was with them you never know what could of happened with just a little nudge or suggestion.
Her & her friends safety and reputation could of been destroyed by their actions. They could became labeled as Easy or loose. Kids do talk and what may of been innocent them, can turn into something horrible. It is hard to live down rumors, kids are some of the worst rumor-mongers. They can add to a story in a heart beat.

God Bless you L., speak to her soon and get it out on the table. Until she is of an age of maturity and uses her actions vrs consequences SHE is under your roof, you make the rules. Her privacy is not her own.

K. Nana of 5

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter snuck out when she was 15. I grounded her for a month, took away her phone and didn't let her go anywhere. She thought the phone was the worst punishment! She begged and begged. I didn't give in either. For a while to girls friends/boyfriend are the most important things in the world. It took away communication from them for a while.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't let her know that you know or found out.

I was a teen that used to sneak out as well.

If I was in your shoes, looking back at myself as a teen, I would recomend having a talk with her about trust, and honesty... bring up some scriptures or moral stories about honesty and trust being broken and consequences. Also explain that even when she feels the need to break your trust, God always knows where she is and what she's doing, and he is always judging her moral standards and judging the type of person she is.

After having a long talk with her, and telling her that everyone makes mistakes, and you always will forgive her and listen and be there for her when she does make mistakes... after that then I would ask her if there is anything she wants to tell you.

If she says no, ask her if there is anything she wants to confess about that night after she thought you were sleeping. Hint that you know without telling her you know. After she tells you what she did, DONT punish that won't do anything for her if she's how I was, it will make her rebel behind your back even more. At this point in her life you want to respect her decisions as a young adult, not treat her as a child.

Tell her that next time a few boys want to come over, to wake you up and let you know what's going on. If I was you, I would join in on the get together. This age group needs to be around adults who care about them and respect them as young adults. They will be less likely to rebel with responsible adult friends.

Let her know that if you ever woke up and she was missing, you would call the police and file a missing person report and have them looking for her, and that you would expect her to do the same if you were missing! Tell her she is becoming an adult now and that comes with making responsible decisions.

If you don't have a facebook, make one and add her as a top friend! Don't be her worst enemy, or she will rebel more and more.

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.