Help - My 15-Yr-old Son Snuck Out of the House at Midnight!

Updated on October 25, 2013
S.R. asks from Plano, TX
17 answers

My 15-yr-old 10th grade son recently snuck out of our house at midnight and rode his bike two miles to go see his 'girlfriend'. My husband got up early and he walked into the living room, our house alarm sounded, because my son had incorrectly re-set it when he husband then noticed that my son's bike was missing from the patio, he looked in my son's room & found it empty at 4am!!

My son has never done anything like this...not even close. We immediately assumed he'd gone to her house, so we took different routes and arrived at her house to find his bike there. We knocked and rang the answer. He finally answered his phone and we told him to come When we arrived home, we tried to speak to him about WHY he would do something that goes against everything he's been taught, something he knows is wrong. The most we could get from him was he wanted to see her, and he was bored, and all they did was play on the computer, watch music videos & fell asleep. He'd set his phone alarm to 4:30am to be home before we woke up. Later in the day, we spoke to the girl's Mom, who said she was proud of the way her daughter wanted to help her friend when he was depressed & possibly suicidal (!?!) but that maybe she's handled it the wrong way. I asked him if he used the word suicidal and he said he didn't think so...but that he was bored with his life & depressed. He knew it was wrong to do what he's done...but he did it anyway because he wanted to see her & he was bored. They were talking on the phone & he just decided to head to her house ... she said ok.

My son has recently dropped ADD medication...he took Concerta for about seven years and did well on it, but felt like he'd like to try to go without it over the summer...he was fine and wanted to try the school semester without it. Grades are average, behavior is a little up & down, but nothing big...appetite is better.

My question: is this somewhat normal behavior for a 15-yr-old boy with a first 'girlfriend'...could this be a possible effect of the dropping the meds? How much of this is teen drama? We have an appointment for a consultation with his Pediatrician next week.

Thanks for any advise or thoughts or input!!


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answers from San Francisco on

This is typical teenage behavior and you will be doing everyone a disservice if you try to blame it on the lack of meds. Boys have been sneaking out of their own homes and sneaking into girls' bedroom windows since the beginning of time. ADD has NOTHING to do with it.

Since he's so "bored" with his life, I would make a huge list of chores for him so he can be busy and not bored.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter did this ONCE, at 14. We came down hard on her and she never did it again.
Re the depression? He could be being dramatic or making excuses but I would take it seriously. Ask his doctor for a referral to a therapist, and if there's a question of meds he should see a psychiatrist for that, not his pediatrician.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I do have a question.

IF you really knocked and rang the doorbell then where in the heck were HER parents? Asleep? With someone knocking and ringing the bell?

What was she doing home alone with a boy in her house in the middle of the night?

I think if the girlfriend thinks he's suicidal then he may be. I'd go to a psychiatrist for his meds.

TRULY! A pediatrician is not really qualified to give mental health medications and ADD/ADHD drugs and/or antidepressants fall into the realm of a psychiatrist.

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answers from Salinas on

There a a few things that seem really off about your story. Why didn't an adult answer the door. I am picturing my own home with someone knocking at 4:30 in the morning. We'd be up in a flash, wouldn't anyone?

Secondly the way the other Mom says she was proud of her daughter. What? She had a boy in her room in the middle of the night. If my daughter was telling me about a suicidal, depressed boy she was seeing I'd be concerned about both of them. I wouldn't wait for something like this to happen before doing something.

You seem more concerned about finding out why your son would do this then figuring out how to keep him from doing it again. Do you think he's depressed? Do you think he's in danger of suicide? Seems likely the girl just told her Mom that she was "helping" him as an explanation for what they did. I wouldn't take him to a pediatrician I'd take him to a psychiatrist to see if there is any validity to the girl's claims. I'd also be sure he has condoms. Finally I would make him really, really sorry that he broke the rules and scared the heck out of his parents.

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answers from Washington DC on

S., you're getting some posts saying basically that your son is playing you by claiming to be depressed and that the "suicidal" or depressive talk is just a cover-up for normal teen hormones.

Wow. What a huge assumption for them to make.

Get him evaluated pronto (I would not wait). You have NO way to know if he is just making up the depression to get off the hook as some here indicate, or if he really is depressed. You have to assume for now that he is, and you need to get him immediate help (as well as immediate discipline that includes doing whatever you must to ensure he cannot sneak out again). If you assume as some posters here do that he's just playing you, and it turns out that he was indeed depressed or even suicidal -- could you live with that?

I would also check all your son's online activity and texts if you don't already. I would meet with the girl's mother immediately and tell her that you need to know exactly how she "knows" your son is suicidal. I agree with the person who said she could punch this mother for not calling you the instant she heard your son was supposedly suicidal. (I also wonder why she did not answer urgent knocks at the door in the night? Wouldn't anyone, wondering if it was the cops with bad news--? If she was not in the house, that's your huge red flag that this girlfriend is unsupervised and this house is not a place your son should ever be.)

Your son might need immediate therapy and a real diagnosis -- you don't say he actually has ever seen a doctor about depression (and surely the meds are a factor?). You and your husband might want to talk to someone about how to communicate with him better about his depression and about the girlfriend.

If it turns out he admits that yes, all the depression/suicide stuff is just him seeking attention from the girlfriend or from you -- then you and he still have a lot of work to do, probably with a counselor.

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answers from Albany on

One thought, please make sure he has condoms.

And knows how to use them.


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answers from Washington DC on


Welcome back - you've been gone awhile!!

I'm sorry - I have a hard time believing that a mother of a teenaged daughter would be proud of her daughter allowing a boy into her room at midnight.

1. Why didn't the mother call you and tell you that your son was there?
2. Why didn't she answer the door when you knocked and rang the door bell?

If your son is depressed - I wouldn't wait a week to talk to a doctor. I would call TODAY and tell them you need a referral to a psychologist or go back to the doctor who put him on the Conserta in the first place.

Then I would call the security company and get alarms added to the windows. Then change the code so my son can't sneak out.

If my kids did this? I would be LIVID. However, I would try and work with them to get to the root of the problem. Letting them know I'm VERY disappointed with the decision he made to sneak out, sad that he felt he couldn't talk to me and scared that he could have been seriously hurt or killed during his outing and we wouldn't have known and would have been frantic trying to find him.

Get your son the help he needs for his depression.
Keep the lines of communication open so that your son knows he can come to you.
get the alarm system fixed so he can't sneak out again.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Depressed? Yeah right. Wanting sex and to be with his girlfriend? Yep.

Teens with push over parents sneak out more than once. Teens with strong parents that use discipline don't sneak out for fear of the consequences.

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from New York on

This IS normal for his age. It's the kind of normal you want to discourage -- just the way you discourage a 2-year-old from biting other children in the sandbox -- but it's age-appropriate in a sense.

My big question for you is, did he taper off the Concerta? Under a doctor's watchful eye? Abruptly stopping any medication can be pretty dangerous. That -- and any indication that he might be suicidal -- those are the real red flags in your post. I wouldn't discount the possibility of suicidal impulses, even if he hasn't said anything of the kind to you.

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes, it's somewhat normal. As long as he doesn't make it a habit.

My oldest, a good student with almost no discipline problems, snuck out of the house one time when he was 15 and I got a call from the police at 2:00 a.m. The officer explained to me, with amusement in her voice, that he and his friends were found swinging on the swings in the park. Not doing drugs or drinking -- swinging on swings. It was a one-time event. I'm sure the officer usually found kids doing much worse things than swinging at 2:00 a.m..

So it really depends on what they do when they sneak out, and if the sneaking out is a rare occurrence. One or two times when a child is a teen is to me an "adventure," and all kids should have a couple of adventures, IMO, as long as they stay safe.

But the thing that would worry me more than his sneaking out to see his girlfriend is the depression. You need to get to the bottom of that, and be clear that he's not suicidal.

"Boredom" on the other hand, is a pretty typical teen experience.

And yes, make sure he has condoms.

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answers from Minneapolis on

In my opinion, although it's wrong and he shouldn't be doing it, it is pretty normal. I snuck out all the time when I was a teenager... At least once a week. All of my friends did too. And yes, we did it because we were bored and it was fun. I don't think that it really has anything to do with his meds. It's just normal teenage behavior.

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answers from New London on

Has your son ever done this before? Is he known to do something this often? Has he been caught drinking or anything like that? If not then to me it just seems like he wanted to try it. And that can be typical teen behavior. I got out one time just to try it. I didn't do anything illegal (besides be out past curfew) I didn't drink, didn't do drugs. I just literally went out and walked around with a friend for two hours. Then once it was out of my system I was like okay cool...don't see the fuss over sneaking out. And I was actually a good teen. I had my melt downs with hormones but wasn't into rebellion.

Now I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished or saying that "welp teens are teens just let it go" just trying to give you peace and that he most likely isn't this problem teen going down a dangerous path

EDIT** I misread the part about the depression.While that is actually pretty normal teen behavior the talk you had with the mom changes things a tad. It could have been because of medication...I would certainly follow up with that in the visit

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answers from Anchorage on

The suicidal comment would bother me. My first thought is they had sex, and they both came up with a lie that they thought would get them out of trouble once they knew they got busted. But, if that is not the case and your son truly is depressed then that can not be ignored and I think seeing his doctor and a therapist are both in order. Also, I would re-have the talk about safe sex. Just because they say they were not having sex does not mean they were not, and just because he said it was the first time he snuck out does not mean it was. I mean, are you in the habit of checking on him at 4am? It seems like a huge coincidence that you happen to catch him the one and only time he ever did it.

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answers from Dallas on

I would just like to add that sneaking out of the house is a typical teen-age thing to do, and there's a first time for everything. Now drop the hammer.

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answers from Muncie on

My two cents:

Make sure that alarm system is changed and that he does not know how to disarm it at all.

Do not forbid him from seeing this girl. However, discipline him for sneaking out. He can see her, just NOT at 4am! Not now, not ever.

Set up dates for them. Weekend dates, a movie night at your house, meals at proper sit down restaurants, home cooked dinners (make him cook it), you can even set up a family dinner where you invite her and her family over, all chaperoned of course.

Have the safe sex talk again, of course.

Under 15 I was allowed to group date, a bunch or friends doing something, then at 15 I was allowed to have home dates, then at 16 private dates.

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answers from Las Vegas on

It's all teen drama and all too normal. Not that every teen sneaks out, but to be perfectly honest, I snuck out too.

I didn't have a boyfriend. I just did it because my friend did it and I thought I could. I did it quite a few times. It wasn't allowed, but I managed to do it.

As well, many of my friends did it too.

The only thing I would worry about is getting pregnant. Even though they say they fell asleep, they may not have. I think your most positive results will be to talk calmly to him about it. Now that he has done it, he may do it again. You probably need to be sure he understands all of the reproductive systems humans have and what does and doesn't work for contraceptive.

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answers from Grand Forks on

It is pretty normal. I know I did it, and so did most of my friends. So, while it isn't something he should be allowed to do, I wouldn't worry that it is something indicative of a major problem.

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