Sneaking Ou to See Girlfriendt! Punishment

Updated on November 24, 2012
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH
20 answers

I caught my almost 14 year old son after he had snuck out last night. When 1st questioned he denied saying he just sat outside for awhile. Eventually the truth came out. He snuck out about midnight walked 45 minutes to his girlfriend's (who is older) house. Just "hung out" talking and kissing but nothing "inappropriate" (His words). Then got back home around 5AM. He has already lost his phone and we plan to go the her house this evening to make sure her parents know what is going on as well. I am at a loss here and didnt think i would have to deal with this for awhile. What would be an appropriate punishment? Unique creative and extensive ideas all welcome. I am livid!!!!!

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So What Happened?

we did speak to her parents and found out from them (she came clean after he wasnt responding to texts all day so she knew something was up) that this is the 2nd time, once earlier this week and then last night. Both claim nothing happened but the trust is broken so I dont know what to believe. The girls mother said they have always been very open with each other about sex and dating and so she doesnt believe anything has happened between them. I have had very little contact with my son because the full onslaught of emotions going through me- it is best if he stay busy and stay away right now. My husband is the calm under fire one and i am the loose my cool and blowup one. My son has lost all communication privileges and is only allowed to enjoy tv when it is family tv time (we have movie night every friday). We do not have a broken home, hubby and i are very happy together and enjoy spending time as a family, My son is very active in sports so that is not an issue here but i was considering making him quit the basketball team. This has nothing to do with what he is "missing" in his life- there is nothing he wants or needs that he does not have. We have a close knit extended family as well who are all loving and supportive of him and my girls in all they do. Everyone in our family comes to sports events, knows grades,etc. We have family dinners and movies and pizza every friday. have game nights, etc. This is not about his home life in any way. He has become a different kid since he started seeing this girl and i was unhappy with it from the start but knowing that if you forbid a relationship it makes it that much better I tried to be reasonable. let them text all they want, talk on phone during reasonable hours, go to movies supervised, haunted houses (supervised) a school dance, she hung out with us at the halloween parade and trick or treating, etc. And told him that unsupervised interaction was inapproriate (this was before all this started) even if you dont do anything you wouldnt do while supervised it just isnt right or appropriate for anyone.He is in alot of trouble for leaving the house and walking in the middle of the night (if he had been going to a friends house he would be in just as much trouble) but he is also in more trouble for the reason behind it. He spent the day doing chores that kept him busy and away from me. I am compiling a list of more that needs done (these are things that are on my extensive todo list so its not just stuff i am making him do just because) while he is on punishment. At this point I am thinking he will be lucky to be ungrounded by christmas. I plan to talk with him first about the safety hazards of his actions, then the laws against his actions, then get into the whole girlfriend and sex thing and we will see what we see. I am not going to tell him to break up with her according to what he said to my husband- he "loves" her so i dont want to make her more appealing. However I kind of hope he realizes with this punishment that she isnt worth it and that I am hoping that the no comminication other then when they see each other at school will just help it to fizzle out on its own. I doubt i will be sleeping much at night anymore- boy oh boy will i be a fun one to deal with.

Featured Answers


answers from San Antonio on

A 45 minute walk in Mansfield will get you to the other side of town. (Unless it's gotten bigger since the last time I lived up that way.)

I agree with the alarm on the door. I would also get him to start doing yard work (although this time of year, it would be shoveling snow), as well as house work. Washing dishes by hand (no dishwasher), sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, scrubbing counters and tables, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I agree with extra labor chores. If you make a child sleepy they are less likely to leave at night. O and funny thing. Put an alarm on the way he is sneaking out. Everytime he sneaks out add a chore, if he continues the bad behavior you will be one relaxed Mama and he will be pooped.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Hartford on

Nothing inappropriate, huh? Sneaking out to hang out and kiss in the middle of the night until 5 AM pretty much defines "inappropriate." If a boy would go to those lengths for "kissing" then he'll go to those lengths and more for "more than kissing."

I would be wondering how often he's done this successfully without you ever having found out. This is only the one time that you caught him.

There would be some serious consequences.

Consequences of sexual activity (and yes, even if all he'll admit to is kissing, that's sexual activity but let's not fool ourselves here) need to be full out sex education. That doesn't mean you're giving him permission to have sex. It means you're informing him of what happens when he makes certain choices, and it also means that you get to tell him which choices you prefer he makes and why. He'll be more likely to make the right choices if he's educated properly and has open communication with you.

Consequences of sneaking out of the house at 14 years old would be separate. That would be loss of anything that plugs in and is techie. That would be being grounded. Breaking house rules and doing something dangerous like that is serious on its own, let alone the reason for it... so the consequence should be serious. It needs to be a loss of privileges for a specific period of time and that he then still needs to earn back. Just like trust. He lost your trust, therefore he needs to earn it back.

His bedroom door? Take it off the hinges for a while.

No cell phone. When he gets it back, limited number of minutes, limited number of texts per month and no internet access. It's for family use and emergency use only. Put time limitations/restrictions on it too so that he can't use it past 9:00 PM. Put GPS tracking on his phone. Make it a rule that he keeps it with him and on whenever he's not home. Let him know that no matter what, and no matter sort of trouble he gets into, that you will ALWAYS come pick him up.

Limit computer use to homework-only and set up parental controls on that too. Don't let him use the computer in his room. Keep it in the family room with the screen turned toward the center of the room. Keep it password protected so that he doesn't know the password. No social sites. Nothing.

No video games. Disable internet connections on the video game consoles.

Establish curfews and times when he CAN see this girl, but in your home and supervised. Get to know her. Get to know her parents. And never, ever trust them alone. You just can't. Let them think you do, but don't.

He needs to know the boundaries. He needs to know what's acceptable and what isn't. He needs to tell you what he wants, and to hear what you want so that if you feel like compromising on something then you can. And if you CAN compromise on something that he feels strongly about but you don't, then maybe you can get him to "give" on some house rules. Keep those house rules posted, in writing, so that there aren't any loopholes. Make sure he knows that telling the truth is always better and he'll get in less trouble than if he lies.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

One part of your response would be to take him to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have them have a discussion with him about STDs and test him for AIDS. Before you freak, the point of this would be to help hit home about the potential impact of sexual behavior and if he is going to have sex he needs to be thoughtful about all of the consequences, not just the pregnancy part. Taking him to a professional takes out the "just my parents" aspect and may allow him to ask questions he would be afraid to ask you. At 14 he is young and probably full of misinformation. Sneaking out till 5 will definitely lead to sex even if it has not yet. It also pulls the thing out of the house and dark.

Going and talking to her parents is a great idea. But, be clear what you plan to tell them and what you would like them to do. Consider asking a local officer to talk to him about what could happen to a 13 year old wandering the streets at night.

These are not punishments, they are responses to his frightening behavior. It is best if it is framed that way.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My daughter pulled something like this when she was 14.
She was sleeping over at a friend's and they decided to walk to a boy's house in the middle of the night. They got caught coming back in at like 4 AM, they denied it at first, too, said they we're laying outside looking at the stars.
Yeah, right.
So ALL the parents were called to the house, and the kids were lectured (ok, yelled at) not only by their own parents, but each others' parents as well.
They were grounded for a while after that, and they never did it again.
Good luck, hopefully your son will know just how dangerous and stupid he was being and not repeat it!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

He may feel the benefits is greater then the punishment.. I would say for you to give him the worst punishment he has ever had and continue it with little things. The punishments you are giving may not be effective anymore... Or he may not care how he is being punished "Young LOVE".. ...Why are her parents letting him come over at those times of night? I would talk to her parents.. Let them know you are NOT OK with it.. Call the cops on him and send the cops over to her house I am sure that will put a stop to it... Good LUCK!!!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
.. .>>> I asked my husband what he would do... I like this question and feel it could happen to any of us.. He told me that he would lock him out of the house... "not let him back in" .. I hope you find a response that works for you..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Um, whether it's a girlfriend or not, your 13 year old snuck out of the house from midnight til 5 a.m. For HOURS you had no idea where he was. If there was a fire in the house, you'd have thought he was trapped and died. Total grounding if one of my teens (I have two) did this. Also, an alarm system that would alert us if the door was opened - at the teen's expense. He is still a young teen and this is a big deal. He's still a middle schooler! I would be looking to nip this in the bud immediately. I wouldn't make it creative, I'd make it so that he could not do this again. Wandering through the streets in the middle of the night alone? Huge danger issue.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yikes! At least you found out about it. I would consider it a good sign.
He obviously has too much time on his hands to have the energy to go out at night til 5 am. A big job or many small ones seem appropriate.

Could he come rake my leaves!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Well, an alarm system on the house can certainly alert you to when anyone is breaking in or sneaking out.
Just make sure the kids don't get the code.
Sorry but I'm not buying a 45 min walk (1 1/2 hrs both ways) just for hanging out and kissing.
My bet is he's sexually active, and like a dog - males will wander a long way to get some.
The girls parents might care - or they might not.
It's worth having a talk with them to find out which it is.

Besides the obvious dangers of YOU not knowing where he is, I know a few households where an unknown person in the house at night would cause them to be shot.
You have no idea whether the girls parents are aware of his visits (or where these kids are going and hanging out).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I found out after my daughter was an adult that she snuck out several times at night when she was around that age. She had a downstairs bedroom. I slept upstairs She did not get in trouble while she was out. She did not have sex or do drugs at that time.

She did get involved with sex and drugs when she was in high school and we lived in a very small house from which she could not sneak out. So she rebelled in other ways. Also I expected that she'd get in trouble and rode her case too hard.

What I'm suggesting is that you are over reacting to this and that the excessive punishments that you're giving him will backfire. What will work better Is for you to have a discussion with him telling him how disappointed and worried you are about this; that he's lost your trust which he must earn back by staying home. Then be more aware of where he is so that you'll know that he's at home. Perhaps take the door off his room so that you can walk by and look in.

Then I would not do any more punishments. This is the first time he's done this. If he's misbehaving in other ways then issue consequences related to those behaviors but don't tack on no TV, no phone, extra chores, etc. Give him a chance to show that he can be trusted.

By landing on him so hard you're not giving him a way to show that he can be trusted. In fact you're telling him that he's committed the worst offense and so he might as well continue with the behavior. He's been judged and found to be the worst kid. Please consider that sneaking out is not the worst thing he could do. So don't give him the worst punishments that you can give.

I strongly believe that we need to save the "big guns" for continued serious offenses and that the discipline needs to make sense to the kid. ie. the punishment fits the crime. Our goal is to teach right behavior.

He needs a consequence. He cannot go out at night for a specific period of time. At the same time he needs to have a normal life with his parents. He needs to know that he can earn back your trust. He needs to know that you accept that he's made a mistake but it's not the worst mistake he could make. He needs to be able to tell you he knows he's made a mistake and that he won't do that again. He needs encouragement to maintain that lesson. All those punishments is apt to make him angry and defensive which will result in more misbehavior.

I speak from experience as a former police officer, as a parent, and now a grandparent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I used to sneak out.
I lived in a broken home.
I did things to make myself happy.
Your son needs another passion. Can you provide one for him? Maybe a team he can be on, or a musical instruction? Something where he can have a release and feel important and fulfilled... that's what you need for him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Careful not to overreact. Don't forbid him from seeing the girl, but lay out the rules for him. If it were me I'd write up reasonable rules but leave leeway for appropriate ways to visit the girl. Let him know you appreciate him coming clean with the truth. Tell him his safety is your first concern and he must learn to follow the rules if he wants freedom. Your goal is to teach him how to behave not smash him.

I think it's a pretty good consequence going over to the girls house and sitting down with the parents but i hope you will call the parents first so that they are not blindsided. You don't know how they will react so if you go over there and there is no united parental force things could get sticky. Call and try to set something up first. I would have your son call the girl and give her the opportunity to confess to her parents and have them call you. If they don't by a certain time then call them.

As a punishment I would probably ground my son for a couple of weeks. Not from everything. Pick something reasonable like no going out of the house after 7pm for two weeks unless it is related to school.

If all else fails you might consider installing an alarm system and don't give your son the code.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Have him make a collage poster or a list of all the potential consequences of his behaviors that night, including legal ramifications, broken trust with you and her parents, and long-term consequences such as a baby to take care of (even though he said they only kissed,if he continues to have hours of time alone with his gf, more than kissing will happen soon), or an STD. Have him keep this list or collage psoted in his room where he can see it every day. Have him make another poster or list of his goals in life, even if it's only 2-3 goals, even if they are are very vague right now like "make lots of $" or "have a cool car." Have him post that up where he can see it every day. Talk about how certain behaviors get in the way of or conflict with his goals. This would just be a PART of his consequences, in addittion to grounding him/remove privelages, added structure in his day.

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answers from Tyler on

Yes, I would be livid as well. He has violated your rules and lost your trust. You owe it to the girls parents to give them the information you have, learn from their response to determine whether or not these parents will be your allies or if they don't care. So scary how many parents don't care.

Most importantly, address your son and his personal goals. I think this is easier with girls since boys tend to think purely with their lower extremities (sorry dads, this is true!) Have him write out what he wants out of life, for example..graduate high school, go to college, career goals. Even smaller, short term goals like drivers license and cars. Are you going to be willing to buy a car for someone you can't trust? Put it into those terms, maybe it'll sink in.

I've had some hard talks with my now 18 year old dgtr about teen pregnancy and stds. She has lofty goals, but teenage hormones. Sometimes,you have to redirect the brain so it can overcome the primal urges their teenage bodies are directing them to act upon. Good morals, understanding consequences and being accountable to adults who care and check up on them are all great tools that keep our teenagers from self destructing.

Keep on him, you are doing the right things!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If I were that girl's parents... I would be pissed off.. at my daughter AND YOUR SON!

And okay, ya know... I am sure they did inappropriate things.

Hope he knows about the birds and the bees.

The girl is older? How much older???
Some girls can be aggressive too.
Again, how much older???

Yes, tell the parents, WITH HIM there too, when you go to their doorstep.
He needs to take ownership, of his actions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Instant death seems good to me.

Perhaps a bit impulsive, but no more impulsive than a 14 year old sneaking out of the house and walking 45 minutes to stay out all night making out with a girl.

Here's the thing....nothing good happens after midnight. Not really. Not when you're 14 and God forbid something had happened to you without your parents even knowing you were gone.

I'd be so pissed on so many levels.
My son is 17 and luckily for him, he's never tried anything that stupid. That's the reason I can trust him. Also, luckily for him, his older sister did some pretty stupid things and he knew exactly what he was in for if HE ever tried it. He preferred making life easy on himself.

You can't forbid your son to like a girl. However, girl or no girl, he needs to realize how utterly dangerous and completely stupid what he did was. He may be starting to feel that he's "grown up", but this clearly shows that he's not.

I also think you should ask your son if, at 14, he is ready to be a father. Is he in any position to financially support a child? I have always told my son that I don't care what a girl tells him about being on birth control (and as a matter of fact not to believe her), I don't care how many condoms he has. There is only one form of birth control that is 100% effective.

Sex = babies.
If you aren't prepared to parent a child in all aspects, ESPECIALLY as a teenager still in school with no job, you aren't prepared to vodey-oh-doh.
It's that simple.

They weren't really doing anything inappropriate? I would say BULLCRAP!
The whole damn thing was inappropriate, and if they weren't doing anything, then why were they sneaking around in the middle of the night to do it?

This mistake doesn't have to be the end of his life, but he does need to know how serious it is so that he doesn't attempt it again. Not for any girl, not for any reason. Period. I don't think I would take him off the basketball team unless it's impossible for you or other family members to be there to make sure that's really where he's at and can't sneak off. That is where he's going to have to rebuild your trust....actually being where he says he's going to be, including his OWN BED in the middle of the night.

Your son is obviously too immature to think beforehand about the possible consequences for his actions so as his parents, you and dad have to keep a tight reign on him for a while. He may not like it, he may not think it's fair, but he's 14 ffs. Aside from school and basketball, it's not like he will die without a "social" life for a while.

This is all just my opinion, of course, but I really can't blame you for being so upset.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I like the idea of giving him something in life to do: sports, gymnastics, chess team. Idle mind, devil's workshop....

Sounds like the girl's parents see nothing wrong. Why didn't they come to YOU! Sexist, but I admit to that.



answers from San Diego on

Is this the first time that he has done this? Your post doesn't say. Good thing that he was able to come clean with you and that is to be commended. Yes you should give him some consequences but don't be too severe you want to keep channels of communication open with him going forward. It sounds like this is his first girlfriend. Poor kid at 14 he probably doesn't know what to do with himself or his feelings... sure he'll walk to the ends of the earth and even walk 45 minutes to see her. Well as other mothers have said, setting the rules of dating/appropriateness needs to be reviewed with him and he needs to buy into them as well. Also it should be discussed with the girl's parents. I would let him date but within certain parameters you won't win against biology and it seems to have hit your son earlier than most. Good luck.



answers from Seattle on

Well there is punishment for sneaking out. In our house this would be pretty severe and independent of why he sneaked out and where he went: grounded for a considerable amount of time, two weeks or even more is probably appropriate (come home straight from school, spend the day at home or with family every day, suspend any afternoon activities, even those you paid for), no phone, no electronics, no computer (other than supervised for homework) and no TV.
Privileges can be earned back with additional chores.

As for the girlfriend, accept that you will NOT be able to supervise your son every minute of every day. If he is sneaking out at midnight to see a girl he is either already having sex or will have sex very soon. You can express your disapproval, maybe you can drag it out for a few weeks or months, but eventually he will have sex, without your approval and despite all of your efforts to prevent it. This is a battle that you cannot and will not win, all you can do is to teach him to be safe!
Forbidding him to see the girl will just make her so much more attractive. I agree with taking him to planned parenthood, have a health educator talk to him about EVERYTHING sex, including STD's , abortion and how to use condoms. Buy him a BIG box of condoms and tell him to practice putting them on. Make sure you keep him stocked (put a new box in his room every few weeks) and most of all, as much as you disapprove, make sure that he KNOWS that he can either come to you or go to a health care provider if he EVER has any issues related to sexual activity - no questions asked, no discipline given. You don't want him to contract an STD and go untreated because he is scared to bring it up or that he may be punished.
Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Well in my opinion, 14 is way to young.

Phone taken away
Needs to be at your beck and call every day for the next month---get you water, make dinner, do dishes, clean up etc.

Good luck!

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