How Do I Stop My Daughter from Sneaking Out?


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Being the parent of a teen can be challenging at times. Teens like to test boundaries and rebel a little. Sometimes that rebellion can include sneaking out of the house. This has some parents asking, how do I stop my daughter from sneaking out?

Here’s what I’ve done with one of my teenage daughters:

To stop your daughter from sneaking out, start by calmly talking to her about why she is sneaking out. Also, let her know the dangers of sneaking out. As a last resort, place alarms on all exterior doors to alert you anytime they are opened once the alarm is set.

While it can be normal for kids to sneak out of the house, it can be really dangerous. 

I know. My second daughter was sexually assaulted in 2020 after an episode of sneaking out. As a Dad, there’s nothing scarier than that. And, of course, some predators wouldn’t just stop at sexual assault. So in many ways, she got lucky.

So here, we’ll look at why kids sneak out, but we’ll also look realistically at the dangers. And lastly, we’ll look at both verbal and technical ways to prevent it and curb this behavior.

Just keep reading!

Think your daughter’s sneaking out is a sign of a bigger problem?

While sneaking out has been a rite of passage for teens for decades, sometimes it’s something more and they may need professional help to work through this challenging time.

Luckily the folks over at TeenCounseling work with thousands of kids just like yours and mine.

Get matched with licensed therapists who specialize in working with teens. Let them know of the issues and signs you’re seeing. Once you approve, you connect them with your child for online therapy they can access right on a smartphone or computer.

And, of course, they’ll let you know if they sense anything serious.

CLICK HERE to check out TeenCounseling and see if it might be worth considering for your family’s peace of mind!

Is it normal for kids to sneak out of the house?

Rebelling and sneaking out of the house is a normal part of growing up. However, the world is a more dangerous place than it was for previous generations, and smartphones and social media have made sneaking out less innocent than they used to be.

Sneaking out at night almost seems to be a right of passage as a teen. 

Just about every young adult book, movie, and TV show has characters that sneak out of the house for whatever reason. It can be anywhere from starting trouble to simply seeing if you can get away with it. 

I started doing it when I was 15.

But that was also in the late 70s and early 80s. Not that there weren’t dangers, but the world was a different place then. And not to be sexist, but some of those dangers are greater for teenage girls than it is for boys.

So just because it can be a normal part of being a teen doesn’t mean you want your kid doing it.

As the parent of a teen, it’s your job to keep your child safe. It’s your job to guide her towards making the right decision and then helping her learn from her mistakes. 

You’ve probably noticed that not only is your teen more secretive as she gets older, but she is moodier, quieter, and brooding.

School is getting more challenging, and friendships are more complicated. Some worry and anxiety are normal. If your daughter’s anxiety doesn’t seem to ease up, she may have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders should be treated by a medical professional. To read more about anxiety in teens, read this recent article. What really surprised me was how much more likely it is now for teenage girls to develop anxiety disorders than it was just a decade ago.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What to do when you catch your teenage daughter sneaking out?

When a teenage daughter is sneaking out, do not take it personally. Stay calm and focus on the behavior. Talk to her openly and honestly about why she is doing it and why it is upsetting for you. But do have consequences for any bad behavior, such as losing her phone for a week or more.

Ultimately, she may just be bored or be feeling isolated.

While you may want to yell and impose harsh punishments, that won’t solve the problem. In fact, it may push your daughter further away. It may encourage her to become sneakier and more secretive.

This kind of parenting is called authoritarian parenting.

The best parenting styles help prepare kids for the real world. They foster integrity, kindness, and honor. Authoritarian parenting does none of those things.

To read more about the detrimental effects of authoritarian parenting, check out this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Instead, get to the root of the problem by having a serious conversation with your daughter. Sneaking out can be incredibly dangerous.

If she’s seeking more freedom, find ways to help her get it in a way that isn’t so dangerous.

If she wants to see a boy, find out who the boy is and why she feels like she needs to sneak out to see him. Get to the root of the problem and try to solve it together.

Why does my daughter keep lying to me?

Kids lie for all kinds of reasons. From anxiety to ADHD, even lack of confidence can lead to lying. They may also be afraid of their parents or consequences. But the more open and honest the parent is with the child, the more likely the child will be that way in return.

Kids with ADHD will often lie due to impulsivity. They simply speak before they think. Then, when they’ve realized that they may have lied, they feel like they can’t backtrack to get out of it.

Sometimes kids can really believe they have done something and tell what may sound like a lie. But really, they just forgot.

For example, if your daughter says she did her homework but forgot she had extra work to do, it can sound like she lied, even though she really just forgot. 

Sometimes, kids with anxiety or depression will try to minimize their issues to take the focus off of themselves. They don’t want people worrying about them.

Talk to your daughter about her lying and try to get to the root of it.

By being rational and focusing on the issue itself, you’re engaging in a parenting style known as authoritative parenting.

Authoritative parenting encourages self-will and guides children to learn from their decisions. This is unlike authoritarian parenting, which is a “my way or the highway” type of parenting.

To read more about the different types of parenting styles, check out this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

By learning about our parenting styles, we can learn where we are and what areas we may want to grow in.

What are the dangers teenage girls face by sneaking out?

Teenage girls who sneak out risk sexual assault or being pressured to use drugs or alcohol. 1 in 9 girls experience sexual assault and 82% of all victims under 18 are girls.

(source)

But first and foremost, if you don’t know where your kid is, you won’t know that they need your help when they’re in trouble. 

Whether you have a son or a daughter, it’s important to know where they are and who they are hanging out with. If your daughter sneaks out at night, not only do you not know where she is, but you don’t know who she’s with, either. 

It may be innocent and she’s just testing boundaries. Or she could be involved with more serious activities. 

The bottom line, though, is that if she needs you, and can’t for whatever reason, reach out to you, you won’t know until morning when you find her empty bed. 

In terms of drinking, drugs, and physical or sexual abuse, sneaking out is often an element. If your daughter is involved with any of these things, you may not know for hours. 

Those hours could mean the difference between life and death. 

What is the best self-installed alarm system on Amazon?

The Ring Alarm system is the best and easiest way to install a full-fledged alarm system without hiring a professional. And the paid monitoring is optional and the system functions quite well without it.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

An easy, inexpensive way to prevent sneaking out is to install an alarm system. If nothing else, it’ll wake you up when your daughter attempts to leave. 

The Ring Alarm System includes a base station, keypad, four contact sensors, a motion detector, and a range extender.

The small kit is good for smaller spaces, like apartments or condos. The medium kit is great for 1-2 bedroom homes and will cover about 1,000 to 2,000 square feet.

If that isn’t enough, the system offers additional components to fit your needs. Or you can simply purchase the 14-piece kit, which is suitable for 2-4 bedroom houses. 

It offers optional 24/7 professional monitoring, emergency police, fire, and medical response. But you don’t have to pay for that, and you can do a lot just with the system by itself.

You can get mobile notifications too, so if your daughter sneaks out when you’re not home, you’ll know.

The best part is that anyone can install and set up the alarm system. 

All you have to do is plug in the base station, connect to wi-fi, and place the sensors where you think they need to be placed.

Alexa users can use their voices to arm and disarm the system. You can even use Alexa to request emergency responders.

The system has all sorts of modern upgrades. You can get indoor cameras and video doorbells, all at a fraction of the cost of commercially installed alarm systems.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about how to stop your daughter from sneaking out?

Kids sneak out for all sorts of reasons. Typically it involves testing boundaries and trying to get some sort of independence.

But it can definitely be more sinister than that.

It’s important to put a stop to it as soon as possible. Start by finding out why your daughter is sneaking out and work together to find a solution to end it.

Think your daughter’s sneaking out is a sign of a bigger problem?

While sneaking out has been a rite of passage for teens for decades, sometimes it’s something more and they may need professional help to work through this challenging time.

Luckily the folks over at TeenCounseling work with thousands of kids just like yours and mine.

Get matched with licensed therapists who specialize in working with teens. Let them know of the issues and signs you’re seeing. Once you approve, you connect them with your child for online therapy they can access right on a smartphone or computer.

And, of course, they’ll let you know if they sense anything serious.

CLICK HERE to check out TeenCounseling and see if it might be worth considering for your family’s peace of mind!

 


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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