A mom writes in asking for advice about how best to discipline/punish her teenage daughters. This mom says that the day finally came, and her two teenagers, aged 13 and 15, snuck out of the house at night. Though this mom is understanding — she remembers her own teenage misdeeds and mistakes — she does want to lay down some productive discipline to help teach her daughters about consequences. So what’s a fair punishment for teens who snuck out of the house?
A member of the community asks:
“What is a good punishment for teens who snuck out?”
“So, the day has come… we just found out our two teens (13/15) snuck out last night to my stepson’s girlfriend’s house. I told my daughter (13) that we know, and I didn’t want to have a knee jerk reaction, but that there would be consequences… I just didn’t know what yet.
I remember being a teen too, and I made my fair share of mistakes… but I need this to be a learning experience that she will remember. Not only that… but she is my mini-me… my little BFF… I’ve never really had to punish her before, so I’m at a loss for what kind of punishment there should be. There will, for sure, be some chores today. Am I thinking no friends over/her going anywhere for the rest of the month of September? Idk… help a mom out.”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Doesn’t Know How to Punish Her Teenage Daughters for Sneaking Out
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Regardless of the punishment you decide, I would also talk about how if something happened you would have no idea where you kid was. Explaining the dangers that come with it is what stopped me from sneaking out instead of getting grounded.”
“Just remember… the harder you are the sneakier they get! I had a heart to heart… I let her know about the bad in this world and if I don’t know where she is… I don’t know where to start looking for her. She’s pretty forward with me now… I mean I’m sure she lies about things, but she tells me a lot also.”
“Ok hear me out… I know a lot of people are talking about punishment. But when I dealt with this, I said it hurt my feelings that they had to be sneaky and to just ask. And then the next time they asked, I drove them there and gave them an hour or 2 and came back and got them. They never snuck out again and just asked.”
“Have her do a research project! Maybe something on teen disappearances, abductions? Have her write a full-on report as if her teacher gave it to her. Tell her it needs to be four to six pages. Such a topic may make her realize how dangerous her actions could have been. Also, great for her writing skills.”
“Ask them to choose their punishment… they are harder on themselves than we could be!”
“She shouldn’t be going out anyway; we’re in the midst of a pandemic. I’d be expecting a well-written essay on kidnapping and trafficking victims. On child loss PTSD. On how communicative relationships are healthier than noncommunicative relationships. Like 3 separate essays. Sources cited. Handwritten. With drafts.”
“I think you should just talk to them and tell them your worries about them sneaking out and next time just tell me and would pick you up whatever the time. If you punish them, they will rebel and do it again. When my mum punished me, I would just keep doing it and wouldn’t come home because I felt like she would be angry at me and wouldn’t want to come home. Once my mum said ‘just tell me and I will pick you up’ I felt safer to come home.”
“Be a parent and not their friend. Your job is to teach them, not coddle them. Find out why they snuck out? Is it cause they wanted to hang out more? When I snuck out, I wasn’t even allowed to stay home by myself. I had to go everywhere with my dad and if I couldn’t go, he brought me to a relative’s house. Plus no electronics. I only did it once and I had to earn back my trust.”
Well, as a mum of a 28 yo, a 19 yo, and a 13 yo, I found that the most effective way of dealing with it is to be sure they are aware not only of your disappointment but also your worries. I sat down my son (my eldest child) once and told him every thought that went through my head when he was late or went out without telling me where. I tried punishment. It didn’t work. He just got sneakier. It’s not healthy.”
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