Teenagers have been sneaking out at night probably as long as there have been teenagers. Sneaking out once or twice and never again is probably nothing to worry too much about. However, if your teenage son or daughter is sneaking out regularly, you definitely have cause for concern. Besides being a sign of a troubled teen, it’s also a safety hazard and in many places, it’s illegal for kids under 18 to be out at night.
Teenagers tend to want to do things more when they’re told they can’t. With the internet, it’s also much easier for your teenager to not only communicate with friends secretly but to find out the best ways to sneak out of the house, including with a parent’s vehicle, without being caught. We found wikis, videos, and forums, including Reddit with advice and detailed how to instructions aimed at teens on how to sneak out at night without getting caught.
So how do you catch your tech savvy teen sneaking out let alone prevent them?
- Talk to your teenager: If you’re a parent who’s caught their child sneaking out at night, you might react out of fear, worry, and anger first which will actually make things worse. Instead, try to remain calm. Frame the conversation in a way that conveys to your teen that you understand they’re almost an adult and want more freedom.
Then talk with them about how they can show you they’re ready to have more freedom. You might come up with a plan for a curfew that could be expanded as your son or daughter gets older and as they show they can be responsible and trusted with increasing amounts of freedom.
- Control the car keys: Don’t give your teenager a spare set of keys or leave car keys hanging on a hook that’s accessible to everyone in the house. You might even have to hide them rather than keeping them in a purse or a pocket. If your teenager has their own car, then you might have to have a rule where they turn in their car keys to you at night.
- Use Alarms: Consider installing alarms on your doors and windows. However, be aware that most teens probably know how to turn these off. They’re better for younger kids who wander than for your teenager. However, you can install a home alarm system and give each family member a separate code so you know who left and who entered the house by which code was entered into the system.
- Try a few apps: You might try using some of the tracking apps for parents that are installed on both your cell phone and your teenager’s. The problem with these apps though is that today’s teens know how to turn them off or simply remove them from their phones. And remember it’s a myth that law enforcement can easily find your child just from their cell phone.
- Install a GPS tracking device on their car: Actually, you might want to install tracking on all of your vehicles. Make sure the tracking device you use isn’t one that your teenager can just unplug because it’s easy to find, such as those plugged into a vehicle’s diagnostic port. And while a GPS tracking device on your child’s vehicle won’t keep them from sneaking out, you will know they did and where they went. It’s up to you what you do with that information.
Please remember that a teenager who is acting out is a troubled teen. If your teen starts behaving differently than they usually do, including sneaking out at night. It’s a sign that something is wrong. While you might not be able to completely stop them from sneaking out, you can catch them in the act, and know where their car is parked.
By talking to your teenagers and taking safety precautions, including installing GPS tracking on their car, hopefully, your teenager will be more open, sneak out less or not at all and you’ll know they’re safe. You can’t and shouldn’t monitor your teenager 24/7, but you can help them earn your trust and learn to be more responsible.
If you have any questions about teen safety or GPS tracking, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Categorised in: News
This post was written by Malcolm Rosenfeld