A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Hypothetical teen parenting question

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AylaM:
I was watching a show earlier and in the show a teenager daughter leaves without permission and the dad is continuously telling her she can't go as she storms out the door.  It was one a question of "what would I do if my (non-existant) kid did that?".  I've thought of it before because my sister once tried to pull a similar stunt.  But I didn't have a good answer. 

So the short version of the question is:  once you teen decides they aren't going to listen and they leave anyways, what do you do? This exists in the case where you know the kid isn't trying to run away, but is just going somewhere without permission. 

I tried use Google first, but all my results were about kids wanting to move out or running away (permanently).  So I decided to ask here.

The longer version is:

So at about 13 or 14 my sister had wanted to spend the night over at a friends house, and was given permission so long as she cleaned her room.  The time to leave rolls around and my parents looked at her room and decided that she couldn't go because she hadn't even tried to clean her room.  She tried to get them to change their minds (and eventually cleaned her room) but was still told she could no longer go because she didn't meet her end of the bargain. So she grabbed her stuff, screamed that she was going anyways, and walked out the door.

She waited on the corner of the street for my parents to pick her up and take her over to her friend's house.  They did not and she came home (and dad was watching her from the front porch the whole time).  Now her friend didn't really live close enough to walk to easily, but it was within the realm of possibility if she really wanted to go.  Luckily in this instance she was just hoping to get her way and she folded when our parents didn't.

But what do you do if your teen just goes, without your permission?  If I recall this was her first and last act of rebellion of this nature, but I personally would not have known what to do.  She was small, so I would think if it came down to it dad could have taken her home even if she did put up a fight.  But that somehow seems wrong to me.  Someone could get hurt that way and I'm not sure what laws say about physically restraining teens to bring them home.

So, what would you do if your teen just walked out without permission? 

NyaChan:
Assuming that they truly aren't going to run away, I'd let them know the consequences of leaving without permission - grounding/loss of privileges/etc.  If they were going for something like a sleepover and I was close to the family (don't like airing dirty laundry in front of strangers), I'd call the parents of the friend and inform them that my kid didn't have permission to sleepover and to please send them home.  If I can't get them back in the house without making a scene or using force, then I'd allow them to choose to leave despite the warnings and then follow through on the consequences when they returned.

But I don't have kids, so there you go :) 

cicero:
as usual - it depends.

If the teen is going to do something that *under normal circumstances they would be allowed to do* but were not allowed to do today because (they didn't complete their end of the bargain/it was raining/etc), and the teen was screaming and slamming doors - i would probably let them leave, blow off steam, and talk about it later. so in the case of your sister - since normally she would have been allowed to go to the friend, I would have let her have her little tantrum, let her go blow off steam, and then talk it out.

If the teen was going to do something that they were not allowed to do, and it was dangerous/illegal/unwise (in my opinion) - then i would do whatever it took to stop them and/or bring them home. so if my teen was sneaking out to go marry their boy friend at age 16, or going to a concert that i did't want them to be at, or going to a party where i knew parents weren't there and there was going to be under age drinking -then i would do whatever it takes to get the child in the house.

bopper:
I have a sort of funny example of this in our family....


My eldest was in high school.   They had 2 weeks off for spring break.  She wanted to study for her end of year exams.  I was wanting to do something and as we were living in Germany at the time I suggested that we drive to Austria and stay on a house on a lake for 3-4 days.  I thought that would be perfect as she could stay at the house and study without distractions and we could take little day trips.
Well she thought that was a terrible idea. I think she wanted to study (yes actually study) with her boyfriend over the break and didn't want to be stuck alone in the hotel/house.  So she packed a bag and started walking toward the bus stop.She said she would stay with her boyfriend's family, she was NOT GOING.  We chased her down and picked her up and ended up staying home for spring break.

MOM21SON:
AH, when I was about 16-17, I was not a legal adult yet.  And my father had supplied me with a brand new sports car to drive.  I am telling you, I knew it all.  Well, I was to be home by midnight, every night, weekends included.  I obeyed for awhile, then I was going to show him and my step mother who was boss.

I went off on a Friday night to my cousins house, she was about 10 years older, divorced and 2 kids.  I respected my dad enough to tell him where I was going ::)  At about 1 am, we saw a car pull up and it was my dad.  He never knocked or anything, he simply got in my car and drove away!  My step mother pulled out right behind him!

I was stuck for about 4 days, cousin didn't even have a car!  My best friend was not allowed to drive to cousins city, which was about 30 minutes away. 

I can't even remember how I finally got home. But I do remember that the car was GONE!  Sold, never to return. 

And I lost my job for not coming to work.

About a year later when I turned 18 and graduated he bought me a real junker. 

Yeah, I showed him how grown I was!

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