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How To Be Sure Your Teen Isn’t Sneaking Out at Night


Mother trying to talked with teenager rolling her eyes
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Quick Links: Quiz: Are You Giving Your Teen Too Much Freedom?

Teens take risks and while we want to encourage independence, sneaking out at night to hang out with friends or dates isn’t what parents see as being independent. But, this is really one of those actions that some teens do because they feel you are being too strict. Of course we know that keeping teens home and safe at night is the only choice allowable, sometimes a curfew is even the law.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: n/a

Here's How:

  1. Talk to your teen about staying in at night, even if you don’t think he/she will sneak out. Cover your basis and be sure that your teen knows how you feel about him /her leaving the house at night without your permission. Don’t leave out what the curfew laws are in your area.

  2. Set consequences for sneaking out after everyone has gone to bed. A few nights at home without contact with friends(no computer or cell phone) has worked for me.

  3. Follow through with the consequences if you catch your teen sneaking out. It’s just like pitching a baseball, its all in the follow-through.

  4. If you feel that your teen is sneaking out but you are having a hard time catching him/her in the act, set your alarm and check on him/her at 1 or 2 am. You can put a piece of tape across the door jam and if it is ripped in the morning you will know. Or get an alarm system set up and do not give your teen the code.

  5. If you should catch your teen in the act of sneaking out or sneaking back in, allow him/her to go back to bed and handle it in the morning. The last thing you want to do is freak out and have to fall back and regroup.


  1. If you feel you are unable to stop your teen from sneaking out and he/she might be getting into trouble with the law, enlist the help of the police. While we do not want to get our teens into trouble with the law, if he/she gets caught doing something illegal, you will be held responsible for your minor.

  2. Always check on your teen’s plans if he/she wants to spend the night at a friend’s house. Talk to the other parents and be sure that your teen will be there.

  3. Does your teen have a set curfew?

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  4. Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens

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