Friday, June 20, 2014

Stalking Your Teens...You Should Only Have To Do It Once (that they know about)

As the summer continues to roll on, I'm sure the fun is just starting for your teenagers.  I'm certain that I drive my own crazy with the questions I ask.  This does not bother me.  Every nutty question I ask them is, (1) for their safety, and (2) for my sanity.  It may be selfish of me to request a bit of sanity, but we have been through a lot, and after all this time together, an attempt at sanity while they are out driving cars and possibly engaging in even more risky behaviors is the least they can do for me. can you let them know that you are still in charge for just a couple of more years, until they reach that precious age of adulthood?

Let them know you mean business when you ask those questions.  Where are you going?  Who are you with?  I find the most important one is...what's the address of where you will be?  I love the text messaging capability now because there's no excuse for lack of communication.  I always have them 'text me the address' of their destination.  Now, think back...were you always where you said you'd be?  This is where parenting teens can get fun, a little scary, and creative!

Get in your car, load that address into the GPS and go!  What if they are not there?  Get creative (make sure you have gas), and think like your teen...go where you think he/she is.  Do not warn them, or text them yet...just drive around and look for their car (really, when have you had a night out and an adventure like this lately, anyway)?  When you find the car, and I hope you do, I suggest the following:

FASES (Face Saving Exit Strategies) for your teen:

1.  Park your car and stay in it.
2.  Text your teen and ask...'where are you again'...this will give them one more chance at the truth.
3.  If he/she tells you the truth.  Go home.  Adventure over.  ;)
4.  If he/she is dishonest...I recommend a gentle text that says...'I am parked outside.  You have 3 minutes to get out of that house and into my car.  I do not care what you say to your friends.  But you have 3 minutes.  Good luck'.
5.  Do not let them drive the car home from that house...leave it there for the night. Or, if you have a helper/spouse/co-parent...have them drive the other vehicle home.
6.  Always remain calm.
7.  If your children think you will check on them and follow-through...they will be where they say they are going.  You should only have to stalk them once.

I'm sure you will offer consequences for dishonesty.  If you don't this will likely repeat.  As my children got older and began to work, I started to 'fine' them.  Hitting them in the wallet seemed to work.  No one likes that.  The money went right back into feeding them anyway.  ;)

Remember Home Improvement?  Here's a cute episode about raising teens...I enjoyed re-watching it.
Keep it simple...consistent, and follow-through!  ♥D

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