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How to Keep Kids From Sneaking Out

By Jaimie Zinski ; Updated June 13, 2017

There are many reasons why a child might attempt to sneak out of the house. Among them are a secret rendezvous with a crush and the ultimate act of rebellion. Aside from breaking the rules and your trust, sneaking out at night is potentially dangerous. If you’re worried your child is planning a midnight run to be with friends, don’t wait to catch her in the act. Instead, be proactive by explaining the potential consequences.

Discuss with your child the potential consequences and dangers of sneaking out. Sit down with your child and explain that sneaking out at night is dangerous and could result in a potential injury. Warn him that sneaking out will result in being grounded or the loss of privileges, such use of a cell phone, television or video game system. Arrest for violating a locality's curfew for minors is another possible consequence.

Watch for signs that your child might consider sneaking out. For example, is your daughter placing her backpack next to the front door or her bedroom window? Is she constantly asking you when you’re going to bed or does she seem anxious to go to bed? Consider such behavior signals that you should remain vigilant or check on her after bedtime.

Install a small bell on your child’s door. When you hear it ring, take action immediately. Inexpensive motion sensing alarms are available at home improvement or hardware stores. The alarm will sound when the window or door to which it is attached is opened.

Prune overhanging branches near your child’s window or eliminate the climbing arbor from your home. Look for other potential ways your child can gain access to the ground from his bedroom. Place ladders in a locked storage shed to prevent your child from using them to climb from his window.

Install an alarm system in your home. Many systems come equipped with separate alarms for each door and window inside the home. Provide everyone in the family a unique alarm code. Many security companies offer a service that alerts parents with a text message or phone call if a child uses her alarm code at night,. Less expensive system also are available. Set the alarm to trigger if any doors or windows are opened after a certain time at night.

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