My Daughter Is Sneaking Out

Dear Sara,

Our fourteen-year-old daughter sneaked out Saturday night to go to a party at her friend’s house. She had asked us if she could go and told me that she couldn’t attend because we found out that her friend’s older brother was giving the party and the crowd would be kids who were seventeen and eighteen. She waited until we went to bed and had someone pick her up at the end of our block I just happened to get up and looked in her room to find that she was gone. She is grounded for now but we wonder if we were being too strict by not letting her go to the party.


Dear Chris,

Your rules are for your daughter’s safety and she has to accept the fact that she can’t defy them and do as she pleases. Apparently her friend invited her since the party was at her house and she felt entitled. The brother might not have been aware of the invitation. At times fourteen-year-olds tend to think that they are more mature than they really are.

Are you against kids having parties or was this just because the crowd was older? If the parents were at home and there was no alcohol involved, this might have been safe enough for your daughter. Supervised parties are a way for kids to get together with their friends and become social. They need some safe ways to hang out and have fun. You did the right thing by grounding your daughter. Let her know that you care about her safety and will check on any party she is invited to.



  1. Sue Anne Weiser says:

    Agree with Sara
    1. Have a discussion with your daughter. Discuss your values, your fears, your concerns over her safety. Talk about being slipped drugs, about herd mentality. Don’t slip into poor decisions in the past or who her friends are etc. This is purely to make sure she knows where your concerns and fears are coming from. Your love for her. Then let her talk about being treated like a baby etc or too much control. Agree to work it out so she has more control.
    2. Need to write a contract with your daughter. She knows your values and what is right & wrong in your eyes. Agree if she is at a home/ place /situation where alcohol, drugs, or whatever is happening that she will call & you will come pick up her and whoever will come with her immediately, without questions and without going ballistic later. Agree on a fast signal because a situation could escalate quickly. Or a check in text every hour if you are really worried about the friends she hangs with. or her judgement.
    3. Your contract will also let her know you need to talk to the parent in charge of the gathering ahead of time. You would be surprised at the responses you will get from the parents. I will not be serving alcohol does not mean they will stop kids from bringing their own. or I won’t be home. We even had a mom allow her daughter to invite 6 friends to a major rock station beach party as a reward. I understood. That she & her husband would be taking vehicles as well as their other two children. The day of, one of the other mom asked the mom to carry her daughters asthma meds . She said oh we are dropping them off and going to (an entertainment park nearby). We pulled our daughter& so did everyone else. It was a party designed primarily for people in their 20s to 30s but with the large group and family we thought it would be okay but not for a group of middle school girls on their own. We also know of middle school age parties where beer was served. Even when in high school our daughter was invited to a birthday party, the father called and let us know he was serving beer because his son was turning18. He said don’t worry, I am confiscating keys and everyone is spending the night. Our daughter did not attend. One woman did get nasty to my daughter when she arrived after I had called. saying to her oh I have to be careful with you and then something about your mothers approval. One woman took the kids to a major amusement park and said she would be with them but developed a headache so just dropped them off without telling the parents.
    4. we also had a rule about not hanging out or dating anyone two years older. So yes she could go over to friends with older siblings but not specifically go to the movies with the older sibling . As a cheerleader she was with older girls but that was a supervised team situation.
    5. Be the one to have the parties. We had a foosball table, a bumper pool table, back in the day DDR. Pizza, cookies, fruit and punch go a long way towards making people happy.
    Good Luck and best wishes.

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