Anyone install door/window alarms to prevent sneaking out? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunatley we have found we have a very untrustworthy teen and need to install some kind of alarm to alert us in the event of dd sneaking out as her room in in the lower level of our hosue with a walk out door. I am not sure where to start looking for these or what is easy to hide. Thanks!
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#2 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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I care for special needs kids and we do have an alarm on the bedroom door they use. I only activate it at night to be sure I wake up should a kiddo get the urge for midnight exploration! I got mine at "stiks-N-stuff" for about $10.00. You can buy them and more advanced types though at any Home Depot/ Lowes type place. Very simple to install-ours just has two parts. One attatches to the edge of the door and one to the door fram with adhesive. Once stuck, very hard to remove. Ours has been in place for over two years. There is a plastic "key" which I remove to activate the alarm and replace during the day to turn off. It will emit a shrill hum when the door is opened at night. Oh and YES I definately WOULD use one to keep my teen safe should they decide to sneak out at night. So many scary things could happen. I'd hate to wake up to a phone call telling me my child had been in an accident or worse while I'd been under the impression they were sound asleep in their bed!! I would also try very hard to create a plan which allowed my teen to re-earn my trust and have the alarm eventually removed.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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Oh and YES I definately WOULD use one to keep my teen safe should they decide to sneak out at night. So many scary things could happen. I'd hate to wake up to a phone call telling me my child had been in an accident or worse while I'd been under the impression they were sound asleep in their bed!! I would also try very hard to create a plan which allowed my teen to re-earn my trust and have the alarm eventually removed.
ITA!!! I have a preteen who has shown herself occasionally trustworthy, occasionally untrustworthy. Not sure where this will take us in the next few years, so I'm listening...and feeling like the priority is on safety, and allowing/encouraging the child to grow grow GROW! Best of luck, AM!

Mama to B and O , wife to J and me to me! :
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#4 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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My sister has one for on her slider to the pool, and I almost never notice it. It looks like a little latch of some kind. But, OMG, when it goes off, it is impossible to miss, LOL!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#5 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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I would move her to another room if you can - swap someone else with her, do whatever, but do NOT let her continue to have a room with it's own entrance and exit.

My concern would be that once she'd set it off once, she'd know it was there, and figure out how to disable it.
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#6 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 08:03 PM
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It could be a safty issue and but what about getting a deadbolt and taking the key out at night? Or maybe one of those electonic security locks that has uses a code instead of or in conjuction with a key? Brinks? 14 years is way to young to be sneaking out without giving the parent a heart attack.
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#7 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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It could be a safty issue and but what about getting a deadbolt and taking the key out at night?
In case of fire, that's a really, really, really bad idea. Really, really, really bad.

I second the door alarm instead. And windows too. You might want to think about a security company if there are multiple windows involved. I'd be nervous about intruders having a teenager in the basement and the rest of us upstairs, so I'd justify it that way, with or without the sneaking out.

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#8 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Firsst, is she going out to do things that are illegal, dangerous or otherwise risky? Sometimes they just want the 'thrill' of sneaking out, kwim? Personally if my teen were sneaking out I'd also be thinking along the lines of determining if there is a need for healing my relationship with him/her. After all, both parents and teens have a stake in this situation. IME, it's the relationship that has to heal before the need to sneak out is going to go away, IF she's doing it for attention or to engage in dangerous activity. While locking her in *might* prevent the one incident that would put her at risk, her knowing you don't trust her may either make her 'give up' and go for it (if she feels she has nothing to lose) or just get even sneakier. Statistically, she's more likely to engage in risky behaviors between the time she leaves school and the time parents typically get home from work, anyway. So even if you succeed in nipping the sneaking, I can almost guarantee you she will find other times to do the stuff she wants. Again, that's IF her motivation is to go and do 'bad' stuff. Sometimes, girls just wanna have fun, kwim? And I'm not condoning sneaking, just saying there's sneaking out to meet a boy for ya yas and there's sneaking out to hang with BFF and chit chat.
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#9 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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They make a wireless system that uses a magnetic contact. One piece goes in the frame and one in the window. If you keep the receiver in your room only you will hear it go off.


You can PM me for more details, I would have to ask DH. He is an electrician.

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#10 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I think I got lost, am I at MDC?








I can't believe no one has said anything about working on whatever the issue is that is causing the sneaking out. Instead it's just jump to alarms and locks. Wow.
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#11 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much for all of your helpful thoughts. She is sneaking out getting into trouble. We have to be aware of where she is at all times for her safety, but would never consider creating a fire hazard to keep her in. Her age is what is getting us...14 is very young to be sneaking out and getting into trouble. I would not be that concerned at all if she were hanging out with a girlfriend chatting, but when it involves older guys...you get the idea. I am not even sure where to begin rebuilding a relationship with her...actually she is my step daughter. I have been there since she was 1 and we got married when she was 3. She lives with us full time since Aug. and has little to no relationship with her mom. She has burned her bridges with her too. We all feel we are at a loss in dealing with her.
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#12 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Absolutely not! Special needs kids aside, I would never use an alarm to keep my teen in.

If there is "sneaky" behavior going on I'd prefer to address that and the cause of it. I don't think alarms and locks are going to help foster a sense of trust in either direction.

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#13 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Audreysmama View Post
Thank you very much for all of your helpful thoughts. She is sneaking out getting into trouble. We have to be aware of where she is at all times for her safety, but would never consider creating a fire hazard to keep her in. Her age is what is getting us...14 is very young to be sneaking out and getting into trouble. I would not be that concerned at all if she were hanging out with a girlfriend chatting, but when it involves older guys...you get the idea. I am not even sure where to begin rebuilding a relationship with her...actually she is my step daughter. I have been there since she was 1 and we got married when she was 3. She lives with us full time since Aug. and has little to no relationship with her mom. She has burned her bridges with her too. We all feel we are at a loss in dealing with her.
Mama, it's really hard to be the step mama, you kind of inherit all the problems without really getting the inside scoop that might shed light on things, kwim? If you've already done this, disregard, but I often recommend family therapy with a certified counselor. Counseling as a modality, especially family counselling, has a much different dynamic than individual counseling. Families are systems, and it never works to try to fix only one aspect. I suspect your DSD is feeling like she has nothing to lose, after all, she may feel her birth mama pretty much abandoned her . My DS was very similar at that age, and it was due to many issues I was dealing with as well as his own. The one thing that saved us all was never ever ever giving up. I don't mean cracking down or punishing, of course, but re-establishing connection and emotional intimacy made an enormous difference. Also, ironically, giving up my own illusions of control made it much easier for him to start taking responsibility. We really cannot truly control their behavior if they are really determined, and attempting to usually makes them push all the harder for autonomy. But it was loving connection that turned things around. When they believe that they are truly cared for, they are much more likey to listen and follow your guidance. I know this can be really difficult to do. But at that age, they need to know that no matter whay they do, the people they love won't give up or give in. I LOVE the book Parent Effectiveness Training - Teens by Don Dinkmeyer, et al. It has very practical info, and does a good job o helping families determine ownership of problems. This is awesome because it gives us guidelines abut who really is responsible and where, so we are not power struggling over thing like grades, etc. IOWs it gives good pick-your-battles guidance. Hope this helps, mama!
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#14 of 22 Old 03-31-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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Counseling definately. This is a family problem and will require a family solution.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-01-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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ITA of course that the underlying issue must be addressed, but in the short term, a parent simply must keep her kid safely at home at night, no? I don't see the need to make it a big humiliating thing or a power struggle or trust issue. Find a way to be alerted quietly in your own room if the downstairs door is opened, then you wander out and calmly stop her from leaving. No?
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#16 of 22 Old 04-01-2008, 01:13 AM
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I think I got lost, am I at MDC?








I can't believe no one has said anything about working on whatever the issue is that is causing the sneaking out. Instead it's just jump to alarms and locks. Wow.
:


And I was bothered by calling the teen "untrustworthy." That becomes a vicious cycle.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#17 of 22 Old 04-01-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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ITA of course that the underlying issue must be addressed, but in the short term, a parent simply must keep her kid safely at home at night, no? I don't see the need to make it a big humiliating thing or a power struggle or trust issue. Find a way to be alerted quietly in your own room if the downstairs door is opened, then you wander out and calmly stop her from leaving. No?
I worry about this, because I think the answer to your question is "not so much, no."

The teen in question has a door in her bedroom that goes straight outside. So when the alarm goes off, she is already out the door. By the time a parent gets to the scene, she could be gone - it only takes a few seconds to, say, get into a waiting car.

This is why I think the kid has to be moved to a bedroom that does not have its own exit. I also think that family therapy wouldn't hurt - clearly there's a problem here, and it's not as simple as "untrustworthy teen".
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#18 of 22 Old 04-01-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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I was in the same situation as you with my dd. 14 years old, doing bad things, sneaking out - or more often people sneaking in. I seriously considered alarms. I decided that my effort of building trust in our relationship would be seriously damaged if I did that, and then where would we be?

How does a mother protect her children from harm if her children don't trust her? I don't think its possible.

If she wants to go hang around with older boys she will find a way, I can guarantee you that. Counseling is a good idea, but is hard - for one thing it takes some real searching to find somebody that wants to take on the 14 year old girl. Once we did we found that we clashed terribly and it took us some time to get up the courage to seek somebody new. We finally found somebody and it did help. Dd never really let her guard down and let her counselor "in" but we did find better ways of sharing and communicating.

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#19 of 22 Old 04-01-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I worry about this, because I think the answer to your question is "not so much, no."

The teen in question has a door in her bedroom that goes straight outside. So when the alarm goes off, she is already out the door. By the time a parent gets to the scene, she could be gone - it only takes a few seconds to, say, get into a waiting car.

ah, I was self-centeredly imagining my teenage sneakouts, in which we walked to where we were going, or if I got in a car, I picked it up down the street a bit. I'd be surprised if any clever teen were being picked up by someone right in front of the house they were leaving.
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#20 of 22 Old 04-04-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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I agree with moving her to another room asap and doing whatever you can to get to the bottom of the cause of the behavior. If you cannot move her and you're already working on the issue then I would go with the alarm that makes noise when the seal is broken.

What I am about to say is is by no means meant to be a scare tactic. I don't believe in living in a police state at all. However, at 14 I met a 29 year old man who managed to convince me he was fun. It stopped being fun and thrilling pretty quickly and turned into a 2.5 year "relationship" where I was raped, abused, mistreated, and made to think I deserved it. My parents had me in therapy by myself and with them. I had appts. with guidance counselors and youth pastors, etc. No one ever guessed what was happening to me. I was too afraid and I was to immature to make a good decision on how to handle it. The only reason my contact with him stopped is because I got too old for him. Those two years messed up so much for me. It has been an incredibly long road. I'm okay now but I do a lot of work with people who have suffered this kind of abuse and it seems like it is more of a rarity that people come out "okay" in the end.

I'm all for parents saying, "This is out of control. We have to curb this now before she loses her life."

Have you considered a wilderness program? There are some out there that are very well thought of. I think it would take an incredibly amount of research on your part to find one that would work for your daughter and be safe. It could be a big commitment financially too. Sometimes there is more going on than you know and sometimes it takes an intervention of sorts.

Good luck. I'll be praying for you!
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#21 of 22 Old 04-05-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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I think it can be an age and stage and I know how exhausting this can be. I have chosen to not do alarms or internet screens but be there myself and I also have a husband who I ask to help.
As pp have shared, I looked deeper. My dd , now nearly 15 is very adventuresome and active and a risk taker. I tried my best to channel her energy (and still do) in positive ways while constantly supervising , guiding, being aware,and protecting.
This is a big reason why we are moving next month to an apartment in town where it will not take so long to get to activities. This apartment has a 24 hour gym, a beautiful pool, is on a bus line. It will be 15 minutes from the high school where she will play volleyball, 15 minutes from voice, and 5 minutes from shopping and movies. It will also be close to volunteer activities with animals, her passion plus is 15 minutes from our church.We will be close to food shopping which is now 30-40 min. away one way. Currently everything is 35-55 minutes one way drive.Plus it will be a 15 min. commute for dh vs. one hour. We will still have our country place which is close to the springs.
Some things I did and she never really snuck out but was around kids that did. This has pretty much passed but it was very stressful during that time. I would set firm boundaries. I would take the phone at night and the computer. I tried to make sure that there were many fun activities. I often offered to take kids to outings and occasionally did and my dh did often.I tried to remain as positive as possible and listen and tune in to her .
Outlets for her include volleyball, voice lessons and lots of positive family time. Like right now, she is planning to go to the springs.All of this takes much parental time and sacrifice. Today, dh will help.
I think being a present positive parent with firm limits is essential. I had to remind myself my dd was 13 ,14 going on 25 plus and had to and stlil do be the positive mom guiding with limits that are for her self protection. Even though starting at 13 many thought she was in college.
She wants naturally autonomy, power, and expression, and fun. She is very high energy and the challenge is to balance that with her personality plus realastic developmental level.
To me, 13, 14 and being 18,19, 20 is a huge leap.
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#22 of 22 Old 01-27-2014, 05:12 AM
 
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Unfortunately I haveteen age son who is a ton of therapies including family therapies.... He is doing the Houdini... I know if he's out because we only have a dead bolt and he had lost is key and I never replaced it after his last hospital stay.

I'd like to be able to get a mom message alerting me to his leaving the house. Since when he does leave he is involved in illegal activities. So before he gets himself arrested I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding alarming the doors .

I'm on the verge of having an ankle bracelet put on him. For assistance through the police dept.... I've already tried everything else.
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