Better And Better

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sneaking out.

I've been dealing with kids sneaking out a lot, lately.

The simple act of sneaking out doesn't bother me very much. I did it all the time, as a teen. I never smoked dope or such, and usually wasn't very successful in amorous attempts. (Thwarted by loud dogs on one occasion, by a conscience that said she didn't seem enthusiastic and/or mature enough another.) But I probably should assume the worst, because frankly, most kids don't have even the basic impulse control that I had.

I'm finding that very young teenaged girls will go to amazing lengths to sneak out. They will meet up on cell phones. They will meet up on websites like Tagged.com (shudder). They will meet up on social networking sites like MySpace. They will bring home prepaid cell phones that their parents have no idea that they have. They will make arrangements at school, then carry them out after lights-out. They will walk. They will bicycle. They will steal the family car. The drive to expose your gametes to their opposite number is very, very strong, between the ages of 12 and 25.

I've caught teens lying on the grass behind a south-facing market, having sex without so much as a blanket or a coat, as a bitter 20 mph wind blew in a 30 degree norther. No condom, no fears, and neither could recall the others' last name.

Conversely, I've caught teens camping in tents that they erected in the back yard of their paramours for that "special" night with someone they'd just met.

I've caught teens feeling each other up on neighborhood playgrounds, in full view of the street. I've caught girls taking their date to the school dance around to a dark corner behind the school, where I found them on their knees and unzipping their dates' trousers as I rounded the corner.

I say this not out of amazement, or disgust with "how it's gotten to," but just in acknowledgement of how hard the task is, to rear kids that can make it to full adulthood without becoming parents or infected with a disease, first. The tools to meet others are very powerful, these days. Our ability to contain kids is much harder, with so many leaks in the security system.

I'm looking into the cost of wiring my house for an un-monitored alarm system, that will chime in the master bedroom whenever a window or exterior door is opened.

I'm also considering printing and framing select blown-up poster-sized photos of the most egregious examples of advanced venereal warts, and mounting them on my daughters' walls.

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19 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 2:12:00 AM, Blogger Larry said...

Mark Twain said kids should be raised in a barrel, and when they turn 18 you can decide whether to let them out or drive in the bung.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:12:00 AM, Blogger Edwin said...

Mark Twain was a wise man.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:20:00 AM, Blogger The Lily said...

What? Only two examples? I'm disappointed in you.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:57:00 AM, Blogger MadRocketScientist said...

Larry,

I thought Heinlein said that?

Matt,

I'd recommend the slide show from bootcamp of STDs. After 30 minutes, that whole room of randy, female starved boys took vows of chastity that would put a monk to shame.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:03:00 AM, Blogger kbarrett said...

Get them a World of Warcraft account, and see if they can be inveigled into playing.

Gamer geeks take forever to properly socialize ... this may be a good thing with teener girls.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Crucis said...

I've an acquaintance, mother & lawyer, who bought a cell-phone jammer for home. No calls in or out that don't go on the land line. She bought phones for the house that will light up when any phone is in use. She has two daughters and a son in those vulnerable years.

Yes, jammers are legal in some states.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veiled threats of knowing how to hide boyfriend bodies might work.

For the alarm, call brinks for a quote. They do month-to-month monitoring. Also, they have a 3-day right to cancel clause in their agreement. If the price is right, get a system put in, activate, pay the first month and wait a couple days to cancel service. You now have your own standalone system with no contract. Although, the contract will net you a bigger homeowner's discount on your insurance.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:27:00 PM, Anonymous KCSteve said...

www.x10.com - among many other things they sell wireless alarm systems.

In addition to the alarm system take an old computer and a cheap camera (X10 can be your friend here again) and set up a monitor so you can see when they figure out how to defeat the alarm system.

The X10 software is nice but I stick with good old www.supervisioncam.com


But in the end it's a parenting thing. Just like you can't child proof a gun but have to gun proof the child, you can't gaurantee your kid won't sneak out, just work to help them keep themselves safe when they do.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:40:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

When I was doing a community nursing rotation, I asked a friend from high school days, now a teacher at our alma mater, if I could speak to his health class about 'such things'. I made sure I had all the big hi-res pictures of the nasty infections, pamphlets, models, flip charts, and stuff.

He told me later that they were scared abstinent for months afterwards. On the other hand, they did talk about that class for the rest of the school year.

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:34:00 PM, Anonymous An old crabby man said...

I am a true libertarian, but its time for cell phones that allow a parent to track their children, let you listen in at any time to them without warning, and alert you when they leave a limited adult-set geographic area. We should also be able to bio-engineer some drug that causes STD like pain for adolescents that engage in sex. I had to wait until I was over 18 for sex, so I see no reason that these youngsters should have any fun at all. Humbug.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:44:00 PM, Blogger Omnibus Driver said...

When I was a young bride living on a military base and my 16-year old step daughter moved in with us, we found out that she'd been sneaking out and had been found in the barracks wearing nothing more than a tee shirt and panties.

As a step parent, I was horrified.

I wish her mother and father (my ex) had cared about that kid as I did.

It DOESN'T only happen to the worst of famlies. But it's really difficult to enforce rules when you're the only one trying to find sanity in an insane world.

I don't envy you.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:57:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Yeah, it's getting worse and worse, and when you throw in the "sexting" that is now the rage, the kids today don't have the fear of getting caught like we did, nor do they fear being grounded, as there are too many ways around it. And even with plenty of activities to keep them busy, they will still screw up and end up pregnant (as happened to one of my daughter's friends at 16). This girl was already being recruited by Division 1 schools for both volleyball and basketball, full scholarships etc... She is now 27, with three kids, no husband and no high school education...

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 7:21:00 AM, Blogger Jay G said...

To borrow a quote from "Pulp Fiction": We should have shotguns for this...

I refer the reader to my handy poster, which will be going up on the front door of the G. household when BabyGirl G reaches menarche...

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 3:29:00 PM, Anonymous KevinM said...

I heartily suggest the educational material they use for Lamaze classes.

 
At Thursday, March 12, 2009 9:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I count myself lucky to have 2 daughters (20 and 19) and one son (18) who have decided that they are worth more than a roll in the hay with a stranger. What I found effective was spending time with them actually talking. Being very frank about choices and what self worth is. I started with my daughters when they were very young. We had a standing bit we did in the car from time to time. I would say, "what will you do first, have a baby or get married" they knew that the appropriate response was "get married". Then we said " what will you do first get married or finish school?" and they knew to say "finish school". I think said over and over again from a very young age really drove it home to them that there is a proper time line for these guideposts in life.

 
At Friday, March 13, 2009 5:47:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

I've caught teens lying on the grass behind a south-facing market, having sex without so much as a blanket or a coat, as a bitter 20 mph wind blew in a 30 degree norther.

What's the problem? Don't you have a water jug and a low-light camera in the trunk?

 
At Friday, March 13, 2009 2:20:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

I don't think you have a lot to worry about there Matt. It's all in how you raise them. You sound like a good parent and your kids seem to have good guidance.

I have two daughters and while I didn't think much of some of their boyfriends, I never had to worry about them sneaking out and doing things like you describe.

I'm sure they did things I don't know about but I taught them self respect, honesty and how to protect themselves from the time they could walk and talk.

There were no surprise babies or diseases from my kids. I only got one call in the middle of the night and that was when my daughter tried alcohol and called me for a ride home rather than drive herself.

I think with a parent like you, your kids will be fine.

Joe

 
At Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:57:00 AM, Blogger Crucis said...

Of course, it always helps to be cleaning your service pistol when her first date comes to pick her up. :-)

Or...be cleaning her rifle when he shows up. Depending on the date, perhaps having her clean her rifle instead.

 
At Sunday, March 15, 2009 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous TBeck said...

Boortz has a great line about a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres...

I share your anxiety, brother. Eldest daughter just turned ten. Younger plays with a nine-going-on-sixteen-year-old who lives with older sisters.

Despite a ban on prosti-tot clothing and dolls we can't protect them from all of the age-inappropriate stuff out there. So we already had The Talk, at a level appropriate for their ages. We will continue to have The Talk over the next eight years, expanding the topics beyond the mechanics and into the emotional and societal issues that go with sexual activity.

 

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