How do I get Dd 11 to understand the need to keep in touch when out?

(11 Posts)
androbbob Sun 17-Nov-13 20:27:38

Dd started high school in Sept and prior to that went round to other friends houses and vice versa at weekends.

Now in high school she has some same primary school friends but also others whom we do not know. That itself is not a problem, as I would rather she broadened her netwotk.

So on to today - asked if could go to friends house and to local shops. She arranged time, we dropped her off on way out elsewhere and asked that she text us to let us know where she was, when moved from friends house to shops and so on. So we basically knew where she was at a given time. Didnt receive one text and no reply to the two I sent - one to say we were home and the other to ask where she was as was 4pm and been out since 12.30 and not heard from her. Also phoned her phone but no reply.

Eventually tracked her down through her friends mum who I knew suggesting her battery had died! Drove round local area to seek her out prior to that but no sign and starting to get dark.

Tore a strip off her in car on way home to drum home the importance of letting one of us know where she was, and not to go somewhere else than where she had planned to without letting us know. Told her she had one more chance to earn our trust and what would I have been expected to do if it had been a friend whose family we did not know, which is quite likely. She was also told she would be grounded for a week if she didnt keep in touch when next out.

She didnt really see the big issue and why we were creating such a fuss. What did I do wrong or how should I have handled it better?

Thanks if you got this far.

NCISaddict Mon 18-Nov-13 07:43:04

I think you handled it well. They are self centred at this age. I had this problem with mine at that age, they really don't think anything will ever happen to them (and it is unlikely) so don't see the need to keep in touch.
I also made up some scenarios where it would be essential for me to know where they were (things that would matter to them like the dog getting lost or being very ill) to make them see the necessity.
Otherwise I said they wouldn't be allowed to go out like that if they couldn't be trusted to follow the rules.

NCISaddict Mon 18-Nov-13 07:45:20

Also, next time, get her to repeat the rules to you before she goes so there is no confusion as to what you expect. Be prepared for a lot of eye rolling and how you are the most cruel and unreasonable parents ever. grin

androbbob Tue 19-Nov-13 22:42:36

Oh I am definitely the worst parent in the world in her eyes! However three other girls werent allowed out that day due to other family things!

AndiPandi Tue 19-Nov-13 22:52:29

I'm having same problems with Dd, just starting to spread her wings. I make her check her phone is charged and on yet when I try to phone her she never answers it!!! I too have told her that if she can't keep I touch to let me know where she is or answer her phone if I ring her then she won't be allowed out on her own. Full stop. The thought of not knowing where she is or how to find her terrifies me. I'm not apologising for being over-protective, I know I have to let her grow up but I also need to try and keep her safe. I've also told her I'll always try to find. Compromise with her so that she can do whatever it is she wants to do, but in a way I feel is safe so long as she is always honest with me. So far it's working, I think.... She hated me briefly too after my last rant but came round quickly and 'says' she understands and has promised to keep her phone in her pocket so she can hear it / feel it vibrate.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 19-Nov-13 23:00:09

Not very long ago there were no such things as mobile phones and kids were just told to be home at a certain time for tea. If they missed it, they missed it.

JustAnotherFucker Tue 19-Nov-13 23:07:07

There were also public phones available all over the place middle. I'm nearly 40 and never left home without 10p in my pocket at that age!

OP, just keep turning up where you think she will be if you cannot contact her. I guarantee that before long the option to stay in text/phone contact as required will be her preferred option wink

ineedanexcuse Tue 19-Nov-13 23:07:42

If threats and promises dont work you could try this method;
I wanted Dd to keep in touch for the same reasons as you.Just to build up expectations of contact wherever she is. No dice. She 'forgot' and her 'battery went dead' - all of a sudden of course. I tried the shouting and reasoning method but she would text a couple of times but then revert.

So I set about a campaign of good things she missed. Every time she didnt get back in touch(and I was fairly certain she was mooching with her mates) I went to ...the cinema,shopping centre and bought her sister a new top,large store and bought her brother a game, to friends where we had a lovely visit, to grandparents where visiting children get extra pocket money etc etc.

Funnily enough she started replying to me when I sent texts wondering where she was. grin

Not cured but definitely better .

AnythingNotEverything Tue 19-Nov-13 23:22:18

DS used to do this until I reminded him who paid his phone top ups and that I wouldn't bother if he wasn't going to use his phone. Worked a treat here.

androbbob Wed 20-Nov-13 21:35:51

Its very hard to let go - they are still young but think they are untouchable. I do worry she will only learn by something bad happening to her or one of her friends, but that is not good. I think she just 'forgets' the rules when she leaves the house. Glad to hear I am not alone though!

next challenge is her friends birthday sleepover and a trip to town (20 mins train journey away to a large town but she kind of knows her way around).

DS will be a breeze after this - he will be found on a football pitch.

BackforGood Sat 23-Nov-13 17:54:55

I think it's OTT expecting them to check in all the time. She was only out 3 and a half hours, in daylight, and with her friends for goodness sake! and you knew her plans. Give her some trust.

Yes, I have a dd in Yr7
I actually have 2 older ones who manage to survive without me having a tracker device on them too.

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