Coming home late!

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:31 pm

Hi, anyone can tell me how to talk to my 15 yr old DD on coming home late at night. she used to go out at 1pm on a Saturday and return home after 10pm. She said that she hang out with her church friends doing home work or sometimes eating late dinner with them. Hence could not catch an early bus back. Being a mom I am afraid of the lonely road back home as our house is a distance away from the bus stop.
Not sure also why she need to spend such a long hours too.
Have discuss with her to come back bf 10pm but this is not working.
Any advice from parents?
Thanks

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby Chenonceau » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:45 pm

As early as 10 years, I would cut out newspaper articles of rape and molest... and let her read. We also talked about how to preserve personal safety... stay in bright places, stay in places that are open. She confided in her father that she felt vulnerable walking down the HDB staircase in the morning because I insisted that unless she was accompanied, she had to take the stairs which is open air on one side.

I had to explain to BOTH father and daughter that where SHE feels exposed, so too would any perpetrator, and therefore she would be MUCH safer than inside the lift. I would also insist on fetching her home if school ended late. We also took some family outings to beer parlours and pubs when she was 14. We walked her around discos etc... and so that prevented any unhealthy curiosity about such places. Been there... done that. It's no big deal. We also took the opportunity to describe the kind of things that CAN happen in such places. When I was 20, I saw a guy slip something into my Coke. I shared with her what potentially could have happened.

I had many many close calls myself and so I just talked to her about them. One fellow lay in wait for me at the lift lobby TWICE. The first time, my hubby came in at the last minute, and the guy got off on a lower floor. I thought it was odd that when I looked down from our floor when we got out of the lift, the guy was quickly walking away from our block. The second time, I saw the same fellow, I waited for 3 friends to join me before getting into the lift. When he saw the 3 people coming behind, he left the lift lobby. Another time, I saw a fellow downstairs looking oddly at me. I took the lift up and raced to my door and the same fellow came up the stairs panting and stood outside my door staring at me as I was locking my gate.

One of my subordinates was raped at 10.

These incidents are real and close. I just shared them with her and my paranoia must have communicated itself to her because she is now 18, and she does not stay out late unless she has to, and if she does, she will arrange for me to drive her home OR, her boyfriend will deliver her straight home... walk along any dark places etc...

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:38 pm

Thanks all, its quite difficult to be parents now a day...agree?
Sometimes a discussion or small talk with her can be consider a nag to her.
It is not so on the Church friends, have seen them before when they come to my house. They are quite nice kids. Yes I do agree with Insider on pointer no 5 on trusting.
Can you let me know how to gain this "trust" and go about doing it? Thanks!

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:41 pm

Like the story about your son sneaking in another of his friend late at night.. luckily it is not your maid sneaking another "maid" inside your house...haha.

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:52 pm

My DD did quite good for all her subjects"A"s except for the languages which is bit shaky. You are quite right that it may be a bit late to build trust but I believe it may just take a bit of time to do so.
The only time I get to talk to them is during our dinner time.
How about you? May I ask how you actually spend time with them?

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby Chenonceau » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:46 am

This issue of building trust doesn't seem to have a clear short term solution, and if solutions must emanate from trust then we're back at Square 1. Also, I'm not sure it is entirely accurate to characterize the problem as a lack of trust. If you've been a responsible parent thus far, your child will trust you to some extent. Even abusive parents enjoy their teens' trust to some extent... allowing these bad parents to get away with much.

As for you trusting her, the issue seems somewhat irrelevant to the problem you have. Trusting her and her friends won't prevent an attack by someone neither of you know.

At a child's adolescence, more than one parent, questions herself. Have I done a good job with my child? Could I have done anything differently? Did I spend enough time? It's easy decide, just because bystanders suggest that it might be an issue of trust -- oh... if I had spent more time... and built more trust, then she wouldn't be like that.

Maybe it'll help to know that whether there is trust or not, the same predictable thing happens to teens. You come across as a very responsible and vigilant parent who is aware of what is going on in her child's life. So maybe you don't have to be too hard on yourself.

Even upon a strong foundation of trust and love, my DD and I had difficult times during her adolescence because adolescents all go through a period of DIFFERENTIATION, where they are trying to define who they are, what they believe in and how they are different from you. This is the age when they will challenge your decisions (your thinking), and try to tell you that they believe in something else better than you. I have found that in the clumsiness of adolescence and their first starting steps at being their own person separate and apart from you, adolescents shut out parental reasoning and assert their own beliefs.

In this case, you believe it is dangerous. She believes it isn't dangerous. You, being adult, have reason to believe there is danger. She, as a teen, has not quite thought through the issue and is maintaining her beliefs simply because she is asserting her independence.

Even upon a strong foundation of trust and love, adolescence is not a moment when they WANT to spend a lot of time with you. More than once, my DD has told me that I am the woman she admires the most in the world. We are very close. Yet, my DD will choose NOT to go on holidays with us if she reckons that it is a country she is not interested in. She refuses to attend dinners and parties where she feels she will be bored. So, if you are thinking about spending more time in order to build trust (trust which you already have to some extent), you may irritate her and push her further away.

You asked a question about late nights, and I shared the content of what might persuade your DD to keep early nights, without sharing TECHNIQUE. Sexual safety was an issue I identified very early. Discussions on the topic started in our family from age 10, and threaded through the years as and when the opportunity arose. It's easier when you can do that, yes....

However, no Mommy is completely clairvoyant. When we hit adolescence, I too ran into issues that I had not foreseen. Instead of TELLING her what I thought. I ASKED her what she thought. I adapted the technique from the Coaching Skills course that I used to teach to managers. Managers too don't like to be told what to do. However if you ask the right questions, they can themselves be guided through information that'll lead them to the same conclusion as you, and they'll think they did it themselves.

Some questions you could ask (in a non-threatening and non-spiteful and very respectful way)...
- When you were walking home tonight, how many people were on the streets?
- At the part where you are walking home, where are the places an attacker might hide?
- If you were attacked, what contingency plan do you have in place?

You could give her articles and ask...
- What do you think this person have done to protect herself?
Some time back, there was an article on missing persons. A 20 year old went missing. I was having breakfast with my DD that day and I threw the article over to her, and she browsed it. Then I asked, "Do you think it can happen to you?" and she said "No... because I do this... this... this...but Mom, this is a good reminder."

Since friends are important to her, you could involve her friends (especially the boys)...
- What do the boys in your group think is a good way to prevent attacks as you're coming home?

When you ask these questions, you get the teen to think through the situation in more detail. The questions focus the mind. It could well be that as she explores and answers the questions, YOU would feel comfortable enough with the strategies she and her friends will have concocted to keep her safe and you MIGHT allow her to come home at midnight instead. Depending on where you live, there could still be a lot of activity along the way home at 10pm. Singaporeans do stay out late. At the end of her think through, she will know exactly why she has taken a certain position on sexual safety... and she won't be merely disagreeing because she has the primeval need to differentiate herself.

The way I see it, you have a problem of sexual safety that seems urgent to fix. And I'm not sure it is wise to get side-tracked into an issue of trust... building it... not having it... etc... I'm not saying that trust is not important but well... you do have another immediate problem.

One must be patient with coaching. It won't all happen in one discussion.

I am so sorry... I took the initiative to refocus the topic back onto your problem because I am quite paranoid about sexual safety, and I do feel fearful for your DD if she has to run the risk of attack.
Last edited by Chenonceau on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:15 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby Chenonceau » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:13 am

Type of Questions to Ask

Not all questions are created equal, the questions you ask in coaching are of 2 types.

(1) Focus questions
(2) Conclusion questions

Focus questions are those that are designed to focus attention on facts and detail. For example, if I want my son to look at the tennis ball as it flies across the net, I don't shout "Look at the tennis ball". I ask "How far in cm above the net was the tennis ball flying?" To answer my question, my son would have to look at the tennis ball.

If you want your DD to pay attention to the dark surroundings on the way home, ask her to look out for, and tell you where a perpetrator MIGHT hide. To answer your question, she will need to pay attention to some relevant facts and details.

As you ask question after question, then the body of facts and details build up, and it is a matter of time where she might change her mind (or you might change yours).

Concluding questions are easy. They sometimes need no asking. But a concluding question looks something like "What do you think is the best way forward?" "How shall we take it from here?" "What can Mommy do to keep you safe?" "What will you be doing to keep yourself safe so that Mommy doesn't worry for you?"

I have used these questions on my Mothers-in-Law... my Husband... and my Boss. People who don't think they should listen to you because they're supposed to be smarter and wiser. Just like our teens. :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

All the best to you Susu! You're a great Mommy and your DD is a lucky gal.

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for sharing.
Have learnt a quote today. Thought that I should share this quote.
"Your children will not ACT the same way you ACTED; you and they belong to DIFFERENT TIMES."

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby jtoh » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your tips and suggestions, Chenonceau and Insider. :)

I personally think 10pm is rather late for a teenaged girl to be out on a regular basis. If it's the occasional class party I don't mind. But for those late nights out, I want to pick her up from wherever she is, and not let her come home by herself.

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Re: Coming home late!

Postby susu2626 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:25 pm

Chenonceau wrote:Type of Questions to Ask

Not all questions are created equal, the questions you ask in coaching are of 2 types.

(1) Focus questions
(2) Conclusion questions

Focus questions are those that are designed to focus attention on facts and detail. For example, if I want my son to look at the tennis ball as it flies across the net, I don't shout "Look at the tennis ball". I ask "How far in cm above the net was the tennis ball flying?" To answer my question, my son would have to look at the tennis ball.

If you want your DD to pay attention to the dark surroundings on the way home, ask her to look out for, and tell you where a perpetrator MIGHT hide. To answer your question, she will need to pay attention to some relevant facts and details.

As you ask question after question, then the body of facts and details build up, and it is a matter of time where she might change her mind (or you might change yours).

Concluding questions are easy. They sometimes need no asking. But a concluding question looks something like "What do you think is the best way forward?" "How shall we take it from here?" "What can Mommy do to keep you safe?" "What will you be doing to keep yourself safe so that Mommy doesn't worry for you?"

I have used these questions on my Mothers-in-Law... my Husband... and my Boss. People who don't think they should listen to you because they're supposed to be smarter and wiser. Just like our teens. :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

All the best to you Susu! You're a great Mommy and your DD is a lucky gal.


thanks Chenonceau for the write up. Appreciate your thought, i strongly believe that is a real concern for us as a parents.
I am writing down your advice as I read thro' your list of questions that I should pose to her. It is a good idea to have her think thro' the danger and how well prepare is she if that danger is on her. There is no mummy to protect you!
Thumb Up! You too are a great Mommy and a lovely one too.

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