10-18-2020 12:59 AM
10-19-2020 11:41 AM
Hi @Jessr21 ,
Welcome to ReachOut Parents !
That sounds like such a frustrating situation - I'm the parent myself to a slightly younger child, and I would have been so upset and frustrated (and probably a bit angry to be honest!) if my child had gone out when they were grounded and then weren't answering my calls! The teenage years are definitely an age when a lot of young people will be testing boundaries and making impulsive decisions without necessarily considering long term consequences - the areas of our brain that control impulse control and planning don't finish developing until we're 25.
You mention that his behaviour seems to have changed in the last few weeks, do you know if there's anything that is happening at school or with his friends that may be affecting him at all? A first step might be to pick a time when you're both calm, and try having a chat with him - both to see what's happening for him, and let him know how it makes you feel when he breaks boundaries like this (especially when it's something that could mean you don't know if he's safe, like not picking up his phone when he's out). In terms of consequences- do you think he'd be open to helping you come up with appropriate consequences? Having some buy in to the process might make him more likely to follow the house rules- it also may be helpful to work out what his 'currency' is (for example, some kids may respond to losing time on the computer, losing phone access, or social media time etc). We have some good articles on setting rules and boundaries with teenagers here that you may find helpful.
Parenting a teenager can be incredibly challenging - we're an Australian service but I did come across this free advice/ support line for parents in the UK here. Sometimes it can really help to talk things through with someone who's removed from the situation and brainstorm some strategies that might help.