Kids know when something feels bad. And, sometimes it’s easier to say their parent “won’t let” them than it is to admit to their peers that they don’t feel comfortable in a situation. When peer pressure reaches that point where the group rule is the bottom line, kids need an out.
If your child is too old for the whole “I’m not allowed” scenario– Let’s face it peers will be scathing when they perceive that adults are in control of what otherwise would be a peer-driven situation — then you can set up a texting code. (You might this this is goofy, but if you recall peer pressure can feel awfully threating.)
Jenna texts you and says:
Jenna: Hey Mom, I’m out with the gang. be home by 11″ (which is within curfew.)
The code word is “gang.” This prompts mom to text back that Jenna must come home immediately.
Mom: Sorry Jen, we need you to come home ASAP. We’ll pick you up in 5 minutes. Where are u?
If anyone asks to see her phone, Jenna hasn’t done anything wrong….no one can say she’s a sissy, or a cry baby, or that her Moommmy won’t let her do anything There’s nothing in the messages that implicates Jenna or her Mom. And the reason to come home is not any specific one, so there’s no ruse or lie.
You can set up your own code word, but it works best to find one that will blend into any text. It could be as simple as using the word “not” as a clue that the answer should be “no.”
Jeff: Can I stay overnight at Pete’s or not?
Mom: Sorry not tonight.
If Jeff wanted Mom’s true answer, because he actually wanted to stay at Pete’s he would text: ”Can I stay overnight at Pete’s tonight?” This way Mom can just answer yes or no, depending on circumstances.