1. Set expectations for leaving, being home on time for meals, asking permission to leave, etc. Ask them to leave a note with where they will be, a phone number where they can bereached, when they’ll be home, and to call if they will be late. Expectations should be consistent and followedby everyone in the home. Reward your child for following the rules (e.g. “thank you”, give them a hug, have a friend over).
  2. Carefully consider your child’s age before expecting them to askpermission to leave the yard, know when it is time to come home, etc. Supervise your child and know where they are at all times.
  3. When giving your child permission to leave, make sure you know where they will be and tell them what time they need to be home. Have your child repeat to you the time you said to be home.
  4. Make certain that your child understands that their privilege of being away from home is dependent upon letting you know where they are at all times, coming home on time, etc.
  5. Suggest your child keep track of time by checking their watch or asking an adult.
  6. Make certain your child knows what the consequences will be for leaving without permission, not coming home on time, etc. (e.g. loss of privileges, loss of freedom to be left alone, cannot go somewhere).
  7. Allow natural consequences to occur due to your child’s leaving without permission, not coming home on time, etc. (e.g. having to eat leftovers or fix something for themselves, missing a fun activity, no free time before bed). Be consistent with a consequence each time your child is late.
  8. Keep a notepad in an open place where your child can leave a message telling you where they will be and what time they will be home.
  9. Make certain your child understands that their being late frightens and causes concern for the family.
  10. Require your child to keep you informed by telephone where they are at all times.
  11. Make certain that your babysitters, grandparents, visitors in your home, etc. are aware of your child’s tendency to leave without permission. Make certain they understand the importance of your child asking for permission to leaveif you are not around, and following through with the discipline you set for your child if they disobey.
TIP: Your child’s behavior should determine how much freedom they are given to come and go from day to day.