One thing is for sure – your teenager will always be up to something. That age group is always seeking out ways to push their boundaries so teenage pranks make for some great stories. I’ve got a couple of stories to share and I have omitted all the names to protect the guilty and the unwitting parents, so enjoy. You probably have some even better than these, so join the conversation and comment below!
Rolling yards is one of the classic teenage pranks. While it is frustrating to the parents, it’s also a badge of honor for the teen. At least in the South, if your yard gets rolled it’s probably because you’re popular among some crowd. But if you’re out rolling yards, don’t leave any evidence behind. A WalMart bag was found among the mess, and in that bag was a logon ID and password written on a piece of paper. Enough information was there to find out exactly who was part of the toilet paper gang – busted!
Let’s just say that teens have a curiosity for the opposite sex. I’ve heard a couple of stories lately about kids experimenting in various places – on the school bus, in their bedroom while Mom or Dad is home, and others. The funniest thing about the school bus story is that although the children were both suspended from school, they were both lauded as heroes among their friends. Hmm, not sure the kids learned their lessons from that one…
Think you’ve cut off internet access? Think again. In this story, a dad thought that he could impose an internet curfew by disabling the home router at a set time each night. This worked for one kid but not the other. You see, the neighbor’s Wi-Fi access point was unprotected so one kid simply connected to their network and kept right on surfing. But the signal wasn’t strong enough to reach the other child’s bedroom. Their big mouth, though, was the end to this little trick – once the other sibling found out about this, parents were quickly informed. Dad turned on the parental controls on each computer to cut off access at the desired time, and that problem was solved.
A whole category of teenage pranks involve being somewhere that you shouldn’t be. Parties will happen and teens want to be there. But if you put a cell phone in their hand, it’s getting to be very easy to find out where your kids are at all times. All of the major carriers now offer some form of GPS tracking to tell where all of the phones on the plan are at any time. So when a dad checked in with his daughter and she said she was at the home of one friend but the GPS locator said she was elsewhere, Dad showed up and put an early end to the night’s events for his teen. An embarrassing moment for the teen, to say the least.
Sometimes your child will live a double life – online, that is. It’s becoming more common for teens to have two Facebook profiles – one for family and one for friends. When that happens, this becomes the place where their teenage pranks are lived out online. Teens are starting to hear the message that their online reputation is important, and they don’t want their parents seeing the pictures from that party or messages from certain conversations. Those alternate profiles can be tough to find – in the case of this story, the only way it was noticed was that an unfamiliar email address popped up in the login prompt for Facebook.
My point in sharing these is more than just to provide humor. We should always be on the lookout for what your child might be up to. We can (and should) trust our children, but occasionally verifying that what they say is true will help keep them on the straight and narrow. It is their nature to test their limits and boundaries with these teenage pranks and it is up to the parents to keep those limits firmly in place.
Application Question: Are you on the lookout for these and other ways that your teen might be overstepping their boundaries?
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