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What can a parent do if a 16 yr old wants to run away

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  • What can a parent do if a 16 yr old wants to run away

    Its one of those typical things that happen at 16. Daughter seeing a doper and we will not allow him in our home and have told her we don't want her to see him. We know it was futile but that's all we can do. She has been lying about where she is and what she's doing. We only want the truth. But she can't tell the truth blaming us because we get mad. Well, we do if she lies. This boyfriend has encouraged her to leave, we heard she was going to call DHS for some reason and has no grounds for doing so. We don't hit her or "spank" her. She gets her phone taken away and she lost the car were were going to let her have for her junior year. We are scared for her but also for ourselves and what she and this boyfriend might do. If she runs away, are we liable for anything she might do as a runaway? What are our legal options in all of this? Does anyone out there know?

  • #2
    RE: What can a parent do if a 16 yr old wants to run away

    Hello, and thanks for contacting us.

    It sounds like you’re in the middle of a complicated scenario. You state your 16-year-old daughter is dating a guy you don’t approve of, and won’t allow in your home. You’ve told her you don’t want her to see him, and she has been lying to you about it. She claims she can’t tell the truth because you get angry, but you only get angry when she lies to you. Furthermore, her boyfriend has apparently encouraged her to leave your home. On top of this, you’ve heard she’s thinking of contacting DHS, which is odd for you to hear, since your parenting behavior at home is entirely appropriate in your view. Ultimately, you are concerned for her safety if she leaves home without permission. You are also concerned about the legal repercussions for you if she runs away.

    This sounds like a very difficult, stressful situation. We’re glad you chose to reach out. It sounds like you only want the best for your daughter, but you disagree on who she should be spending time with. This disagreement has lead to a breakdown in communication, and now you fear she’s getting ready to leave.

    You’ve asked what your legal options are in all of this. We are not legal experts, or police officers. However, generally speaking if a minor leaves home without permission, the legal guardian has a right and an obligation to notify the police; that way, you are letting the police know to be looking, and you are also fulfilling your legal obligation to try and keep the youth safe.

    Because we are only able to speak in general, one option to get specific legal advice might be to contact a legal expert in your area. We have a database of resources which includes attorneys who donate their time, and we would be happy to look up legal aid options in your area. If this option appeals to you, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929) any time, and we’ll gladly look up options for you, and/or discuss what’s going on.

    Another option you may want to consider is a hotline called Team Hope. Much like the National Runaway Switchboard, Team Hope is a crisis intervention hotline. However, Team Hope is staffed by parents of children who have run away from home. That means they have a unique perspective on the matter, and can relate your situation in a way few people can.

    Team Hope: 866-305-4673

    These options may or may not appeal to you; it’s up to you to decide what do, and we respect your right to self-determination. Our goal is to provide options, not give advice.

    Thank you for choosing to get in touch with us tonight. We wish you the best of luck. Please don’t hesitate to call us any time you need us. We’re here 24 hours a day, every day (holidays too). 1-800-RUNAWAY.

    Take care,
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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