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16 yr old son ran away - how do we handle it when he returns

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  • 16 yr old son ran away - how do we handle it when he returns

    My boyfriend has a 16 year old son who has run away. We have reported it to the police and they are looking for him now. When they find him they will be bringing him home and we don't know how to handle it when he does get home. If we handle it the wrong way, it will make things worse and he will try to run again.

    The child is used to getting his own way and when he doesn't he cops an attitude til his father gives in - he knows how to push his buttons and is very good at it. But right now he is headed down a very bad road. We have researched military schools but they all require "voluntary" attendance - meaning his son would have to "agree" to go.

    Our biggest worry right now is what should he say to him when he is found and brought back home?

  • #2
    Re: 16 yr old son ran away - how do we handle it when he returns

    Hello

    Thank you for taking the time out to contact the National Runaway Switchboard. It seems that you are concerned for the well being of your boyfriend and son and it’s always good to have that extra support. It sounds like you and your boyfriend are willing to take whatever steps possibly to improve you all relationship and to prevent him from running again. Is this the first time that the Youth has run away?

    Unfortunately, there is no certain way to prevent your Youth from running again but establishing strong communication habits may help. It seems that things go well at home until Youth is not allowed to get his way. Have there been any discussions about compromising or negotiating any rules and/or consequences? Trying to develop an open communication relationship with him, if one doesn’t already exist, may also help things in the long run.

    It seems like you have researched into alternatives that could possibly improve Youth’s behavior. Generally speaking, the majority of most boarding schools and/or Youth shelters require a voluntary admittance by the Youth. However, there a lot of Youth programs geared towards providing counseling to Youth or family counseling that the entire family may benefit from. Some Youth shelters offer drop-in services where the Youth may be able to go in and speak to someone or just hang out inside for a couple of hours. You may also provide our hotline number, 1-800-RUNAWAY, as a resource to your boyfriend’s son. Our hotline is available 24 hours/7days a week and he can call us if he needs someone to talk to or just needs a lending ear. We can also provide crisis intervention over the phone to him and explore alternative options to running away.

    Additional information on runaway prevention can be found on our website at http://www.1800runaway.org by clicking on the “Runaway Prevention Curriculum” located on the left hand side of the website. There is also the Team HOPE hotline, 1-866-305-4673, which provides support and resources for parents and famililes of runaway and missing Youth. If you have any additional questions, you may contact us at 1800RUNAWAY. We are a confidential and anonymous hotline. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you all the best of luck.

    ~NRS
    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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