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17 Year Old Son Left House

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  • 17 Year Old Son Left House

    I don't know if our situation qualifies as a runaway situation but I googled this topic and found this site so I thought I'd give it a shot.

    17 son didn't like the fact that his new x-box 360 was taken away due to the fact that he cut class. We told him if it was so bad here he could leave at anytime. Well, he did. He's been gone about 2 weeks, attending school on and off and from what one of his friends has told us he's not going to come home until we give into his demands, i.e., I want my stuff back. I won't go into detail but we've basically created this issue by spoiling him, not teaching him any responsibility and not requiring anything of him. This year we wised up and saw that we weren't teaching him anything, his grades have been on the decline for the past year or so and we decided to change our approach hoping to correct what we've created.

    So here's my question, what exposure do we have legally if we don't go get him and make him come home? We've taken the position that if he wants to come home it's on our terms not his and have even drafted a "contract" of new rules that apply should he choose to come back. Trust me, nothing crazy or extreme, pretty standard household stuff; 10:30 p.m curfew on school nights, 12:30 a.m. curfew on weekends, he must clean his room, clean his bathroom, get no grade lower than a c-, oh and take the garbage out. He will no longer run the show here, we're now incharge. Anyone have any thoughts on what exposure we have legally? Oh, one last thing, he's a senior in high school.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: 17 Year Old Son Left House

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time with your son. It’s understandable that you have your concerns about being liable for your son’s actions, but you also want him to come back home based on your terms and not his. It sounds like a difficult situation because you want to teach him these life lessons but are still probably worried about him. Do you know where your son is staying right now? I know you mentioned speaking with his friend, have you spoken directly with your son lately? Are there any options you have thought that might help in this situation? Do you think there could be any kind of compromise made between the both of you? I’m not sure where you are writing from, but in most states the age of majority is 18 yrs old, which means your son would still technically be under your care. It’s really up to you to decide what you would like to do, but one option I wanted to mention could be making a runaway report. One reason this could be useful is because with a runaway report, if anything should happen, you wouldn’t be liable for your son’s actions, because you’re basically saying you haven’t given him permission to be wherever he may be. You would be able to make a runaway report with your local police or with the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and exploited Children) 1-800-843-5678. Now I don’t know if this is the route you want to go, but it’s just another option to look at. Also, if you wanted to give us a call here at 1-800-RUNAWAY we would be happy to talk to you a little more in-depth about the situation and possibly look at some other options that might be helpful. We are here 24 hours a day, so there is always someone here to listen. Good luck with everything and don’t hesitate to call if you need to.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 17 Year Old Son Left House

      Thank you for your reply.

      To answer your questions; I'm writing from southern California. We're aware of the rotation of friends houses that he's been staying at. Don't really want to involve the police but on the same token we don't want him picked up for something stupid and have the police show up on our door saying, "your minor son hasn't been home in two weeks and you didn't contact us?" We know eventually when he runs out of money he'll come home. He has access to a bank account with a few thousand dollars in it however it won't last long.

      He's called home twice asking if we called for him, both times we said no and hung up, asked him if there was something he wanted to talk about, he said no and we said OK goodbye. We're not going to beg him to come back because that's what he wants us to do and we feel we'll loose quite a bit of leverage with him and then he'll think he can pull this stunt whenever he's not getting his way (remember, he left because his X-box 360 got taken away because he cut class) and we'll come chasing after him and give him his way. In terms of a compromise I think what we've laid out in terms of his living here is pretty basic, "10:30 p.m curfew on school nights, 12:30 a.m. curfew on weekends, he must clean his room, clean his bathroom, get no grade lower than a c-, oh and take the garbage out." I know a couple of friends children who do less (where are son has been up until now) but most I know are required to do much more and don't have the flexibility or get the allowance our son gets. However, if you have a suggestion for a compromise based on what I've written I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

      Fortunately we're not that worried about him being gone. We know he's safe, he's not into drugs, doesn't drink, he's got cash . . . he's just spoiled and lazy and thinks that he's going to punish us by not being here until we come looking for him and make him come home and then he can say, I'll come home but here are my conditions. No thanks, we're past that.

      Thanks for your reply and I'm interested in any insight you or others may have.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 17 Year Old Son Left House

        Thanks again for contacting us. Like I said before, this sounds like a difficult situation. It’s good to hear that you know in the end that your son is ultimately in a safe situation, and for the most part you know where he is. It sounds like you already have an idea of what lessons you want your son to learn, and perhaps it’s just conveying your feelings on this situation with him. You mentioned speaking with him on the phone, but it sounds like the conversations are quite short. Do you think there might be someway both of you would be able to sit down and have a conversation together? Perhaps if you explain to your son your motivations he may better understand where you are coming from. Now this doesn’t mean backing down from the rules you feel are necessary, rather just telling him why you feel these rules are important. In the end it sounds like you have a plan and that’s something you want to stick with. It definitely will not be the easiest thing to do but it sounds like you feel it will be best for your son. I wish you the best with everything and don’t forget we are here 24 hours a day to help.
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

        National Runaway Safeline
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

        Comment


        • #5
          In about the same boat

          We have a son that is into alcohol and marijuana. He is bi-polar, is diagnosed with RAD, PTSD, and a few other issues as well. We adopted him when he was 5.5 years old and he uses his adoption as an excuse to do the things he does.

          Yesterday was his 17th birthday and he didn't come home. He had left the day before and today he still hasn't been in contact with us. This is an ongoing issue we have with him.

          Last time he was home he had been gone for 11 days. My wife and I decided that if this behavior continued we were going to sell everything he owned. Since he doesn't want to live here, and technically we paid for all his stuff and we are not in the storage or the bed and breakfast business, it's all going in a yard sale. EVERYTHING.

          I told his facebook friends that when they see him to convey this information to him and if he wants any of it he better come by the house and get it.

          I say all this to say that you own everything he has and if he wants to be a brat then let him deal with the consequences of his actions, like in real life.

          After all Fantasy Island doesn't exist.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us about what is going on. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation as well and we think it’s great that you have reached out to us. Hopefully we can help you find some resources that may be able to help you as well.

            It sounds like you adopted your son while he was still very young and we think it’s great that you have been so supportive of him through what sounds like a difficult period. It sounds like it has been very difficult for you as well; what sorts of things have you done to take care of yourselves or to have support for yourselves. There may be some resources, such as support groups, that can offer you that. One of those is Team HOPE (Help Offering Parents Empowerment); what they do is to connect you with other parents who have been in similar situations. Those parents can help you brainstorm ideas or suggest things or places they may have tried as well. Their number is 1-866-305-4673 and their website is www.teamhope.org.

            You mentioned that he had left home and has been gone for quite some time now. Have you been able to talk with anyone about making a report, such as your local police or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children? If you were to call the NCMEC, they may be able to make a report as well help you make posters or fliers. You can reach them at 1-800-843-5678 and their website it www.missingkids.com.

            Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are a confidential and anonymous crisis line for youth or their families. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our online chat services at www.1800runaway.org ; that is available from 4:30 PM-11:30 PM (CST).

            We look forward to hearing from you and wish you 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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

            National Runaway Safeline
            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

            Comment


            • #7
              Myvsoon to be 17 year old son moved out because he didnt like our rules. He went to live with my parents. I have primary custody and his dad is 1500 miles away and gets visitation but is encouraging my son to live with my parents. What can I do?

              Comment


              • #8
                Reply: My soon to be 17 year old son

                Hello,
                Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

                It sounds like you are having a difficult situation with your son and he is now staying with relatives without your consent.
                Some situations escalate and can be most upsetting thus making things uncertain about what to do or where to turn.
                We understand and we want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
                In most states 18 years old is the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. A person under the age of 18 leaving home without permission, a parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city.
                You might consider contacting the police to see if this situation would qualify him as a runaway.

                We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.

                Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org.

                NRS is here to listen and here to help.
                Tell us what it is you would like us to help you with and we will be happy to explore some options with you.

                We hope to hear from you soon.

                Take care,
                NRS
                Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                National Runaway Safeline
                info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ccsmod7 View Post
                  Re: 17 Year Old Son Left House

                  Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time with your son. It’s understandable that you have your concerns about being liable for your son’s actions, but you also want him to come back home based on your terms and not his. It sounds like a difficult situation because you want to teach him these life lessons but are still probably worried about him. Do you know where your son is staying right now? I know you mentioned speaking with his friend, have you spoken directly with your son lately? Are there any options you have thought that might help in this situation? Do you think there could be any kind of compromise made between the both of you? I’m not sure where you are writing from, but in most states the age of majority is 18 yrs old, which means your son would still technically be under your care. It’s really up to you to decide what you would like to do, but one option I wanted to mention could be making a runaway report. One reason this could be useful is because with a runaway report, if anything should happen, you wouldn’t be liable for your son’s actions, because you’re basically saying you haven’t given him permission to be wherever he may be. You would be able to make a runaway report with your local police or with the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and exploited Children) 1-800-843-5678. Now I don’t know if this is the route you want to go, but it’s just another option to look at. Also, if you wanted to give us a call here at 1-800-RUNAWAY we would be happy to talk to you a little more in-depth about the situation and possibly look at some other options that might be helpful. We are here 24 hours a day, so there is always someone here to listen. Good luck with everything and don’t hesitate to call if you need to.
                  I'm in same situation. Don't know what to do.

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod15
                    ccsmod15 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hello,

                    Thank you for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear that you’re in such a difficult position. It is certainly difficult to figure out your next steps when there’s disagreement about where a youth should live. We’re not legal experts, but from what we understand, if your child is considered a minor in your state, you have the option to file a runaway report with your local police department if he has left without consent of a legal guardian. Your local police department decides what to do after a report is made.

                    One option you have is to reach out to your local police department at their non-emergency number if you’re unsure of whether your child would be considered a runaway. Beyond that, you are welcome to reach out to us by phone or chat if you’d like to explore options or look into resources that might help you address your situation specifically.

                    You can reach us by phone 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786.2929) or via chat every day. Know that we are here to listen and support you. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

                    Stay safe,
                    NRS
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