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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.

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

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    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.

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

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        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.

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

            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            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.

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

                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                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

                • #10
                  I have a seventeen year old son who has been in trouble before and had his record sealed. He then ran away when we had money go missing came about after about a week of hell for me. All had been better but then we found out he was skipping school which lead to him just stopping going. He has now been arrested for curfew violation and breaking into cars, we then found and turned in a lot of stolen property we found in his room. His father and him had an altercation and he took off again he showed up home 2 days later only to have his dad say he wasn’t welcome here. In the end my mom came and got him and he has been there tonight he snuck out afte she wouldn’t let him go out. We are waiting for our court dates for His arrest my husband is out of town and has no clue he took off again. He has been smoking weed every day plus we found out he’s using Xanax and drinking I don’t know what to do! According to the law of our state we apparently can’t kick him out with being in trouble and the Juvenile jail won’t keep him and make me pick him up !!! I just don’t know what to do when I called them last week that they took off they really were no help. I love my son who feels I’m choosing his father over him I want to save him before he’s 18 in October please any help will be appreciated

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod2
                    ccsmod2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand that it takes courage to seek help. We are very sorry to hear about the issues that your family is facing with your son. It sounds like your son has been in legal trouble and using drugs. The alcohol & drug helpline (1-206-722-3700) is a great resource for support. There is a program called MINS/CINS/FINS, for troubled youth, they assist with providing resources for youth to help mend their behavior. Each state has different resources, but we would be happy to look into local programs for you. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.



                    We hope this response was helpful! We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey.

                    Tell us what you think about your experience!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                    NRS

                • #11
                  Our 17 year old son left, too. Was disrespectful to me (mom) and physically aggressive with my daughter and myself. In the last episode, he broke a rib, gave me a black eye with a busted blood vessel and a bone bruise on my arm (I bit him, but in self defense). Despite this, he's been gone three weeks, and won't come back. We've taken his car, taken him off our insurance, told him the moment he turns eighteen he's off our health plan, not giving him any help with college expenses, etc. But the thing is, the people he's staying with (who are nice), GAVE him a car, OFFERED to co-sign on college loans and is doing everything they can to thwart what my husband and I are trying to do as his parents (like, you know, have him come home and be nice and not hit). What do we do? He will be eighteen in three weeks.

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod15
                    ccsmod15 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hello! Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation and we understand that you are doing everything you can to look out for your son.
                    Because he is not yet 18, if you wanted him to return home, you still have the right as his parent to call the police to take him back home. However, you may want to consider talking to the police about his violence towards you, which resulted in injury, as it sounds like this could happen again.
                    Please don’t hesitate to call us if you are needing any other resources and we would be more than happy to further discuss your situation. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and we are available 24/7.
                    Best of luck to you and your family!
                    Sincerely, NRS

                • #12
                  What can I do if my son will not come home will not comply to go to school in the only thing that he was supposed to is his 16 year old girlfriend and acts like I am not a part of his life where do I go at this point so I do not get in trouble for him not being in school board in my home until he turns 18

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod1
                    ccsmod1 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hey there,

                    Thanks so much for reaching out to us and sharing a little bit about what's going on. If your son refuses to come home you can always contact your local police department to file a runaway report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something that can't be done while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and he is located by the authorities he will most likely be brought back to you. Filing a runaway report also helps protect you from any neglect charges that could occur if something were to happen to the youth when he refuses to come home. Some states have programs intended for intervention with "out of control" youth who are habitual runaways and are defiant. You can look into this by contacting your local Department of Child Services office.

                    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

                    All the best,
                    NRS

                • #13
                  Hello. Im just curious. And I don’t know if I’m asking in the right place. My 17 year old brother has been pretty out of control in the last year or so. And he has gotten worse since our grandmother passed 5 months ago. My mother doesn’t know what to do. He has been stealing not only from random people but from family as well. He has alienated most of our family. Most of which will not help him. He leaves the house without telling anyone and could be gone up to 2 weeks. He just got his girlfriend pregnant and has been becoming increasingly demanding of her ( picking her up at 2 am and threatening to harm himself if she does not go with him) he has kinda been acting more like a hood rat than anything else. I’m worried about him. We didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood and I’m worried he has gotten mixed up in something and I’m honestly worried he is going to end up in prison or worse. We havnt involved the police at all. Most of the time he will tell me where he is or that he is safe but not my mother.( who has a tendency to make things worse. ) I know he smokes weed and drinks. I’m just worried wondering what choices we have. What we can do? He has a baby on the way and he is making horrible choices.

                  Signed
                  a very worried sister

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod9
                    ccsmod9 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi there,
                    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
                    From what we understand about your situation it seems like your brother is out of control. It might be a good idea to have him go to counseling if you can convince him to go. If you feel there needs to be more serious actions taken there is a program called MINS and CHINS (minor in need of supervision) That are court ordered to help a youth stay out of trouble. 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); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
                    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
                    We hope to hear from you soon.
                    Be safe, NRS

                • #14
                  I'm in the same boat as these people except my son is 18 moved out as he says during the night while we were sleeping. He is also adhd and has a coordinating disability, and is on medication. I have only spoke to him through texts and he wont answer my calls , he is very vague where is staying at. It has been a week today. There was no fighting the night before, so this blew me away and really upset me. My daughter had talked to his girlfriend as well and she is also very vague. Feeling very lost .

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod15
                    ccsmod15 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi there, thank you for posting. It must be really difficult and scary to have your son leave so suddenly, without explanation. We are not legal experts, but from what we know, in most states it is legal to leave at age 18 if you are considered a legal adult and do not have a legal guardian for medical reasons.
                    We understand this is still very difficult, regardless of legality. You mentioned you have been in contact with your son and his girlfriend and they are vague about their whereabouts. Are there other friends you could reach out to to ensure your son is safe? While it is legal for him to leave, if you have concern for his safety, you could file a missing person's report with local police if you haven't already.
                    Team H.O.P.E (help offering parents empowerment) is another resource you may find helpful as support for yourself: 1-866-305-4673. It is staffed by volunteers who have had teenagers go missing so they may be able to provide some ideas as to helping locate your son, as well as support you as it is surely a hard time for you.

                    We wish you the best of luck in reaching out to your son and ensuring his safety! Call us anytime at 1-800-786-2929 if we can provide any more resources or support.

                • #15
                  Yes I have and they are also vague, I have gone on Facebook and Instagram and no lucky . I have friends looking out for him in my town in Alberta.

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod11
                    ccsmod11 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you for continuing the conversation. We could likely help best if you could call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us (www.1800RUNAWAY.org) as we are unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin. Hope to hear from you soon, NRS
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