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17 Year Old Son Left House

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  • #16
    My son is 17 (won’t be 18 for 7 months) and refuses to stay home. He came home drunk/high from school 2 days in a row so we grounded him. He said he’s almost 18 and as long as he’s doing well in school it shouldn’t matter what he does. He leaves and I never know when he’s coming home. He’s never gone for more than a day or two but I’m worried the whole time. We packed up his room and said he won’t get any extras until he comes home and stays home. I know that locking him out is illegal but I’m not sure what to do at this point. I have 3 younger children watching this and seeing that my 17 year old just comes and goes as he pleases. Living with family isn’t an option. I’m not 100% sure where he goes. He’s been in trouble with the law and I simply don’t know what to do.


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time. It must be hard feeling like you have no control of what happens to your son. It sounds like you are doing the best you can to make sure he has some consequences for his actions but it isn’t working. There is a program in most states called Mins (Minors in need of Supervision) were you could ask for the court to intervene because he is out of control. It typically is for children under 18 so you have a short time to intervene. You could call us at 1800-Runaway and give us your city and state to see the protocol in your state to do the Mins program. It can be hard having a teen who is not listening around your other children at risk of them mimicking that same behavior. It may be a good idea to talk with everyone in the household to give an understanding of your expectations. You could also try counseling, maybe something is going on and that is why he is acting out. If you want some referrals for counseling services you can contact SAMHSA at 1800-662-HELP. If you want to talk to us about any more options you are considering feel free to reach out again. Best of luck with everything!

  • #17
    I have a 20 year old brother who smokes electronic cigarettes. We have been talking to him for almost two years now but all he does is lie. My parents are so worried about him and whenever he goes out they start freaking out because they know that he is mostly out smoking something. He was out the other night and my mom called him and said come home we need to talk to you. He yelled at my mom and said he is with his friends, whom we don’t know, and he would come home whenever he’s done. My dad gets on the phone and said get home right now we want to talk to you. He came home angry. He went upstairs and my dad went too. My dad talked to him about one of his relatives who had got into drugs and what happened to him later. He didn’t say much but then he told my mother that it’s his life and it’s his choices. He also told my mom that we have ruined his life by not respecting his choices. After that night he stopped eating and he locked himself in his room. He didn’t eat anything for two days until my mom started crying and said I can’t stand this situation anymore, and if you’re part of this family, you should act like one and if you’re not, then go out. I know she didn’t mean that but my brother packed and left the house. He has nowhere to go and he’s into drugs. We are so worried about him especially with this Covid 19 situation. He doesn’t pick up his phone.
    What should we do?


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. It sounds like you and your family are all in a tough situation. It sounds like everyone is upset, and working from a place of caring. It sounds like talking to him doesn’t work and we hope that there will come a day when someone can listen to him.

      It’s entirely possible that something happened to him that he hasn’t been able to address - maybe he doesn’t know how- and the drugs is a way to self-medicate emotional or physical pain. For the moment, showing an openness to listen without judgement may allow him the confidence to get back in touch.
      And for you alone, or anyone else who might join you, finding a nar-anon meeting for family and friends of addicts will provide expert support for you and your family. to find a meeting or to learn more.

      This is a very difficult time for you, your family and your brother. If he can contact us we can look for shelter for him and listen to him about anything he may want to talk about.

      And that listening and support is open to you and your family as well. The best way for us to help you is to have a conversation with you either through our phone hotline or via live chat. You can reach us at 1800-RUNAWAY or chat at We are here 24/7 and all of our services are confidential.


  • #18
    I’m 17. My mother is crazy. My parents are divorced and I spend a majority of my time with my dad, but I still have to see my mom. She is not abusive but most of our conversations end in yelling and screaming and her telling me I’ve ruined her life. Is it legal for me to not give her visitation rights?


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what has been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It sounds like your relationship with your mom is very stressed and like it's causing you a lot of anxiety and turmoil. We aren't legal experts here at NRS, so unfortunately we cannot say what you can and cannot do in terms of changing a visitation agreement. You may want to reach out to a legal aid group for assistance in exploring this possibility. You can find a legal aid group near you by going to

      It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your family so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

      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.

      Stay safe,

      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:

  • #19
    Hola estoy buscando información ya que tengo una jovencita muy rebelde y no quiero que ella tenga algún problema ella es inmigrante pero quiero que la regresen devuelta con la madre ya que ella aquí está fuera de colaron no entra a clases se va ala calle y sube muchas fotos muy ocenas quiero saber cómo puedo hacer para que se la gresen a sunpais con su madre ya que ella solo esta espernado la mayoria de edad para ir se de casa ayuda por fsvor


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment

      Gracias por conincarse con National Runaway Safeline, estamos aquí para ayudar y aquí para escuchar.
      Lamentamos que estés pasando por eso. Necesitaríamos saber más información para ayudar a encontrar recursos para enviarla a casa.
      Estamos aquí las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para escuchar y offercemos apoyo. por favor contáctenos por teléfono a 1800RUNAWAY. (1800-786-2929)


  • #20
    Hello, my mom sure knows how to cut someone heart. She has hurt me many times threatened me a lot. She also says I don't belong in the family. I'm thinking about running away but I need help. I have made up my mind. There is no way I'm staying in this house.


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 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 with your mom and the hurtful things she has said to you. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
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