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  • Almost 17 year old run away

    Our son will be 17 next month. He is one of 5 children. We have had on going issues with disrespect for the past six months. Getting worse with verbal abuse. He believes he can do whatever he wants. He is a star athlete and is being approached by many college coaches with scholarship potential. He seems to be more interested in "hanging out" with his friends (who are 1 than keeping his grades up. Last week he brought beer home? He is going down the wrong path. One requirement we have is for him to have passing grades. Right now he is failing Chemistry. He called yesterday after school wanting to hang out with his friends, I said no because he is failing. He came home yelling and swearing at me. My husband (his step dad) and him started arguing. My son started pushing him, and they got into a physical altercation. My son left. He told me he is not coming home until my husband leaves. I know where he is, he has text messaged me a few times. He went to school today. What do I do to get him home? The people that are letting him stay there will not call me back. We love him and want him home.

  • #2
    Re: Almost 17 year old run away

    Thanks for writing on our bulletin boards. It sounds like you’ve had your hands full with your son recently. There seems to be a lot of conflict between him and the rest of the family. From all you wrote, it definitely sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated at his apparent disrespect as well as concerned about how to properly handle him leaving.

    There are several ways to handle him leaving, none of them better than others. It just depends on what avenue and approach you want to take. One option is to call the local police and file a runaway report. You could also ask the police to go to the home he’s staying at and ask that they return him back home. This is generally something the police are okay with doing. One thing to know is that in many states any adult that houses a runaway youth and doesn’t call the youth’s parents or the police, could be considered “harboring a runaway”. This is a misdemeanor, but could have legal consequences if charges were pressed. As far as the actual running away is concerned, there aren’t usually consequences other than being returned home.

    You could also explain to him that you are going to call the police if he doesn’t return home within a certain time frame and give him a chance to come home on his own. Do you think if he knew that the police were going to get involved and that the people he is staying with could potentially get into legal trouble will be enough to get him to come back?

    You mentioned you already tried contacting him through the people he’s staying with and they aren’t being responsive. Is there anyone else that could help mediate between you and him? Maybe another adult that you trust and he would respect. That’s another option, to have an adult facilitate a conversation between him and you to talk about him returning back home. Obviously one other option is to just wait and see if he returns on his own.

    All of these options have positives and negatives. It seems that you have fairly clear expectations for him and that you have appropriate consequences when he doesn’t follow the rules. As you’re probably well aware of, this is a very common “phase” that teenagers go through, some challenge the rules harder than others. It sounds like your son right now is challenging your authority really hard. Have you considered what you will do once he returns home? It’s definitely important to think about how you will approach the situation before it happens, so you’re not caught off guard when emotions are high.

    We hope you’re able to figure out what’s best to do for yourself and your son. If you’d like to discuss any of this more in depth feel free to contact us anytime. Our hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY, is available 24/7.
    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: Almost 17 year old run away

      I guess that would be my next question...What do we do when he does come home? I feel like he is using this as an oportunity to hang out with his friends for a few days. Should there be consequences for leaving and staying gone with out permission? One of my friends told me she ran away from home several times in high school and always willingly returned within a week. This is all new to me...we text him and let him know he was not to train or play soccer on his team until he came home and we worked this out. We also informed his coach. Hopefully he is getting the right message from his friends. The choiced he is making right now are going to affect his future...We are sad, scared, frustrated, confussed, sad, sad, sad

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Almost 17 year old run away

        Thanks so much for writing in again and keeping us updated about the situation. It sounds like this situation has really put a huge strain on your family, and as you mentioned, you have been feeling a lot of different emotions (sadness, frustration, etc…). It sounds like you are trying to figure out what to do when he returns home and what’s going to happen. Sometimes when a youth returns home it can help to give them some time to settle in and obviously let them know that you are excited about him returning. But it’s understandable that you are thinking of consequences and what expectations are going to be had when he returns. Are there options or consequences that you have thought about that may help? Do you think it would be possible to get him involved in the process of what your expectations are and what rules are going to be enforced? Has he individually or you as a family ever spoken with a counselor? Sometimes it can help to have a mediator present to ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak. Do you feel he just needs some time to cool off and be willing to talk? If you ever want to talk more about this situation you can always give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are a 24 hours crisis hotline available for youth and families. If you want to discuss possible options for when he returns home or even find resources specifically in your area we are here to help. We also wanted to give you the number for Team HOPE (Help Offering Parents Empowerment) 1-866-305-4673. This could be a good resource not only for support but also to get some suggestions and options from parents and families who have dealt with similar situations. In the meantime take care and remember that we are here 24 hours a day anytime you want to speak with someone.
        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
          Re: Almost 17 year old run away

          I'm touched by your story & I am posting here verses a separate post because I feel in a sense we share a lot of similarities with our children. I don't know how I handled my situation is any better nor do I know if it will be any worse. I would welcome feedback also. My son is almost 17 & the oldest of 5 too. I am a single mother though. He is a very intelligent kid - physics, advanced computer science, advanced english, etc. etc. Normally a very responsible kid too. This was not his first time to runaway though. The first time he left was when he was 14 & stayed gone for two days. I did file a police report that time only to be disheartened when an officer told me they wouldn't do anything. My son also became more aggressive - verbally & physically - which I put my foot down quickly. I did file assault charges on him one time & he had to go through a teen court program which was good on one hand, yet a slap on the hand on the other. In my son's case the law really failed to back me up as a parent which really undermines what I am trying to do because he is aware of this. He knows the police won't look for him. One time even had an office tell me if they were called again they would just take all my children - in front of him. This lasted for about 2 months & then I finally sent him to live with my ex-husband in hopes that would help. He lived there for 6 months before returning home & that really did seem to do some good for him. After returning home he has done wonderful with very few setbacks. He got caught drinking on his 16th birthday - but it was a one time thing & that was it. I have done random drug tests to rule out that possibility & all have been negative. He left home & started skipping shortly after that which went on for about a month. I had the school threatening me - yet what do you do when a 160 lb 6'0" 17 yr old absolutely refuses to get up? That lasted for about a month or two off & on. He did get a letter that truancy charges would be filed by the school & that he was at risk for failing his Jr. year. This seemed to jolt him a little bit as now what I had said about skipping was becoming real. We went to court & for the first time did the law hold him accountable for his decisions - up until then it was my fault. This judge arrested 2 kids both times he had to go in, made it clear that the kids were not to blame their parents, issued fines on the kids - not the parents unless there was continued issue - my son was fined $200. He was also ordered to attend a truancy law class, not to have anymore unexcused absences, attend a man-up program which helps adolescent males, yet while being hard on the kids - the judge also showed that she did care. She spoke to my son about his classes, about the plans he had for himself, etc. Unfortunately - it was the right thing a little too late --- sort of. My son did real well for about 3 more months. About a month ago he started mentioning a new friend whom I only have the first name. We'd talked & he had spun the night twice - once everyone in the house had become ill so I allowed him to. About 4 months ago - my son left again after we had an argument. This time he did the same as yours - little communication except via text. He cut off everyone in the family. I found out he was staying with this new kid & his father & was paying rent. I was & am upset with the situation itself mainly because it is not a healthy one for my son. I have a very big problem when a parent will take in a child (and charge him rent) yet will fail to notify that child's parents or to even look into the situation that may have occurred. On top of that - I haven't had a chance to meet this person or his son - so they basically took in a stranger. They did not encourage family contact, seemed to have no problem with the idea that my son was seeking a second job (he was already struggling to maintain one job & his schooling when he was living at home with no bills) I have found out he's been tardy to school which accrues as absences etc. Yet - in my case - I had to keep hands off to a point as the more I did the more my son registered it as me doing to him vs him doing to himself. I was firm when I "spoke" to him, yet still told him I loved him. I did not call the police this time - I don't want to criminalize my son over this - he's a good kid - but does need some counseling and has never really dealt with his feelings, etc. I did call the runaway hotline & did get a number for a teen runaway shelter & offer to work with him if he stayed someplace like that where they would promote his growth for adulthood, promote his education, assist him with balancing work & school, provide counseling for him, & act as a mediator until we could get on common ground - which he refused. I finally had to go in & speak with the court because he is in violation -- he didn't see it as such - he's 16 and thinking with a teenage head. On the other hand, it's what happened when he didn't notify them of change of address, etc. The lady over the truancy that assists the judge was very helpful & understood my need to take hands off so that he could fall to a point enough to see what his decisions were causing. He has a contempt date set - she purposefully set it quickly as if we waited & it ended up being set after his birthday - he could then face jail time as he'd be 17 & handled much harder. My son is not aware & he will have to take the steps to find out or to sit down with me. He finally contacted me today & said he was ready to come home. With my son, I am going to take a more firm approach this time - -he is truly running out of time to continue this - as the next time he will be over 17 if it occurs again and he will have more serious consequences in how the law will handle him. I don't know that home is an option at this very moment - I feel it should be a goal to work towards now as I don't want to just fall into the same patterns. He will be required to go to counseling - both individual but also for he & I. He will be required to bring his grades up & work hours will be limited to weekends. His coming home will be a gradual thing - not because i don't want him home - but in my situation because this is extremely disruptive to the family as a whole and we all deserve better, myself, my other children, & my son. I don't have all the kinks worked out & I fear this may not be the best answer - yet to continue as we have - I know my son will be gone again in a few more months. Part of this is his age - part is that as the oldest he does hold a lot more responsibility - whether implied or he takes on himself. I have tried to balance this - yet as I said he takes on a lot himself that he really shouldn't & doesn't have to. I see this because I have a flip flop with him - he does WONDERFUL for 3-4 mo & then all of a sudden flips the exact opposite - he throws off all responsibility. He is trying to find his place as a man - and alot of times young men feel that raising the voice, buffing up, etc are the ways to go. He's trying to grasp his independence -yet clearly isn't ready for it & still thinks as a child at times. I try to show him that sometimes he is his own worst enemy. My son & I have a lot of close talks. We have a fairly decent relationship overall - although it sounds not so great. These are moments though vs the big picture. I don't know if this is your son's first time or not - but may I advise if it is a first time -- do seek counseling for you all - or at least for him. Do let him fall sometimes -- I think sometimes as parents we want for our kids to have so much better that we don't allow this -- like the riding them about grades. I'm not saying this isn't important - trust me I am very much about education. Yet I think sometimes - I did ride him too hard. He is aware of what he needs to do - at a certain point - it does not matter how much I keep on him about it. I don't allow excuses though when he has plenty of options for help from tutorials, internet, myself & my ex-husband in certain subjects, etc. And I think sometimes my staying on him about it truly does add a greater burden that makes it harder for him to carry which is why he ends up crumbling. Both our children our the oldest of 5 - that means 4 look up to them & they are made aware of this. 4 they feel they have to protect as sibilings do. 4 that get on their nerves. Plus throw in parents. I don't know about your house - but mine seems to constantly be on the go & is not necessarily the quietest on the block. As one of 5 - I know the individual attention is sometimes hard to give on a consistent basis - which does play a factor also. Your son will get through this & it really does sound like overall he does have a good head on his shoulders as mine. They are both to smart for their own good. Anyways - I don't know if anything was helpful - and as I said - if there is anything that can be passed along from one parent to the other - please! I wish you the best of luck & we'll get these young men raised!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Almost 17 year old run away

            Hi,
            thank you for sharing such a heart felt story involving the ups and downs you,your son and your entire family have gone and continue to go through. We hope your situation can provide encouragement and inspiration to other parents and youth experiencing similar difficulties within the family. You have shown that not giving up has turned your sons behaivor around. Even if for a 2 to four month period. Do you have an idea on how to extend his progress? What needs to take place for him to continue being constructive and produtive? Your dedication and efforts have seem to be his good fortune. How are you feeling about where things are headed. Are you remembering to take of of yourself? Do you have support around you such as family or friends? Are you presently involved with counseling? If you would like some referrals for support or counseling we will list a couple of services at the end of this reply.
            It sounds like you have the attitude that raising a child is a marathon and not a sprint.
            There may be bumps along the way but you have not let that detour you from being a mother to your son and doing what you feel is neccesary to aid the situation. Even when it seemed the odds were against you. Bravo! It must be hard being at odds with him while only wanting whats best for him. We wish you,your son and your family good luck.
            Thanks again for reaching out.

            Team Hope
            1-866 305-4673
            Families Anonymous
            1-800-736-9805

            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
              Re: Almost 17 year old run away

              I myself am a 17 year old, 18 in March. I hate living at home and can't wait to leave. I haven't run away but am seriously thinking about it. I know my parents would call the cops and play the "We're perfect parents!" game with them. They've called all my teachers and principal and councelors and talked about how I am such a "little sh**" and am disrespectful and have no responsiblity. I have a 30hr week job on top of doing good my senior year and graduating with extra credits and classes. I can't do this anymore...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Almost 17 year old run away

                Hi there,
                Thanks so much for contacting us and responding to previous bulletins here at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear all that you are going through. It must be difficult for you to be doing so much and proving how responsible you are but still feeling that your parents aren't appreciating you.
                Do you have somewhere to stay if you decide to leave? If you do, you can call the local police to ask what the laws are in your area if you did decide to leave home. Is there anything you can do to be out of the house more often? It sounds like you already have alot going on and you may not be home too often now.
                March is not too far away now. Do you think you can make it until you are 18? It's possible that in your state you will be considered an adult at 18 and then you will not have to worry about what will happen if you leave.
                Have you ever tried talking to anyone else about what has been going on? A friend, family member, counselor, teacher? Sometimes it can be helpful to vent and cope with the help of someone else around.
                It must be really hard to hear that your parents are saying such mean things about you, but it sounds like you will be done with school pretty soon and you will not have to deal with any of themfor very much longer.
                If you can call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY we would be glad to talk with you more about what is going on. We can also provide you with a shelter if it ends up that is something you need to stay safe. We are here to talk and try to figure things out with and we are free from any payphone. We're 24/7 so whenever you decide to talk we will be here. Hope to hear from you soon. Good luck and stay safe,
                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
                  What if you will be 17 in a month and you wanna run away cause you don't feel welcomed with Ur mom anymore. I have a job and the man who raised me gave me a truck. I wish to move back with him cause every time I turn around moms jump in at me.. the man raised me from birth with my mom till I was 13 then they seperated. . I can't stand being here. Considering she moved me and my brother into a house with her boyfriend who she has known 3 mths. He gives her everything and I get put down. What can I do to get out ta this mess.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: Almost 17 year old run away

                    Hi,

                    Thanks for reaching out and contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It seems like you’re going through so much right now. It was smart of you to reach out for some support. It sounds like you and your family are going through a bunch of changes (new house, mom has a new boyfriend, etc.). All those changes can be really tough to handle. Let’s see what we can do to help you out.

                    Have you talked to anyone about how you feel about this situation? Sometimes it can be so hard to handle everything on your own, so it can be important to reach out to someone in your life for some support. We would also love to talk to you more about your situation. You can call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us from 4:30pm-11:30pm on our website (www.1800runaway.org).

                    We look forward to hearing from you and 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


                    • #11
                      Hey its me again. I try to talk to my mom. Then she blows up. I try to tell her how I feel and next Im grounded. And I'm afraid to talk to anyone on the phone because my mom will here and I don't get a long enough break at work to call. But what would happen if I run away but I go to my dads and mom takes him to court would they let me stay with him even though he isn't my biological father but he did raise me for 13 years. I need out ta this place or imma end up on probation

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        re: Almost 17 year old run away

                        Hi

                        Thanks for getting back in touch with the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like it may have taken a lot of courage for you to speak to your mother and to get that as an outcome was probably devastating. We understand if you cannot call us for safety reasons or out of fear of your mom over hearing our conversation. We cannot say what would or would not happen if your mom took your step father to court. Sometimes the outcomes of these cases depend on what city and state you’re located in. In some states you can legally move out of your home if you are 17. In some cities, the police will not force you to return home if you’re 17 and somewhere safe. To get clarifications on the statements mentioned above, it is sometimes recommended to contact your local law enforcement. Depending on your location, you might be eligible to file for emancipation if it exists in your state. To address the possibility of you being allowed to stay with your father that is left to the discretion of the judge; although the judges often take older youth’s preferences into consideration. If you would like any legal aid information for your area, we would be more than happy to provide you with that information.

                        We hope the information provided helps and that everything goes well. Remember that we are available 24/7. Since it is difficult for you to reach us by phone, we also have Live Chat which is operates between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST.

                        Best Wishes
                        ~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


                        • #13
                          What can I do?

                          I have a seventeen year old friend that has been emotionally abused by her mom and step-dad. Her mom fought for her when A.R. (What I'll be calling my friend in this entry) was about five and she won custody. A.R. has been treated as a slave by her mother. I was wondering if it would be illegal for me to shelter her until her 18th birthday which is two months away, or should I just just take her to get emancipated. She doesn't want to go back home so that's not an answer for her. Please help me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RE: what can i do?

                            Hello,

                            Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are really concerned about your friend and it’s amazing that she has someone to support her during this time. It sounds like things are really hard for her at home. She deserves to be in an environment where she is supported and loved.

                            We are not legal experts here at NRS however I can speak in general terms. You mentioned that she is 17, which is a tricky age in some states. Because her mother is her legal guardian, she does have a right to file a runaway report with the police. It depends what city and state you live in and how your local police department would react to a girl in her situation. A good option for you would be to call your local police department and ask them how they would handle a 17 runaway who is 2 months shy of turning 18.

                            Running away is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense. This means that the youth will not face criminal charges for running away. However, her parents do have the option to charge you, or anyone she decides to stay with until she is 18, with harboring a runaway. You had also asked about emancipation, again we are not legal experts however, emancipation does take about 6 months. So in your friends case she will already be 18 and emancipation would not be able to be completed.

                            We encourage you to call us and we encourage you to encourage your friend to give us a call at our hotline at 18007862929 or she can chat with us at our websites every day from 4:30-11:30pm. We hope this helped and we look forward to hearing from either one of you.
                            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


                            • #15
                              want to run away

                              Hey so I'm a 17 year old boy who is currently living with my mom and her parents. I have 6 other brothers and sisters and I am living a terrible life. In everyone else's eyes my life is perfect because I get almost anything I want but that is not true. Recently my family has been disagreeing with me on everything I do. I have had a girlfriend for the past 6 months and she is amazing as well as her family. My grandparents have recently told me about a month or two months ago that they didn't approve of her and that she was a psycho path who would kill me one day because of a message she wrote to my friend that in all honesty wasn't that bad. I was at fault about the message but because they were always on my back and then this happened I ran away to my other grandparents in queens. My mom threatened me to come home because she was so frustrated and I gave her some demands that I had and one of them was to see my girlfriend. Recently I was going to go away to a friends house for a few days because it is holiday in my religion and he invited me last minute. My mom personally doesn't know who this guy is but I know he is a great guy and so is his family. This just so happened to be where my girlfriend lives in the same area. He told me he would send someone to come get me and he sent my girlfriends mother since he was getting ready for the holiday still. After having an issue with my family over her for about two days my grandfather stormed outside and started yelling at her. Telling her that she is spying on her and telling her that I am not allowed to go and he is yelling this in the middle of the street. Then my grandmother goes out and starts yelling at her saying this is a toxic relationship and that I shouldn't have to lie to see her. But in reality I was actually going to my friends house. Before her mom showed up my grandparents started yelling at me telling me it wasn't right to leave right before holiday and that I should be with the family. But I can't stand staying here anymore and I wanted to have fun on the holiday since all I normally do is stay in my room and count down the minutes till I can leave again. They have threatened to call the cops on me if they ever see me with her again, and they said when I turn 18 if they see me with her again they will call rape and tell the cops I raped her. I don't know what to do anymore I have tried everything with my family they wont listen to me. I was hoping someone can help me here and that I can get legal guidance on what to do because staying here is going to ruin my future. I am supposed to intern at a huge architecture firm during the summer buy I can only do that if I am in touch with my girlfriend since she is family friends with the people that are getting me the internship. Please someone help me quick before I do something stupid.

                              Comment

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