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15 year old son ran away

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  • 15 year old son ran away

    My 15 year old son ran away. I caught him and his 17 year old girlfriend in bed at our house. We went to church and thought that when we returned they would talk to us. However, my son was gone with her. They decided that he would live over at her parents house instead. I spoke with the school counselor and the girl's parents to let them know that I was not in agreement with what they are doing together. I put him on the prayer list at church. I then contacted the YM because he was going on a trip out of state with them. I wanted people that he respected to help me talk some sense into him. I went to pick him up today when he returned from his trip. I told him that I am against him being a runaway. We ended up arguing and I called the police because he wouldn't listen to me. Long story short, the laws were explained to him about being a runaway. However, he is at my sister's house tonight and not mine. He is blaming me for being a bad parent and is trying to say things to get me in trouble. He won't listen to anyone that tells him he is doing wrong. He is talking about dropping out of the YM program. His grades are very poor and he is behaving very disrepectably towards me. This is so out of character for him. The police told me to call Juvenile Court in the morning to see what services are available. I wish I could do something to reach him. We have always had a strong bond between each other until he started having sex with this 17 year old girl.

  • #2
    Re: 15 year old son ran away


    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Switchboard for support and ideas about how to tackle what seems to be a very difficult situation at home. It sounds as though you have one good plan set up for options with the juvenile courts. We imagine you could benefit from having other resources to intervene in the matter at hand. We want you to know that we appreciate your time and consistent steps you have taken to try to work this out. It must be very frustrating to see things heading in this direction. We are here for you and your family.

    We are confidential and anonymous. If you feel like calling us over the phone for direct support, all of our liners are trained the same way to offer you a listening ear and resources that might be able to aid you locally. We can be reached at 1800RUNAWAY 24 hours a day.

    It sounds like you also have good support at your local church. Do you have someone there you can continue to reach out to for ideas? Do you have other support in your community at this time? How are you coping with the stress? We imagine it must have been hard to catch your son with his girlfriend like that. It seems as if he had not considered the ripples it will cause and did not consider his age and what it meant to you and your family.

    The issue of your son living over his girlfriend's parent's house without permission might not have sunken in yet because he might not understand that they can be charged with harboring a runaway. Although it is not necessarily illegal to runaway in most states, although it is mainly considered a minor status offense, it is illegal to harbor a minor without consent of the guardian. They can be held accountable and may face legal ramifications.

    It seems you have tried everything in your power to stay one step ahead by speaking with a counselor, her parents, church youth ministers and your son directly. It sounds like you have already made it clear that you are not in agreement with his choice of staying there. Once that is made clear, they cannot say that was not the case later. Have you documented these conversations? It might be helpful if you were to prove these things took place with the police or the courts.

    Running away carries certain risk if not planned. We are concerned for safety mainly. It can help to have a safe place to go but it sounds like you wish to stay ahead because he belongs at home. Even though he has decided to go stay with a relative, it is no different from staying with a stranger for legal reasons. It still comes down to harboring if you are against him leaving home without permission.

    It is usually police discretion for how they respond to these matters locally. Have you talk to your sister about it? It must be hard for you to hear such harsh things said to you to your face about the sort of mother he thinks you are. How does that make you feel? You do not deserve to be called such names because it sounds like you are trying your best here. We do have resources for families such as Minor In Need of Services (MINS/CHINS) programs here at the agency if you are interested but we need to know what city and state for us to reply with this info. We hope that you can call us for support. You are welcome to give your son our number if he needs to reach out also.

    We have a message service and conference service that seeks to reunify families. If he refuses to come home, one option might be to call the police to report it. Another might be calling us to use the services we provide to help clear the way for better communication. It might help to get a conversation going to walk through some of the steps before he comes home or to work out some sort of compromise. We are here 24 hours a day. We wish you to hear from you or your son soon. Good luck.

    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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