Helping parents with Runaway Teens

Help for parents of runaway teens. Adolescence is a confusing time and teenagers struggle between wanting independence and to be cared for at the same time. This internal struggle is just as confusing as everything else that adolescence can throw at them.  Adolescence is, after all, the time for trying new things and testing values and limits. Some think their home has too many rules and limits and that life in the big, wide world will be freer and more exciting. Some run away impulsively after an argument, believing it will make their parents come around. Others run away because they’re afraid of punishment, or genuinely feel that they are unwanted and unloved in their own home. Other teenagers run away because there is something serious going wrong in their lives, such as abuse, neglect or parents continually fighting. Whatever the reason, when a teenager runs away it’s often a serious cry for help. They believe they’re in a situation too distressing to continue living in. As adults and as parents you need to take their distress seriously. There are many reasons why teenagers might be thinking of leaving home, but it’s a big move that needs to be thought through. If that something that happens to your child you should try to realize the reasons of such behaviour.Does a teen want to leave home because think he is in immediate danger of being harmed or assaulted? Is he thinking of leaving because of conflict with parents or family members? If a teen leaving home because of family conflict or abuse then there are refuges and supported accommodation services that may be available.  They have made a bad decision. They got themselves caught up in pressures that they felt the need to escape from. Instead of facing their problem and solving it, they chose to run from it. We need to teach our teen how to face their problems, even if the problem is us. When they have the right tools to fix some of the things that may be going on in their lives, the pressure lessens, and there is no more need for them to escape.  Every teen either has tried or knows another teen who has run away. As a parent you can not lock them in. As much as you would like to build a wall around them, it is their choice whether or not to walk out the door. All you should know is that parents of teens who run away are not necessary bad parents. 

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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