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16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.

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16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.


16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.

My 16yo son recently blindsighted me and said he doesn't want to live at home any more. He will not give a straight answer as to why, and has become very cold with communicating. He has switched his location off and is completely ignoring anything I ask him to do. This is so out of character for him and I don't know what to do!!! Any suggestions?

Re: 16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.

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Hi @broken--muma, welcome to the ReachOut Parents Forum!

Thank you for the courage to share what has been going on for you. I can see that you're currently in an extremely challenging situation. Naturally, it can be very alarming and scary to notice a sudden change in your son's behaviour. On top of this, not knowing where your son is currently can add to your distress. 

If you are concerned for your son's safety, you can contact the police to request for assistance in finding your son. I'm also wondering if you have contacted your friends and family regarding this situation?

From your post, I also see that your son has cut off contact however, it can still be helpful to let him know that you are concerned about him and are willing to talk about what has been bothering him. I have attached some further resources on what to do when your teen withdraws from you as well as Parentline which is a free telephone counselling and support service for parents.

I hope you find the support you need here and I wish you the best of luck in locating your son.


Active scribe

Re: 16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.

Hi broken-muma .. how are you doing? Have you heard from your son? I've just reconnected with my daughter after a week with a similar situation, its heartbreaking. It's really hard to know what to do at the time and I understand the desperation!

I'm grateful to be in touch now (even though she's not staying at home at the moment, and doesn't want to come back, but we are working out solutions together), and am having to learn how to let go and focus on the interactions we have being positive and possibly constructive, and managing my emotions and worries away from her so that her worry about me doesn't add to her burden. Easier said than done and doing this in real time, lots of tears and sleepless nights! At my lowest point I'm in despair, but when I feel she is safe and we are connected I'm looking at the bigger picture, figuring out how I can give myself what I need and imagining the kind of relationship that we might evolve into as I let go and slowly build acceptance, trust, and faith in ... well ... something ... maybe "Grace". Accepting she has her Path in life, and this is a Journey that we possibly just need to take to find our way .. individually and together .. even when that is apart.

I do find talking with other parents who can relate helpful. If you feel to, let us know how you are doing. Big hug.

Casual scribe

Re: 16yo wont come home and completely shutting me out suddenly.

I feel your pain. My 13 year old son recently decided he doesn't want to be at home and left. Police listed as missing person and then once we found him (over a week later) they said we can't make him come home and neither can they. Phone location is off, refuses to answer the phone and responds only to some texts. 
Has a group of older friends who don't go to school and get into a lot of trouble. He got caught out at the one house he isn't allowed to go and it all blew up from there. 
Now he's no longer missing, but we don't know where he is, he's not going to school and police say all we can do is list him as a missing person again. 
Seems like as parents we have no rights. All the kids need to do is say they don't feel safe at home. Yet we're legally (and morally) responsible for him. We're constantly terrified we're going to get a knock on the door by the police telling us the worst.