11-15-2020 11:41 PM
11-17-2020 12:57 AM
Sorry to hear about what's going on with your daughter and you're clearly doing all you can to try to connect with her and bring her home. I have a 14 year old daughter who is doing well in some ways but pushing the envelope in others. She switched off from us for a few months and barely talked to us, although she was still living at home. I was distressed watching this and not knowing quite how to connect with her. Lock down went pretty well with all of us in the house which surprised me. However, afterwards she wanted to see her friends all the time and was barely home and she'd stay at friends houses. I could see we weren't in a good space. However, she needed lifts to a few things and that started to draw us closer. Those little bits have built up and she's sharing a lot more with me. She is also sharing what is going on with some of the other teens which can be alarming.
There are people who will tell you to put your foot down. That seemingly worked for my grandparents, but it doesn't work with my kids, especially when tempers are flared. I don't think anyone responds well to ultimatums. Yet, at the same time, when you're a parent, it is your home. You also have to live there and as a parent, I am feeling much more empathy with this old line: "It's my house and while you're living under my roof, you'll live by my rules". However, I think that would send many teens out the window.
One question that's worth asking is how long she can live where she's living now? It's all very well to leave home and the responsibilities which come with it, but she needs to eat and support herself.
Is she still going to school?
I really do feel for you and hope things improve, but I encourage your efforts to connect and not to give up.
11-17-2020 05:14 PM
Hi @Teensthesedays ,
My heart goes out to you reading your post - it sounds like it would be so distressing and frustrating as a parent and I'd imagine you might be feeling pretty helpless at the moment.
I think that @Birdwings has given beautiful and compassionate advice - and I did want to echo what she said about trying to maintain the connection with your daughter as being so important. I'm sorry to hear that the police weren't able to help you much. Another option could be to contact your local child protection in your state, especially if you're worried about your child's safety where they are living. Do you know the parents of the friends that she's staying with at the moment? If your daughter is still going to school, another option could be to have a chat to the school about what is happening.
It's really important for you to have support as well - if you think it might help to chat to someone, we do offer a free one to one parent's support service that you can access here.
11-17-2020 08:45 PM
It is difficult for us to understand teenagers because not always the way they behave means that you do something wrong. My son is 12, and sometimes he acts like a rebel, tries to run away from home, is rude, quarrels with his younger brother, and with me. This is how his friends behave at school and he wants to be like them. We had a conversation with a psychologist, but he said that the situation needs to be let go. I am scared that things will only get worse. I keep trying to talk to him, but so far it does not help.
Your child will certainly understand that you are on her side.
11-18-2020 02:02 AM
I'm glad you mentioned how influences outside the family home, particularly at school also affect our kids and can be behind what our teens are getting up to. That thought crossed my mind later. It can be easy to forget how intense, challenging and stressful things at school can be and our kids are also interacting with their friends and going through their situations as well. There's a lot of people interaction and school work and capacity for things to go well and equally pear-shaped.
When it comes to your own son, my feeling would be not to ignore what's going on but not to get all heavy about it. Maybe go on a few drives with your son and just have some good chats and maybe mention how you feel in a non-confrontational way. I think at 12 you're starting to build towards getting through the teenage years and ways of keeping communication open and connecting. Finding some activities you both enjoy such as board games, family computer games, bushwalks, movies just some way to stay connected and talking. Some how you need to know if your teen is getting into difficulties and keeping that communication open is good groundwork for that. There are times where it is quite difficult to reason with your teen bt if you have this good grounding, it makes the more difficult times much easier.
Running away has always seemed like a good option and a bit of a utopian thing for young people. The grass seems so much greener and maybe utopian. We live near the beach and one of my daughter's friends is homeless and sometimes sleeps in a tent at the beach. It seems like bliss to our daughter and that has made it hard for me to take a hard line with her. However, I think she has enough sense to stay put and has turned a corner recently. At least, I hope she has.