10-29-2017 07:03 AM - last edited on 11-01-2017 10:39 AM by Ngaio-RO
On Monday, my daughter got home from school for find out Mr 16 had run away from home.
He wrote about how he has sought advise from the police and because he is 16 he has legal rights for us not to know where he is. He talks about how he is staying with a mate that we do not know, and how he chose that mate because we done know the family or where they live.
He is still communicating with us vain FB messager and will not see us however continues to ask things of us.
He has asked for us to bring clothes for him to the school (yes, he is still attending), he has asked to be left alone and he has asked for his money, which he had asked us to put away for him.
Mr 16 was a pretty normal kid. This has been very out of the blue.
He talks about how he has a case worker and they are looking for a more permanent place for him to live.
After speaking to the school who have been great through this, it would seem that for what ever reason he has run away, one one understands. When he was telling us, none of it made sence, there was no logic or reason to it.
However, to Mr 16 it was important enough for him to run away.
What tips, pointers and advise have helped other either communicate and understand their Teens during these difficult times?
10-29-2017 09:00 AM
Hi @Ballen welcome to the Reach Out Parents forum. Sounds like a really difficult situation you are facing with your son. You mentioned that this has come out of the blue, which must make it so much harder to comprehend, especially if your son is seeing a Case Worker that you were not aware of. Seems like there was some planning involved with his moving out, rather than being an impulsive decision - credit to you for recognising how important this has been to him.
It is good that he is still communicating with you, and that he did try to let you know his reasons for moving out, even if it didn't make any logical sense at the time. It is also positive that he is still going to school, and that the school has been supportive in the situation.
Keep the communication lines open with him, so when he is ready he can try and explain again what has been going on for him in a way that makes sense.
I do not have a full understanding of the legal rights of 16 years olds in regards to where and who they chose to live with, so it might be worth you doing some research into this - I am sure there are definitely parents here who will probably relate more specifically to this.
10-30-2017 09:27 AM
Although he has left he sounds very mature for a 16 yr old. He is continuing his life as it was minus being at home. Well done you on giving him the strength, love and respect on his decision. You may not feel you know your boy very well at all but he is moving forward, he says he is safe and its normal for teens to want to escape their parents- we know nothing until they are ready. His MH seems to be in control with the support he has around him, that support does very much include you - even though you are feeling out of control and I guess lost in your world you have succeeded in your parenting skills - this you must not forget and feel very proud - you have given us hope as we struggle along. It isn't personal or your fault he has left most of us experience this at18 +.. You just have a head start on yours however painful it is. Breathe and cry. Letting go is one of the hardest things we as parents will ever experience in our lifetime.
10-30-2017 07:37 PM
Hi @Ballen, thank you for sharing your situation with us. It must be really stressful and completely baffling for you, and I really feel for you all. You must be so worried about him.
If you're concerned about where he is, I'd check your legal rights in this as I don't believe what your son is telling you about his 'legal rights' is entirely true. My daughter gets annoyed and says she's moving out at 16, so I've looked into a bit as she gets high and mighty about her rights, without the responsibilities of course! From what I understand, being 16 you still have the right to know where he is living and that he is safe and living in a decent environment. Moving out without consent or orders, he also has to be able to show he can support himself or will be supported by those he is now living with. Again though, that's my understanding and each state probably has different legislation. He does have the right however to access his own medical or mental health treatment, and it's awesome that he has sought out a case worker.
It's fantastic that you're still in contact with your son. As you say, even though you don't understand his reasoning, it was something he felt strongly about. The best tip I can give in regards to communicating with teens is to listen to them - without judgement and without jumping in with advice immediately. Asking questions to clarify you've heard them correctly is good - also shows them you're listening and your interested.
There's some great info on ReachOut and I've attached a link here to some content about effective communication tips to try.
It's such a hard job being a parent, and asking for help shows what a loving parent you are.
11-09-2017 11:39 AM
Hey @Ballen, I just wanted to check in and see how things were going?
Have you had any luck getting to understand what's going through your son's mind? Thinking of you and hoping you've had some successes.
We're always here for support when you need it.
11-09-2017 10:44 PM
Hey @Ballen as @taokat mentioned we were wondering how you're traveling? If you have some free time next Wednesday we are running a wednesday wrap discussing our ReachOut parents coaching if you had any questions or further insight's you would like to cover around that portion of our service. If we don't see you there hope to see you back in your thread