11-15-2022 11:50 PM
Welcome to the parents' forum. Is this your first time here? I come here quite often sometimes with my own concerns, but also to chat with other parents who are going through stuff because it's really important not to feel alone, especially when things are tough and we feel bamboozled as parents. Perhaps, you would like to make yourself a cup of tea as we chat. I'm sipping on a decaf tea before I go to bed and my dog is on my lap and doesn't seem to mind my keyboard perched on top of him and me typing away.
I am Mum to an 18 year old son and 16 year old daughter.
Your message had two issues...teenager repeatedly running away and how do you cope.
Do you have any idea why your daughter is running away?
It would also be helpful if you could share how old she is and a few details so the Reachout crew can respond
11-16-2022 12:05 AM
This is Birdwings again. I'm sorry my last message ended so abruptly but my keyboard ran out of battery and I've switched to another computer.
How do I cope is a question so many of us are asking at any one time but for so many different reasons but there are things you can do to reduce the stress. On one hand, you can better try to understand what is motivating your daughter and see whether there's anything you can do to help her stay home. Are either of you receiving counselling at all?
Then there are things you can do to help you feel better. These things can seem very basic such as exercise, sunshine, eating well, talking with a friend, doing a fun activity. Keeping a journal and writing down how you feel and venting those emotions can really help too. I like to get out into nature and go to the beach. There's also things like trying to show down your breathing.
I hope that helps and perhaps someone else can help you with some more specific information and support.
11-16-2022 09:05 AM
11-16-2022 01:52 PM
Thank you for sharing this with us.
It sounds like you’re going through a really difficult time at the moment and it is understandable how concerning and worrying this must be for you. I can tell how much you care about your daughter and it’s great that you have been rallying so much support to help her, she is very lucky to have you!
I know that you mentioned that she is enrolled at a new school and was wondering if you could connect with the school. It could be good to speak to them and see what supports they can provide and whether there is a school counsellor that she could connect with.
It is understandable how worrying this must be for you to happen again, I know you mentioned that you had previously had a conversation with her about this. I wanted to share this article about effective communication and teenagers that might be helpful. It provides some information and tips on communication along with a list of things to try.
I also wanted to let you know that ReachOut has a free coaching service that provides one-on-one support to parents and carers.
I can imagine how stressful and concerning this must be for you and how much it must be impacting you. Are you receiving any support at the moment from either family or through a GP or Mental health professional?
We have also sent you an email to check in, could you please keep your eye out for that?
Remember that we are all here for you!
11-16-2022 10:06 PM
Thank you for sharing and for rusting us collectively with what's going on for you and your daughter. What I really appreciate about coming her is that you can talk openly in a forum and hear from multiple people and yet it's confidential. These matters ar so personal and painful and most of us don't want everyone knowing our business.
As I mentioned before, our daughter is 16 and he was in Year 9 when she was 14 which is often acknowledged as a difficult year for some teens. Our daughter didn't directly run away when she was 14 but she did stay with friends for a few days on and off and she was hanging out at our local park and actually got punched by another girl down there. She also ended up taking a bottle of vodka to school and got caught and suspended. Our school deputy was very good and told her not to let that situation define her and she knew she was basically a good kid and to get back on track, which she's largely done. Naturally, I was very concerned about her at the time and it's very hard not to freak out within yourself or at them. I'm sure I would've consulted Reachout at this time and it could well have been when I first got involved with the parent forums. Do you have a friend or close family member you can talk with about what's going on? Also, is there a trusted friend or family member who your daughter could speak to? A group she could belong to out of school and find connection? Our son went through Scouts and Venturers as well as the Church youth group Our daughter is very involved in dance and has her dance friends.
Have you heard from your daughter since she left? Do you know where she is? there's a bit of a knack to reconnecting with teens who have shut down. I'm an extrovert and naturally very chatty however, my daughter withdraws and goes silent at the drop of a hat and I have to work pretty hard at trying to re-establish communication. I might send her a photo of the dog who usually has a tennis ball in her mouth or a photo of an funny outfit I saw at the op shop. You could send a song too. Just something to break the ice doesn't address any of the problems. Let her know you're thinking of her and she is missed and loved. When things improve and she's back home, one of the ways we've talked about building connection has been talking in the car or in a situation where you're sitting side by side and don't have direct eye contact. While we're always told to maintain eye contact in a conversation to be polite, it can also be confronting. Sitting beside someone tells them that you're with them but not talking over.
Meanwhile, are you doing anything to look after yourself and have a bit of self-care and are you familiar with the idea of self-care? We ll have something of a personal fuel tank and when you have stressful situations going on, your tank can very easily run dry and so the need is there to keep topping your own tank somehow to keep yourself on the road. I often even see my humble cup of tea as a form of self-care and we have three dogs.
Actually, I meant to ask you if you have a pet and whether a pet might ground your daughter better at home? We have four in our family and three dogs and we need them all. When we get up or come home, they're there wagging their tails and jumping all over us hail rain or shine.
Difficult to know what has triggered her to leave this time when she's not there to ask. Hard to know too whether it was spontaneous or thought out. My daughter used to run into the girl who punched her and bullied her and she was terrified and that went on for quite awhile.
Well, I hope that helps and know I'm thinking of you and you're not alone. We love our kids and don't understand what they do sometimes or how our precious child could end up in that situation and so we parents need to stick together and know that many of us are dealing with stuff.