09-28-2016 09:19 AM
Last night got up at 3am to get a drink of water. Out of habit always do a quick check of kids(13 and 14yrs old) found son 'C' not in bed. He had pulled covers up over pillow and large teddy to make it look like he was in the bed. Checked all over house, he was nowhere to be found. Phoned and texted him a few times and got no reply. My husbands away overseas for work. After 20 minutes I had not heard from C so I phoned the police. Short story, he turned up at 4.30am and said he had felt sick and had gone for a walk and had fallen asleep in a lane way not far from our house.(It was 3 degrees outside, not exactly the type of weather where you sit down and fall assleep! He had his phone on him and wanted to know what the problem was!!! Really!!
Police turned up and had a gentle word to him. C was very angry at me for calling police. This is the third time he has done this(that we know of in the past 7 weeks). The last two times we discovered him missing at about midnight and he answered straight away within 15 minutes. We have tried to explain that this behaviour is not safe. We live in a safe, quiet suburb but wandering around in the middle of the night is not on.
He is very withdrawn, moody, lives in his bedroom and on his phone. I just jioned this forum as I dont know what to do. I read the article by Maggie Dent- "Dear Mums of smelly boys", What she describes in that article is my young man all over. Did I over react calling the police?? Any time we try to connect with him just results in arguements.
09-28-2016 11:40 AM
Hi @goingcrazy and welcome to the RO forum!
That really sounds like a tough situation and you seem to be going about it the right way by seeking advice, researching and expressing concern. It can be so hard being a parent when caring and reaching out is only met with withdrawall and moodiness. You've done the right thing though by noticing these things and trying to help. I don't have a fix all answer for your issues unfortunetly but there are lots of parents with teenage boys here on the forum who will be able to relate and share with you some of their advice.
09-28-2016 01:33 PM
@goingcrazy it must be very hard for you! I totally understand that you had to call the police, I would be panic if I found my daughter missing at midnight.
Is your son still talking to you? I would try to find out what is happening with him when he is in good mood.
@Mitzi can you give us your thoughts here?
09-28-2016 03:43 PM - edited 09-28-2016 04:01 PM
For a missing14-y-o - yep I would call the police. That would be so frightening.
Has he explained to you why he feels the need to go out and have a walk in the middle of the night? Does he meet up with anyone? Is he going for a smoke? Is this an insomnia problem?
If your husband was home to watch your other teen, you might say to your son "If you feel the need for a midnight walk, wake me up and I'll go with you." It's a big investment I know, but if you offer, and the two of you just walk, you're showing that you are there for him so he might open up.
If it's insomnia, see your GP for advice and maybe offer a safe alternative, like a treadmill in his room with a TV!
I'm worried about the stuffing teddy in the bed to make it look like he's there. I'd ask him about that: did he do it because he thought he'd get into trouble or did he do it because he didn't want you to worry?
09-30-2016 02:40 PM
I just want to say that you're awesome for calling the police straight away @goingcrazy. It must be extremely hard for you right now and to be able to reach out and get support when you needed it is great. I agree with @Mitzi, you do need to ask about the intention with making the bed look like there was someone in it - definitely not the work of someone who just needs to go for a walk (unless he didn't want to worry you).
Is there someone close to your family who can perhaps talk to your son and find out what's going on? Obviously right now he's going through a lot and someone outside the situation may be able to help.
10-01-2016 12:00 AM
Hi @goingcrazy, thank you for trusting us and asking for help. You are a loving and caring mother and well done. I too am a mother of a 14 year old boy. If he disappeared in the middle of the night, the police would be my first point of call, other than screaming his name out in the street, so no you did not over React? It would have been terrifying for you.
Trying to connect with an angry teen is so difficult, especially if they shut you out. May I ask, how long has this been going on for? What has your relationship been like with him in the past? Other than recently, has he been withdraw before?
You see, he's going through some big hormonal and growth changes too, they may be contributing to his moods. May I suggest speaking with his school, find out what he's like at school. Ask fora referral to school counsellor. They can be helpful too. What about a favourite uncle/aunt or cousin to confide in?
His behaviour our patterns are a cause for concern, and it may also help to contact Lifeline, Headspace or Parents Helpline for some extra assistance.
I hope this is of some help.
10-03-2016 11:40 AM
Another vote from me for the "not an overreaction" @goingcrazy. I can only imagine how scary it must have been to find him missing from his bed and not answering his phone.
When I was about that age, I found walking outside at night to be strangely peaceful. Home was loud and noisy, and at that hour there was nobody around. I didn't have to walk with my head down, I could just wander and think and get some peace. Plus there was a little bit of a thrill at doing something dangerous and rebellious. I like the idea of offering to join him, get him to show you his favourite spots to sit. It might take some of the rebellious shine off it!
11-23-2016 11:48 PM
Hi Sorry, my wife posted the orginal comments, but we're a good and solid team and have been busy - so sorry for the late reply. C has been staying home (as far as we know), but we've locked a few doors and hidden keys, along the way. C is a good young man and we get amny complimnets from other parents on his attitude and behaviour. The police have also said that kids 'roaming' at night is pretty common, (it's a different world, the kids see it as 'safe' because noone is around (apparently), etc.). I've explained how night-time is actually very dangerous because of the people that go out at night and we think things have actually improved. A good result!