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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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my daughter is 18 yrs old and just come back from run away

Customer Question

my daughter is 18 yrs old and just come back from run away for a week with her boyfriend. we are not sure how to face her or talk to her after she come back home.
we are trying to find out where her boyfriend to live and try to connect with his parent. it is a good idea?

what we should do?
if we continue out house rules, we are afraid to lost her again. please advise us. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr Levang :

Yes...I can understand that now you don't know how to talk to her and how to keep her from running away again.

Dr Levang :

Yes..I think it might be good to talk to his parents, too. But I would wait until you have had a chat with your daughter and get some understanding of what happened. Then, when you approach them it should be about how to keep these two safe, in school, and at home.

Dr Levang :

The best way to approach your daughter would be with love, compassion, and support. Please do not punish her, yell at her, or talk harshly to her. Your first concern should be that she is okay...has she eaten, slept, showered. What are her physical needs? Was she out in the open and suffered any cuts, wounds, bug bites. Focus on the physical safety first.

Dr Levang :

Second, focus on her emotional side. Is she sad, angry, hurt, upset...what is she feeling. Give her support..tell her that you love her...tell her that you are there for her...tell her that you want to work out any problems there are between you that drove her away.

Dr Levang :

While your first impulse may be to get angry and mad...please don't. She needs validation and support. You can work out the other issues later. But to start...she needs to feel physically and emotional safe in your home.

Dr Levang :

Because she is 18 she is a young adult. Please look at your house rules as something you can discuss together and come to an agreement about. At 18, she needs to learn to be independent while also knowing that mom & dad are there to support her as she continues to mature.

Dr Levang :

House rules should be flexible to take into account the growing maturity of the kids. At 18, she can be more responsible and she should be given that opportunity.

Dr Levang :

I await your response.

Dr Levang :

Thank you.

Customer:

She is run away from home because she is taking drug and she get her drug from her boyfriend. I really don't want to support her any money for drug. and she came back home for getting money to the senor ball purpose.

Customer:

Should I pay her $150 for senor ball and she will go away again. and she didn't say anything about her run away. she seems like nothing happen. Please advise me.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
Dr. L and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Good evening. May I ask if your daughter has had any other behavior issues in the past? Any dealing specifically with her boyfriend? Did she run away because you found out about her drug use? What happened?
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Good evening, are you still seeking assistance in regards XXXXX XXXXX daughter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is run away from home because she is taking drug and she get her drug from her boyfriend. I really don't want to support her any money for drug. and she came back home for getting money to the senor ball purpose. Customer:
Should I pay her $150 for senor ball and she will go away again. and she didn't say anything about her run away. she seems like nothing happen. Please advise me.
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Good evening, I will do my best to be of assistance. I am curious if your daughter has had any behavioral problems in the past, or if she has ever ran away, or disobeyed you in support of her boyfriend; and how did you handle it (punish her, do nothing, etc.). Seeing that your daughter is 18, and in terms of age, old enough to move out on her own, this could very well be her way of showing that she wants to be on her own, independent of her parents. The reality is, however, that she obviously is not ready for that, seeing that she is coming back home to you to get money for the senior ball. Although she is a young adult, and may request certain freedoms, it must be understood by both you and her that she is in your house and that you are the one that supports her, period. Being that this is the case, she must abide by your rules. It is important as the parent of teenagers and young adults that while you do not want to be controlling or overbearing, you must set rules, establish boundaries, and follow through with the rules and boundaries that you set. Unless you have shown your daughter otherwise, she knows that you love her, but she has now reached that rebellious, seeking independence stage (which her drug use is not helping in terms of the choices she is making). No, you should not give her $150. She is making choices and decisions as if she is in charge of her own life, and since this is the case, she should be able to pay her own expenses as well.
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Your daughter needs to understand that you set these rules and boundaries because you love her and want to keep her safe. I also think that you should get in touch with her boyfriend's parents and find out how much of this situation they are aware of. Welcome your daughter back with open arms, but let her know that if she wants to continue to receive your support live in your home, eat your food, and get money from you, (just as workers at a job have to follow certain rules to keep employment) she must follow your rules (all intended for her protection). I would also suggest that one of those rules be (depending on the severity of her drug use) some form of rehab. If you have any further questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask.
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

I would like to pick up again where we left off last evening. Thank you for the additional information on why your daughter ran away and her wanting $150 for the prom.

This is a difficult situation. On the one hand she has broken your trust by running away and by using drugs. Secondly, there is the issue of the prom and she is a senior (correct) so this would be her last prom - a very big deal for girls.

 

But...you do not want to reward her poor choices (running away and drug use) by giving her $150 and acting as if nothing has happened. No that would be a very poor choice.

 

I advise that you sit down with her and lay it on the table. That is to say, "Honey, we need to have a talk about your running away, your drug use, and prom. I know this will be difficult for all of us, but if you want to go to prom we are going to have to talk this out."

 

Next, I would ask her what consequences there should be for running away and using drugs. Now...this is the interesting part of parenting. Do not tell her what you think those consequences should be. Kids most often think of far worse things than parents do. That's because they know they have broken the rules and, because this was a big no-no, they believe you are really going to be especially hard. What most often happens is the kid says...I don't know...what do you think Mom/Dad. What you say is, "We need time to think about that. This was real serious." Then .... you don't answer. You can go on to talk about why she wants to go to the prom and ask her what ideas she has for raising the money on her own.

 

End of discussion for today. Your job now is to let her think about what those consequences should be and how she can raise the money for prom.

 

She is going to ask you several times what are my consequences. Your answer is, "We are still trying to decide." Give her a day or two of wondering.

 

Then...ask her again...what consequences do you think are appropriate. She is likely to come up with a very harsh punishment for herself - probably far worse then what you would decided. Think about what she is offering and see if you feel it is appropriate.

 

With this method...the child has to really think about what they did, they have to worry about the consequences instead of you worrying, and in the end the consequences are going to make a difference in how they behave next time around.

 

You can read more about this method at: www.loveandlogic.com

This parenting method puts the parents in charge and makes sure that the kid is not running the house!

 

As to the prom...one suggestion would be that you borrow the money to her and she pays you back through chores or by getting a job. Or work out a deal that she has to raise so much on her own and then you will match that amount. I would not just hand over the money without her making significant effort to pay part of the cost.

 

I wish you the best!

Please know that I am here to continue our chat, just address your response to me - Dr. Levang.

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