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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 17 year old son was gone for 4 days and then came home.

Customer Question

My 17 year old son was gone for 4 days and then came home. He left again last night and has not returned yet.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about your son's leaving. I am not sure if running away is a habit for your son or if he is with a male or a female. However, your son is not happy with something in his life. Whether it be the house rules, peer pressure, school, trying to assert independence, relationships with family and/or friends etc......he is trying to escape from the problem by running away.

If you are unsure of your son's exact whereabouts, you may want to contact law enforcement...especially since your son is a minor and he may be with an adult.

Nonetheless if you do hear back from your son or he does return home, you really need to talk to him to find out what is going on in his life. Do not approach him in an angry and confrontational manner. He may need a few days until he wants to talk. Let him empty out his issues, frustrations, and concerns. Try to reach mutual agreements on the issues. If he will not discuss issues with you, then professional counseling may be another viable option.

If there is more background information that may assist me in answering your question, please let me know.

Stay encouraged!
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He was home and everything seemed fine. He was planning on seeing this "friend" of his and never came home. The friend is not a positive influence and I'm trying to figure out how to stop the relationship. Obvious my son thinks this guy is a good friend.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
How long has your son known this friend? Have you met this friend? How do you know the friend is a bad influence?
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Is this friend the only close friend that your son has? Does your son have any contact with his dad? Do you have any other children? Please let me know when you have the time and I will get back to you. I have a few thoughts you may want to ponder based on your answers to these questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My son is adopted. He does have many good friends and positive male role models. There are no other children in the house.

My son has known the friend for about 6 months to 1 year. I have spoken to his grandmother, whom he lives with. He is very disrespectful and does not come home at night. He does not have a key to his home. He has to wait for his grandmother to be home because she has lost trust in him. He manipulates the younger boys. At first glance, he seems very nice, but he is not. I do pray for him because he has had a difficult life.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for responding. The friend is manipulating your son. He probably acts somewhat immature for a 19 year old but gives your son attention that he craves and enjoys. If you suspect that your son is at the friend's house, speak with the grandmother if you can contact her. Tell her that your son is not allowed to spend nights over at their house and that you would appreciate her telling your son that if he does try to spend the night.

However, you stated that the friend fails to return home at night. So I suppose that your son is out with the friend possibly roaming the streets which is a sign of pure trouble.

I would suggest that you send your son to San Francisco. Make sure he stays active and involved. Also, maybe have him join a teen or young adult church group. Additionally, you may want to seek pastoral counseling to keep your son on the right track. Your son may have too much free time on his hands. Also since you mentioned that you are a single mom, he is left unsupervised and feels like he can do whatever he pleases.

Sometimes, the only avenue left to take is to pray when we have exhausted all other options.

Has your son come home yet? Have you tried to text him again?

Please let me know. Thank you and have a blessed day.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I am doing all those things. He does have a great support group. I think the friend may even have his cell phone. It was turned off all day yesterday and then came back on. If my son had his phone I do believe he would have called me by now. My son is involved in a great church group. I am praying and seeking support myself. He knows he can come home. We did not have any argument. I do believe the friend is manipulating him. His friend Blair does not have his own cell phone. I have been calling around to see where my son might be sleeping. I will continue to pray. This is a good service. I do have a lot of support myself too. It is nice to connect with a neutral person.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
I applaud you for already taking all of the right steps to assist your son in life. He is at a very impressionable age and is probably going along with everything that his friend wants him to do. Your son may not even see his behavior as wrong because his friend has manipulated him into thinking in this manner.

From one mom to another mom, I have a 16 year old son. If he were in the situation as your son, I would contact the police just to get some further advice because I know they deal with situations with runaway teens all of the time.

Your situation must be addressed delicately because you do not want to push your son away from returning.

Keep the faith. This is another storm in life and you can weather it. All storms do pass and you must continue to stay strong.

:)
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I noticed another expert contacted me? Do I pay for a different person or can I keep the same one? I would rather continue with Jordon1314.

I do not wish to call the police at this time.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello...you can decide which expert you would like to work with and whose answer you would like to accept. If there is a specific expert that you prefer, address the question to that expert.

I certainly hope all works out with you and your son.

Have a good day and stay encouraged.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did receive a text from my son today. I had texted him that I loved and supported him. He said Im the best mom ever. He was supposed to meet me at home to go to a concert but he has not arrived. Maybe he was sidetraked. I just have to leave without him.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

That is great news and a step in an awesome direction. He is not mad at you! He loves you. I am so happy to hear that he contacted you. He will come around.

:)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just wonder why these kids prefer to text and not talk? When I do see him I feel like doing an intervention and take him straight to San Francisco and not lot let him out of my sight. I know it is extreme. I realize I need to control my emotions and not yell, but it is difficult.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Could you tell me more about what makes you feel like yelling?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm very happy he came home. At the same time, I'm really upset that he had been gone for 2 more nights when he knows he should not have been. I'm upset because I do not know where he was. I'm upset because he lies. Now I feel like I need to put him in a structured environment to help him not be in a situation that he obviously cannot handle. I need to provide him with tools to stand up for himself and think things through before acting on them. He knows that I would be upset if he stayed out. But somehow he did not think through the situation clearly and is being manipulated. He did come home and that's a good thing, but there still needs to be a consequence. I'm trying to come up with one that will work and at the same time open a path for dialogue. I have to find a way for him to open up and communicate. He must have a lot on his mind. I'm sure he doesn't consider himself a "run-a-way", it is however not ok for him to not come home. Somehow I need to help him understand that.

He has a very important Youth activity next weekend that I believe he is looking forward to. My challenge is to keep him around so he can make it there. He will have a chance to stay at a college campus for 3 days with Youth from all over the country. It is a positive way to be away from home.

I've got to stay on my toes and keep him busy and I, myself still have a job so I can't be at home with him all the time. I'm going to see if he can sleepover with some folks I know. Our former neighbor has a son the same age and they are good friends.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for responding. I just knew that your son would return. However, you are right in the fact that he needs some type of consequence. When you feel that the time is appropriate, have a talk with your son. Start out by saying that you have always loved him, however you do not like some of his actions. Continue to tell him that you always want to have open and honest communication with him but it must go both ways: from him and you. Then, you and your son should come to a mutual agreement of a consequence. When your son has some input, he will feel like he has a little control over the situation which he seems to want to have.Furthermore, you must try and keep your son occupied and around "good" and positive people so that he really does not have time to entertain the thought of venturing off to see his friend. Maybe some neighbors could employ your son for various odds and ends jobs around their houses. That way, he could earn a little money while at the same time taking on a responsibility of having little jobs to do here and there. If you son is already out of school, you must be aware of his whereabouts at all times without seeming too intrusive. Make him call you to check in at certain time intervals throughout the day. Nonetheless, you must try everything in your power to make your son stay around the house and away from his manipulative friend. Another concern I had though was what does your son lie about?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think my son lies about what he is doing and his where abouts. He was supposed to stay around the today but left.

We have discussed in detail what the curfew is and it is 11:00 and he is not home. I now know I cannot trust him. It is like he cannot help himself.

I asked him to write a letter of apology and he said he would but he is not even home. He has not answered my calls since I left for work today.

I did make a mistake in buying him an Ipod. I made it clear to him that it was not reward him for his inappropriate behavior. I bought him the Ipod because he is going on a trip this weekend and all the kids will have one. It was a mistake on my part.

He does seem sincerely about going to the youth trip this weekend.

I know he will come home. I just need to think of a consequence. I was to suspend his texting. He actually agreed to it. I asked him to clean the kitchen and he did do it.

There is a good kid inside there. He is not verbally disrespectful but his actions of not following the curfew are. I do have a plan for him for tomorrow - I will sign him up to volunteer at Boys and Girls Club. I just need him to come home tonight.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello

Hang in there. Is your son home now? Do you know where he is?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He did not come home last night. I do not know where he is, but he is probably within walking distance. The last I spoke with him was from work. It was not a bad conversation. He said he was working. I'm annoyed that parents would allow him to stay without parent notification or permission.

I tried calling him while on my way home and he never answered. I tried calling him many times and he never answered the phone. I did suspend his text messaging late last night as an agreed consequence.

The 1 friend who usually texts me back when I ask him to call my son did not respond so he is probably with him. I texted another one of his friends to ask them to call him and he said he would however he never texted me back.

I don't think he is in any danger. We discussed rules of the house and that he doesn't have permission to spend the night out. Obviously he did hear the conversation. He is probably contacting his friends on facebook.

I really want to turn his phone off, but then I would have no communication. That's why I suspended texting for 6 days, He agreed to lose his texting til Sunday.

I have got to pray.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello...when your son runs away and keeps running away, then he has the power. You do not want him to maintain this power and be in control. As a parent of a minor, you are responsible for him. You need to know his whereabouts. His safety is being jeopardized because you have no idea what he is doing and where he is. He could be perfectly fine and just hanging out. However, he could be into drugs, sexual experimentation, stealing, etc. You just don't know what he is doing but you need to know.

I get a sense that when he goes out, it worries you to death. I do believe that you need to tell him that the next time he runs away, you will contact the police. Something needs to change. If he keeps going out, how will things ever bet better? There is no reason why he should stay home in his eyes. He knows that he can come and go as he pleases and nothing too severe will happen.

I hope this does not sound harsh but you must stop enabling him to have the freedom to come and go as he pleases. Remove him from this situation with his current friends immediately. They are not a good influence at all. With the summer months upon us, he has a great more amount of free time to hang out.

Maybe turn off the internet service for a while if you think he is contacting friends through Facebook.

If he wants to go out with friends, you or a parent of his friends can be taking the friends out and bringing them back home.

Have you ever asked him in a straightforward manner...why does he keep going out and staying out when you have told him not to?

Family therapy may really be in order ASAP. You and your son need to sit down and work with a therapist to sort out these issues. Your son may be a good kid but maybe he needs to hear about the wrongness of his actions from a neutral third party. You maybe right in the fact that your son simply cannot help himself. However, something keeps drawing him out to these friends and you need to find out what it is.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have asked him why he is behaving like this. He does not have an answer.

I do think I've figured something out. I went through his old cell and found that he is probably staying at a girl's house and she is sneaking him in when her grandmother is asleep. The things kids do.

I will not let him out of my sight once I get him back and I will remove him from the situation for a cooling off period. It is dangerous.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
A girl adds another layer of problems to this ordeal. Ask him if there is a girl involved but do not tell him why you suspect that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much for all your great advice. My son is home and is going to the conference today. I am having my dear friend who is a police officer and works with teens have a stearn talk with my son. I am also signing him up for Basketball camp. I have to make sure I keep him busy!

As it turns out I do not think he has a girlfriend. I do need to keep a close eye on him and keep him around positive people. I have taken away text messaging and will turn off the phone all together if I do not receive a "Reflection Letter" from him outlining this wherabouts when he was gone and what he plans to do differently. It seems like he does not have sound judgement and just ends up hanging out. He said his phone was not working but that is not a valid excuse for not coming home or not communicating.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Glad to hear that your son is home. Maybe your son will gain some insight from the youth conference. Let me know about the Reflection Letter and how your son felt about the conference. Do take care and I hope to hear from you soon :)

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