View Full Version : Older "Runaway"
Wish I'd read Yes, Your Teen is Crazy sooner. My 18 year old son is a HS senior and left home 3 wks ago.He said he just couldn't stand living at home anymore, but was unwilling to discuss issues or go to counseling.(We have had some recent crisises with our 16 year old daughter and see a counselor).
We know he has smoked pot (we searched his room after several weeks of withdrawn behavior and found pot in a locked cabinet). We think his leaving may have more to do with wanting freedom than family issues. He withdrew his savings and bought a car. He is still going to school and work.He said he's decided against the college he had planned to attend-and has no firm plans about his future.
He is staying with a different friends and goes from house to house. .We still have his "stuff". It's difficult to just stand by idly and worry that he may self-destruct.My husband is angry and hurt and wants to leave him alone. I want to try to get him into family counseling.
03-06-2002, 12:15 PM
I'm not an expert on this subject, but I just wanted to let you know that I feel for you. It must be very hard to stand by and let your teen (who is considered an adult by law) do what he has to do.
I know Dr. Bradely might disagree, but I think at this point anything you do to try to bring him back into the family will only drive him further away. All you can do is show him that you love him and are there to support him IF he ever needs you.
I would only caution your husband not to TURN HIS BACK on his son. He needs to let your son know that he supports his adult decision, and that as long as his behavior is not a threat to the family's safety, then your door will always be open to him.
He needs your love more than ever now. The trick will be how to show it to him when you don't have a lot of contact with him. Try without intruding on the life he's chosen for himself.
03-10-2002, 03:00 PM
I think Carlene's thoughts for you (see postings) are right on the money. Further, try and view your son's actions as a temporary measure that may actually help things in the long run. For example, if he had stayed in your home right now it might have led to some terrible fights. His leaving might be a kind of "safety valve" and can give everyone some down time to think things through. Also try and not take his words too seriously (re: not going to college). We all have these back-and-forth feelings about huge challenges like this. Above all, please see if your husband can remember that he's only got a little time left parenting his son, so he should spend it wisely. These kinds of provocations from our kids can be very painful if we take them personally. But they can also be wonderful windows of opportunity to teach our children if we stay dispassionate, and model critical values like patience, love and tolerance particularly in the face of severe provocations. Your son will be very impressed by your ability to not react to hurt by hurting back, and will see this as strength on your part that he will want to copy. The odds are overwhelming that he will soon return to your home, and then it is critical that you guys be able to talk through what happened to ultimately bring you closer together. Remember to keep the "long view" in parenting. What you do in the next few days may have a lifetime of impact.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Dear Carlene and Dr. Bradley-
Thank-you for your response. "Older runaway" found out that my husband and I have checked on him, we contacted some of the families he stayed with, he is very angry. We heard rumors that he sometimes stayed in his car at night,( the weather here has been dangerously cold).He has a cell phone but rarely returns my calls. He has come to our home when we are at church- to get more clothes or shower. We explained that we are concerned about him and will stop checking on him if he calls once and awhile to say he is safe. He was surly. His attitude made my husband more angry and words were exchanged.We also have heard that he is smoking pot and drinking. He knows we feel very strongly about both activities. I guess that is some of the reason for his move.
I am plan to seek counseling for my husband and I. We need help to work through this.My daughter is very hurt by her brother's coldness to all of us. She sees him at school, but he nevers talks to her.
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