Teenage Runaways- Parenting Advice
During the teenage years, a child’s body goes through significant hormonal changes. These changes are both physical and emotional. It is a very crucial time period for teens during which they may get carried away with incidents that they see or hear. During this volatile period, they need the support and guidance of their parents more than they may ever admit.
Reasons for Teenage Runaways
There can be certain incidents that occur in the house, school or elsewhere, to make a teenager feel insecure and disturbed. These situations may prompt a teen to runaway from home in an effort to avoid the situation. There could be many reasons for a teenager to run away, including:
- Abuse: sexual abuse, physical, or verbal
- Problems at school or home
- Excitement of having a boyfriend/girlfriend
- Trying to seek attention
- Suffering from mental health problems
- Bad company
In such situations, parents should know how to handle their teens. The first thing is to have an open relationship with them. There is a fine line between being authoritative and being a friend. But it is possible to be more like a friend so that they feel like they can communicate their problems with you. If you feel that your teen is suffering from some problem, try and talk to him or her about it. Make them feel comfortable and secure.
Parents should also try to spend enough time with their teens so that they know them well. Spending quality time helps them to confide their problems and strengthen a healthy parent-child relationship. Parents should also remember that they should never insult a teen in front of anyone. This lowers their self-esteem and leads them to do unpleasant things. Parents with teens that are out of control and run away from home often can consult with therapists and counselors. Many parents can also benefit from Residential Treatment Centers (RTC’s) where they monitor a child for 24 hours.
The steps to building a strong relationship with your teen should be taken before they reach their teenage years: not just when a problem occurs. Creating a trusting and safe relationship should start from birth. With a strong bond, the child will be less likely to run away and you can learn to trust each other.