Friday, December 2, 2011

Teen Runaways - A parents nightmare

Holidays can be a time of joy and a time of turbulence in some households.  Is your teen starting to become withdrawn?  Hanging with a different group of friends? Do you suspect he/she is using drugs or drinking? 

Are they leaving your home and not coming home?  Do they think they know it all?

Unfortunately some parents experience this type of teen behavior and it can escalate during the holidays when they have more free time.

The authorities all but tell you (or they do tell you) “typical teen” they will show up eventually.  In the meantime you are a nervous wreck.

What do you do?  Here are some quick tips for you:
  • Keep an updated phone list with the home and cell numbers of your teen’s friends. Using the phone list, call every one of your teen’s friends. Talk immediately with their parents, not their friends, as teenagers will often stick together and lie for each other. The parent will tell you anything they know, including the last time contact was made between their child and yours. They will also know to keep closer tabs on their own child.
  • Keep an updated photo of your child on hands at all times. With this photo, create one-page flyers including all information about your teen and where they were last seen. Post these flyers everywhere your teen hangs out, as well as anywhere else teenagers in general hang out. Post anywhere they will allow you to.
  • Immediately contact your local police. It is advised that you actually visit the office with a copy of the flyer as well as a good number of color photos of your teen. Speak clearly and act rationally, but make sure that they understand how serious the situation is.
  • Contact the local paper in order to run a missing ad. Also, contact any other printed media available in your area; many will be very willing to help.
  • Contact your local television stations, as well as those in nearby counties. Most stations will be more than happy to run an alert either in the newscast or through the scrolling alert at the bottom of the screen.
Be sure to contact National Runaway Switchboard and if you need residential therapy, please contact Parents’ Universal Resource Experts. 

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