Teen Runaway Prevention
By the time a teen has decided to runaway, it can be very difficult to convince them otherwise. In many cases the parents are not involved in the final decision. There are things a parent can do to assist in the prevention of a teen runaway. The number one thing would seem to be communications. If parents have an open line of communication, the teen will be much less likely to run away. If a child has been taught that parents are interested in them and everything they do, they would logically be more likely to discuss thoughts of running away with them.
Communication may not be the magic bullet to prevent a teen from running away but it surely canít hurt. Parents should work when the child is very young to communicate with them. It becomes more of a challenge when they hit their teenage years, because it is ďnot coolĒ to communicate with their parents. It is difficult but not impossible; parents need to be persistent and most importantly sincere. If they are sincerely interested in, and participate with their teens as much as possible, they will have a much better chance. Parental support is also an important part of developing and keeping a positive relationship with their teen.
In our opinion here are some helpful components necessary in preventing a teen from running away:
* Sincere desire to be involved in teenís life
* When in doubt check it out, verify teenís story
* Know your teenís friends, names and families etc.
* Know where your teen is all of the time
Another important factor to consider is the parental observation of the teenís activities and friends. Parents should know their teenís friends and the whereabouts of the teen at all times. With cell phones in the possession of most teens, it is not difficult for a teen to notify parents of their whereabouts. If a teen doesnít personally have a cell, they probably have a friend with one. If a parent is suspicious about their teenís activities, they should follow their hunch and verify it. For example, if the parent suspects their teen is lying about where they are, the parent should drive to the location to see if the teen is really there. They could also call the parents of the home where the teen claims to be. This may seem like overkill to some parents, but if trust has been lost with a teen, parents will need to verify what they say.
Some parents are afraid to ask and be suspicious of what their teen is doing. Some don't want to seem nosey. Consider the alternative of not checking up on your teen. He most likely will take advantage of you and do what he wants. Some parents want to be just friends with their kids. This can have a negative impact on them. The best thing to do is become friends and a parent at the same time. Make sure they know you are the one who makes the rules but also treat them like a friend on other subjects.