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allan
allan asks:
Q:

My daughter ran away from her moms house, and is living with her boyfriend.  How should I confront this situation?

Hi, my 16 y.o. daughter has decided to run away from her mums where she lives, to her boyfriends.
I've only found out this morning and it all apparently went down last night .. I've tried to ring her to find out whats going on and if she needs some support but she won't answer my calls. She lives about an hour away, so tonight after work, i'll head out and see if i can 'track her down' and grab a bite to eat or a coffee with her.

Other than listening and supporting, and maintaining the anger that is just below the surface, what can i do?
I feel isolated and helpless, confused and dissapointed.
She's always been a great kid, always happy, a good student, always spends weekends with myself and loves my current wife. ( when they are together with my younger daughter who also lives with their mum, they are like a pack of best mates ) I'm also keen to catch up with my younger daughter, and make sure that she's ok, but the priority is obviously the older one. Any suggestions of what to prepare for would be excellent, she deserves so much and I really don't want to blow it.

thanks,
al.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 20, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello Allan. This situation is very difficult to understand why your daughter chose to runaway and also is difficult to deal with. As a parent, you know how to correct this situation--however, this is difficult. Your daughter needs to understand that she is 16. She is not ready to move out--on many different levels. Is she currently classified as a runaway? If she is with any adult, including her boyfriend, they/he could be charged with harboring a runaway. Furthermore, the other adults in the situation, should know this fact and encourage your daughter to move or go back to her mothers home or call you. Your daughter has blatantly decided to not follow the rules and therefore needs to earn a consequence. Thinking of an appropriate consequence will also take some follow through on your or her moms part. If she is limited to how and where she will see her boyfriend, then make sure you can monitor this. I can only assume that when your daughter turns 18, she will want to move out. So, this can be a very good time to sit down and discuss with her about rent, deposit, credit history, finances, good decisions, her future plans and goals. You as a parent want to encourage good decisions and goals for herself and simply state that she is not at that level yet, as she is 16. She has not made a good decision for herself, and you can explain to her that as a parent you need to teach her that skill. I agree, trying to find your daughter is the immediate concern. Talking to her will also be a challenge. Remember, she may not be to open to talk with you as she will already be feeling upset or mad that she was caught/found. Make sure you let her know how much you love her and are concerned about her. I also suggest if you do need further assistance you may want to call and talk with the police. Have you also discussed this issue with her mother?  If you need to talk to someone or have any other questions, please feel free to call the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. We have crisis counselors available 24/7 and we talk with kids, parents and families. Good luck and let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

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Additional Answers (2)

NoraRuth
NoraRuth writes:
This seems as though this is a cry for attention.  When she allows you to, you have to show & tell her how special she is.  Demonstrate in a manner & with frequency so that she knows how a young lady is to be treated & respected.  It sounds like it may alreaqdy be to late for you to be her first date, but give it a try anyway.  Don't let your daughters fall prey to a few sweet nothings from others.  Remember as their father you're to be the embodiment of Christ's love for them here on earth.  Show unconditional love, but without sparing the consequences for choices made.  But you have an accountability too.  They're your first priority.  Find scripture telling what a Godly woman is and discuss it.  Tell them your dreams and aspirations for them individually.  It's not too late for you to build a relationship with them that will sustain them even after your death.  I had that with my mother.  My dad, oh well.  I pacify myself by thinking if he knew better, he would've done better.  You still have a chance to aid in constructing the strong foundation they'll need to survive the many challenges they'll face throughout life.  The seeds you plant now will allow you and your new wife to enjoy a future with the confidence that you put your house in order before the entire dam broke.  I pray that you step to the side and let the Lord speak through you in a language that they each understand.  The better prepared they are now, they won't have to consider early parenthood, abortion, or abandonment.  Seek a Christian counselor to give you the specific biblical content you may feel is necessary to get their respect and attention.
> 60 days ago

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JaRobertson
JaRobertson writes:
As a student, I would have to say although the other ideas for helping your daughter are valid, involving more adults may be a problem. They will not have as great of an impact as her friends would. Many times students and teens feel cornered and alone and think that the only people that can help them are their boyfriends or friends. If you can find some friends that are worried about her as much as you are you can try to talk to them and get them to help you get threw to her. She is rebelling due to something that happened and possibly finder her a safe source to vent about the issue would be your best bet. This does not necessarily involve a councilor but it can if she is okay with that. A consequence should be arranged but work with her to make it. Make her feel that it is fair for her rash action. She needs to feel that things will be "fair" to an extent for her to understand what she did wrong and not do it again.
> 60 days ago

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