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He has run away from home...

Hello Mark,

I emailed you several weeks ago regarding my 15 year old son, C___, who has run away from home. As I said in my last email, the police returned him, but due to his age told him they could not make him stay.

As you can imagine, that sort of information to a 15 yr old with ODD/CD is gold and I haven’t seen him since. He is staying at his girlfriend's house with her family. She also is 15. This is unbelievable to me as I know they are involved in a sexual relationship.

I believe the parents are now "encouraging" him to return home, persuading him to call home and "discuss" it with us. How lovely of them! (As yet, no phone call from him). I have learned from his school (specific purposes school for behaviour) that he has attended 3 days in the last 3 weeks, although the family where he is staying believe he is attending far more frequently, as the mother drives him there!

The parents are a separate issue. I can’t deal with both and keep my sanity! What I need to ask you is, what do I do if he does ask to come home? Before he left, the "Rules" were extremely lenient. He was out after school every day, and out all weekend (away from the home) from Fri night to Sun evening. This is not acceptable to me, but I didn't know how to stop it. If I told him ‘no’ he just went anyway, with a mouth full of filth. Same with the total disrespect and foul language directed at his step father and myself, and the name calling and bullying of his younger brother (9). We also have a 7 month old son who, along with my 9 yr old, I am desperate to protect from C___'s behaviour.

I have been advised, by school and police, to tell him he is welcome back, but if he does not wish to follow the rules to ask him to leave again. (At 15!)

I don’t believe I am asking too much for civil behaviour, regular attendance at school, sessions with his counsellor, 3 afternoons at home for study and 2 with mates, and one weekend night out. The problem is that after all the freedom he has bullied us into giving him, and that he has acquired since being away from home, it is unlikely he will agree.

I am second guessing myself, I have anxiety about him returning to our now peaceful home, and I feel that I have no confidence in my own decision making.

Please advise....



Hi B.,

I agree with the police and school officials. If the Juvenile Laws in your area are such that you cannot file what we call in the U.S. "run away charges," then do as they say: If he returns home and violates house rules, he needs to find another place to live again.

In the meantime, enjoy some peace and quiet. And thank God he has somewhere else to live.


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