Tag: parentingteens

Runaway Youths

Do You Know?
There is a pattern to running behavior among teens.

At least half of all youth who run away from home, stay within the town or vicinity in which they live, many going to a friend’s or relative’s house. Most runaway episodes seem to be poorly planned, reflecting impulsive behavior, and most runaways return within a week. Generally, the length of time gone from home increases with age. However, the more they run the further they go, and the longer they stay.

It’s not always possible to predict or anticipate running behavior in teens. The wise parent or concerned adult must be alert to the possible causes of running behavior (abuse, alienation, rebellion, a perceived lack of control, and fear) and seek to address conditions that may contribute to such behavior before the situation reaches a crisis point.

In addition, because most teens run to a friend or relative first, it is sometimes possible to prevent further running behavior by addressing the reasons for such behavior as soon as its shown to be true.

Some of the following suggestions given in this article may help a caring parent, leader, teacher, or youth worker to reach out to a teen who has shown or is showing signs of running behavior.

Rebellion

To some parents, teachers and youth workers, the phrase “teen rebellion” may seem redundant. At times it does seem that adolescence is synonymous with rebellion.

Teenage rebellion occurs for many and varied reasons. In some cases, it is simply an awkward expression of an adolescent’s stumbling progress toward adulthood. However, in many cases adolescent rebellion also stems from a number of roots, among which may be a poor relationship with parents, an effort to communicate, a need for control, a lack of boundaries and expectations, an expression of anger and aggression, and the absence of an honest and vulnerable model.

As has been said, all adolescents are likely to rebel in one way or another. Rebellious thoughts and behavior are not only common, but they are also natural. Such rebellious tendencies can even be beneficial in helping teens to grow toward independence and their parents to adjust their expectations and practices. However, prolonged rebellion can be both dangerous and harmful to both parent and child.

Counseling rebellious and delinquent youth is a very difficult, slow and often frustrating task. Success might be marginal at best. Though attempting to help and guide a rebellious youth is indeed a challenge, the sensitive and discerning adult may be able to offer help in the following ways discussed in this article.