Help Troubled Teen Runaways
By Curtis Reed
Today our teens face a vast amount of issues and challenges that we as children didn’t really have to deal with. It can be a very scary world for a young person. There are often issues going on at school, home and or/ that teens social network. These environments often have a big part to the troubled teen’s life. For help with dealing with some of this issue’s please call one of our child placement specialists/ family representative at Zion Education Services, (888) 597-9495.
The most common reason that children runaway is family friction over such issues as curfew, truancy, behavior, dress code, academic performance, and the child's choice of friends. Children also may choose to run away because of problems they are afraid to face such as bullying at school, pregnancy, sexual orientation or alcohol and drug problems. Some children may also choose life on the street as opposed to continued living in a seriously abusive environment.
Understanding the reasons a teen runs away is of absolute importance in solving the problem and preventing repeat behavior. Various behavioral disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder, for instance, may be at the root of the problem when a defiant teen threatens to run away simply because he/she feels midnight is an unreasonable curfew or many other different issues.
The most difficult question I get from parents of runaway teens is “should I put them in a boarding school”. The severity of the child's behavior should be taken into consideration before making such decisions. I can't in good conscience advise a parent to bring a teen with violent and abusive behavior back into the household anymore than I could advise a friend to take back an abusive and violent estranged husband. In this instance it may be safer if the violent teen can be found and placed in an out of the home treatment facility.
If the troubled teen does not have a history of becoming violent or abusive, family therapy can often help resolve the situation. In these instances I highly recommend making every effort to find the child and either bring them home or do anything possible to open up communication so that they know they can call you in an emergency.
Most teen runaways, return within 48 hours to two weeks and generally move from one friend's house to another. There are those, however, who go further and stay longer. If they take to the streets, the longer they stay, the more dangerous the situation becomes. Surveys of 432 street youths in Los Angeles showed that 71% had either a drug or alcohol abuse disorder or both.
Children living on the streets sometimes resort to prostitution, pornography or robbery in order to obtain money for food and/or drugs. Teen runaways are prime targets for all types of predators and often meet tragic consequences. We must, therefore, make our best attempt to reach them.
For assistance in making some of these important decisions that parents are faced with everyday please call us at Zion Educational Services to speak with one of our child placement specialists. These highly reputable individuals can assist you with making difficult decisions such as seeking help therapeutic boarding schools or various other options. The number one of us can be reached at is (888)597-9495.