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3 Things To Do If Your Child Leaves Home Without Permission

Upset teen girl sitting on a bench

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child’s safety.  So, remember to build parental ​​authority. If your child leaves home without permission, he is technically a runaway. Parental guidance for this behavior includes the following:

  1. Call the police. 
    - This sends the message to teenagers that it is not okay to leave home without permission.
    - The police are responsible for the safety of citizenry; your child is not safe if you do not know where he is.
    - Parents are responsible for what happens to their child even when he is not at home.
    - Having a record of your child going missing will prevent you from being accused of neglect.
  2. Once your child is safely home, give negative consequences for the behavior.
    - Consequences can include loss of privileges, such as a cell phone, car keys, or video games.
    - Give additional chores.
    - Be consistent. 
    - Issue chores and negative consequences in a calm manner.
  3. Communicate the dangers of running away to your children.
    - Lack of food and shelter
    - Bad weather
    - Lack of money
    - Missed school days
    - Violence on the streets
    - Exposure to illegal ​activities

The bottom line is that you​ are the adult and your teen is the child.  As such, it is your responsibility to keep your child safe. ​Knowing where he is and whom he is with is necessary to keeping him safe.