- Family and Parenting
Running Away why a teen should think twice
Like many teenagers I was troubled, I thought I could do what ever I wanted when I wanted. My mom was a single mom who worked and had a very social life when she wasn't working, and I suppose I often felt that situation made it easy for me to get away with things. Of course there was also the fact that my mom and I didn't agree about anything, and at the young age of 13 I started running away.
At first it was because I was mad at my mom, or her boy friend, then because I wouldn't get my way and then the running away turned into a more selfish need. The more I left home and skipped school the more I got to bounce around from friend to friend, I suppose it made me want more independence. You see all my friends....were older and most had later curfews or none at all, most hung out at the arcade and partied and some didn't even live at home. I began to see a life more appealing then school and home, more fun, more dangerous and more free. It became an addiction of sorts, a freedom I needed so badly an ach to grow up. But with friends like that it was more then just video games and ditching school, it was booze, drugs and criminal activity. By 15 I had two arrests and was to spend 2 months in Juvie, I guess I thought getting arrested would make me more adult like.....how wrong was I!
Running away certainly wasn't the answer to any of my troubles, it only brought more troubles especially on nights when I didn't want to go home and there was no where else to be, after all there can't be a party every night. Some nights I would find myself wandering the streets of the city where I grew up young and alone. Often I would ride the buses till the busses came to an end, I have to admit those nights of stubborn selfishness I felt very alone and very scared. Some nights I longed for the people I called friends, and now that I look back at what a fool I had been, I realize I should have just gone home. Home was hard, it's true...but it was safe and warm.
Those friends that I skipped school to hang with and scared my mom half to death by running away to see them, those friends I haven't seen in 15 years....why? Because once I was released from juvie, a light finally clicked in. I went home and I did right, and my friends well I guess I wasn't that cool after all because I haven't spoke to any of them in as I said 15 years. I spent almost three years with those people, I thought they were my best friends, I was wrong....
Being a teenagers was the hardest years of my life as it was for most of you, I only gave you a brief description of my teen years but trust me when I say it wasn't easy. And now looking back the only one to blame is myself, sure my mom had many flaws and involved herself with people I still don't agree with but running away from it wasn't the answer. Sure, I have gotten plenty of life experience just in those few years but losing the respect and trust of those I love has taken so long to get back and nothing is worth that.
If you're a teenager or a parent of a teen thinking of running away or have already, it's not worth it. I was lucky, I wasn't raped or killed, I didn't end up selling myself or become a drug addict, I was lucky because I truly had family who cared. Take a look at why you want to run away is it really worth losing trust, respect or even your life, no it's not.
And for parents, if your teen has run away or threatens it you as a parent need to take action before something unexpected happens. Most teens run away for a reason whether big or small, if it's a simple as they aren't getting their way then it's time to sit down and change the rules, or at least come to an agreement. If there is something deeper like my situation then you need to get professionals involved, yes this will make things a lot more difficult, but it could save your child life...They won't hate you forever, it will only seem that way. And if your teen is running away because of a family member or a person acting as a family member then you the parent need to find out the situation if it's just they are not getting along well then you need to find some common ground between the two and/ or seek again professional help. If it's more serious like abuse or neglect then you and/or the abuser need to seek help, and get your kids out of that situation immediately.
Don't bail when the going gets tough, deal with it as a mature teen or ask someone you trust for help or advice. This world is not safe and it only takes a second for your whole world to change. I lost my teen years from running away, I missed prom and learning music making real friends and so much more. Don't miss you teen years because their tough, in the end you'll only feel regret. And when your twenty years old getting you high school diploma you'll have wished your choices were different. Trust yourself and make the right decisions, remember you future goals and live each day to attain them. Be happy, be healthy and stay safe.