Communicate with your child and stay connected
Listen and empathize with their worries, feelings and concerns.
Help them label what they are feeling.
Talk with your child honestly about their feelings and reasons for wanting to leave home.
Explain to your child the real risks of running — outline the difficulties of finding shelter, clothing, and food, and the potential for harm.
Tell your child what you would do if they ran away from home. Some youth may be deterred simply by gaining a better understanding of how running away might impact others. Most teens do not want the additional pressure of public attention or want to be embarrassed, which often happens when the police/media become involved.
Tell your child how much you value and love them.
Tell your child that you are committed to working through this difficult time.
Make sure your child knows that your love and support for their well-being is unconditional.
When upset it is easy to get stuck in the negative. Help your child see the bigger picture. Move them away from negative thinking such as “It is always going to be this way,” and “Nothing will ever change,” to more positive thinking such as “you had a bad day today, but you had a great day yesterday.” This will help move your child out of the moment and help them realize that things will eventually get better.
If your child seems out of sorts, notice this out loud. Let your child know that they do not seem to be like their usual self and ask them if everything is okay. If they choose not to share with you, respect that, and let them know that you care and are available if they need you. Then listen openly, without showing signs of judgment.
Raise concerns about high-risk behaviour.
If you believe your child is experimenting with risky behaviour, talk to them about your concern for their well-being.
Educate your child about the risks involved with drugs and alcohol.
Give third-person examples or stories (meaning stories about what other people have gone through or experienced) to peak your child’s interest and not sound like you are lecturing them and being judgemental.