My son just turned 16. He left home when I was at work. He says he needs to get out of this house. He is staying with friend.. Can I force him to come back home?.. He seems to think our rules need to change, he dosen't get his way so he leaves. Any advice?

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Francine - posted on 08/22/2012

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In Canada the legal age is 16, in the states depending where the person lives, the legal age is between 16 and 18. As parents I do understand it gets frustrating dealing with teens, my boys are 20 and 14. At one point my 20 year old wanted to go live with his friend who he thought his parents let him do whatever he wanted, and I said Ok see if the grass is greener elsewhere. Within 3 days he was back home because he thought his friend's mother was more strict than I am. I'm not saying this is what you need to do but for us it helped with him understanding that it's not always better somewhere else.

Francine956 - posted on 08/21/2012

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Jenn this is a tough situation. Michelle is right about the fact that legally you are still responsible for him b/c he is a minor. However, I don't know if just sending out the cops to fetch him will solve the problem. I would try and talk with him to find out what he sees as the problem. I would also contact the parent of his friend to make sure that it is alright that he is there for the time being. This is such a hard age for teenage boys, I have a 16/13 year old and it is a tough time for them as they try and figure out how to become a young man. If you really want to help the situation I would ask him to come home to discuss what he feels needs to change. Perhaps there are some compromises that can be made. Create a contract, this way it shows him that you are willing to make these compromises but still have expectations that you need met. Each of you sign it and agree to have regular meetings to discuss how things are going and if there should be any changes. Your son is trying to figure out things as he grows, I think by allowing him to have some control over what he sees as an issue will help you both. Make sure you explain that you are willing to make these compromises as long as he shows that he can handle the responsibilities and be honest with you. I hope my experience helps you in some way, from one parent to another...

Michelle - posted on 08/21/2012

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legally he is still a minor and you can call him a runaway and the cops will go pick him up and bring him home

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