My 19 year old son ran away from home

Jewel - posted on 10/04/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I'm heart broken right now, my 19 year old son ran away to live with his girlfriend that he met online. His girlfriend is 21 and lives in St. Louis, MO with her mother. My son has never been away from home and he now refuses to come back. He tells lies about our home and he hates me. He's not working or in school.
I was a teenage mother and had my son when I was 18, his father and I have been together for more than 20 years now. We spoiled Al (our son's name) from infancy. He has never wanted for anything nor has he had to work to support himself. Our only rule was for him to go to school and get his education. Al has graduated from high school and we were touring colleges before he left.
I know we are great parents, I just can't understand where we went wrong with him. He doesn't talk to my husband or I, he talks to people that haven't played a part in his life ever (ie my younger sister, his step sister who don't have his best interest at heart.
I just want the pain to stop, we have two younger sons that we have to care for, but it's so hard to be whole when a part of your heart is missing.
I welcome any and all advice.

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Jodi - posted on 10/04/2014

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He's 19, so he didn't "run away from home". As an adult, he left home to be with his girlfriend. He has never been away from home? You don't think MAYBE you have locked him up just a little too much? Even spoiled him to much? That's where you went wrong. Don't make the same mistake with your other children. But keep in mind, he is an adult. It is time for him to make his own choices.

And yes, I know you THINK you were great parents, but these comments don't actually support that. Great parents don't have children who never want for anything and never have to work to support themselves. Great parents don't spoil their children. Great parents have more rules/boundaries for their children than "we just want you to get your education".

Jodi - posted on 10/05/2014

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You can disagree all you like, but the FACT is, he IS an adult, and he moved out. He didn't have to "inform" you. You want advice and solutions? Leave it be. It is now time to let him sink or swim. You are not going to get advice from me on how to make him come back home, because he is an adult, whether you agree with it or not. He has made his choice. If he isn't ready for the world at 19, then maybe you should have prepared him (and it sounds like you should also have prepared yourself). Whether you like to hear it or not, there has clearly not been enough room to grow at home and he now wants to spread his wings. Let him. Accept his decision and move forward in your relationship with your ADULT son, rather than your CHILD son.

Sarah - posted on 10/04/2014

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Well, he is 19 so there is absolutely nothing you can do to force him to come back. The harder you beg and plead, the harder he will dig his heels in and stay where is his. Maybe it's time for him to learn what it is like to live on his own? if he wants to act like an adult, treat him like an adult. Do not send him money, do not pay for his phone, do not pay for his car, groceries, rent, medical expenses etc.
Focus on your kids at home and teaching them to appreciate your generosity and give them some responsibilities! No one disputes how much you love your son, but in your love you've become blind to what he really needs. Some good priorities and a job.

Jewel - posted on 10/05/2014

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Thanks for the feedback, but I don't agree. Yes, I spoiled my son and he was never locked up he chose not to stay with family or friends. Based on my background and how I was raised I taught and give my sons all that I didn't have from a stable home to material items.
My son can cook, clean, and has baby sat for me on numerous occasions. He did run away because he didn't inform his parents he was taking such a long trip. He didn't pack the things he would need nor did he think of how he would sustain himself. At nineteen years of age he is still a teen, he can't think of all of the hidden dangers this World has to offer. I don't agree that he is an adult, legally he's a adult but age doesn't make you grown in my book.
Thanks for the feedback again ladies...I was looking for some solutions on how to deal with the pain not insults about my parenting skills.

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Michelle - posted on 10/04/2014

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Our job as a parent is to raise our children to be able to cope with the real world. We need to teach them how to survive on their own. That means teaching them about working hard for what they want, not just giving it to them. Teaching them about cooking and cleaning so they can live in a clean house without starving.
Like the other ladies said, being a good parent isn't giving your child everything they want, it's setting boundaries and teaching how to support themselves.
He's an adult so he didn't run away from home, he moved out. That's what adults do. I would stop trying to get him to come back because the more you tell him to the longer he won't.

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