According to the National Network of Runaway and Youth Service, 10 danger
signals may indicate your child is about to run:
1. Growing Isolation
The child avoids family gatherings, even at meals, and spends more and
more time in his/her room alone.
2. Excessive Blowups
Tantrums are common to turbulent teens, but watch out when the smallest
thing repeatedly seems to trigger an explosion of temper.
3. Abrupt Mood Swings
Take note if a normally happy teen turns sullen, withdrawn, angry, even
manic without warning.
4. Increased Violations
Rules are boundaries against which growing youths must lean or hurl
themselves in the act of maturing. But take heed when “border incidents”
turn to real rebellion.
5. Increased Sleeping
It’s normal for adolescents to sleep more than parents think is healthy.
But beware of sudden marathons that can presage depression or problems
they can?t manage.
6. Diminished Communication
Again, there may be a perfectly good reason why your child clams up. But
if you can?t think of one, and it persists, pay attention.
7. School Troubles
Plunging grades, truancy, class-cutting, disciplinary problems, enduring
fallout’s with close friends–all can be cries for help that come before
8. Parental Stack-Blowing
Are you, not the child, getting unreasonably upset over the smallest
issues? Your feelings may be trying to tell you something–a subtle but
significant shift in family balance that needs attention.
9. Family Crisis
Death, divorce, illness, the loss of a job, a major move–any of these
can disrupt the family and send your child into a destructive spiral.
10. Unexplained Money or Possessions
Even if they’re not stolen, they may be stashed for an impending
get-away. Obviously, individual circumstances should tell you when
concern is called for.