Maureen Blaha, National Runaway Safeline Executive Director, and Katya Mazon, Youth Board Member for the National Runaway Safeline, came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio to talk about their helpline and give tips for parents.
You can call 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or visit www.1800runaway.org if you or someone you know needs help or if you're interested in becoming a volunteer with the organization. The hotline is open 24/7.
Tips for parents to help prevent their child from running away
- Pay Attention: Listen when your child is talking with you. Don't pretend while you are watching television, reading the paper, or using the computer. Children know the difference.
- Discuss Feelings: When parents share their feelings, children know it is safe to share their own. Talk about what it feels like to be a parent and encourage them to talk about their feelings.
- Create Responsibility: Give your child choices, not orders. Help them understand the consequences of their actions. When punishments need to be administered, ask what they think would be appropriate. Make sure the punishment fits the "crime" and it is consistent with other actions you have taken.
- Understand Your Child: Try to sympathize with what your children are going through. Look at life - at least occasionally - from their point of view. Remember when you were their age your ideas seemed to make sense.