news that caught our attention is about the U.S. Marshall’s successful rescue of 72 children who in recent weeks were reported missing in different states.
We were also surprised to learn from the Director of U.S. Marshall Service, Donald Washington that more than 421,000 children in the U.S. between ages 3 and 17, who have been reported missing — 91% of whom are considered endangered runaways, of which one-sixth are likely to have become victims of sex-trafficking operations.
While we are glad to hear such news, our heart goes out for the rescued children and the families who suffered from such ordeals. The news was also a wakeup call for parents to find out more about teenage runaway cases and what they as parents could do, to help their teenagers overcome problems that confront them.
Why Do Teenagers Runaway
According to a Missing Child Case Manager of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), most runaways are cases where a teenager is running from an abusive homes, from restrictive foster cares, or from facing feelings of failure or anger.
Other cases are of children or teenagers running toward people or into gangs who provide them means of supporting drug or alcohol addiction. Yet not a few distraught parents who made calls to 1-800-THE-LOST, to report their missing child said their child simply up and disappeared without reason
According to the NMEC, the most recent cases of runaways represent a new kind of situation in which children and teenagers run into Internet relationships, by way of “online enticements.” The NCMEC describes “online enticements’ as involving a person who targets children with whom to communicate and forge relationships, but with the intent to subsequently abuse or abduct the child.
However, the NCMEC believes there is a deeper reason why a child becomes vulnerable to being victimized by online enticements. While some parents believe that their teenager has no boyfriend, as being the only possible reason for running away, there are cases of teeangers who simply wanted to be free from restrictions and have the freedom to do what they want.
Helping Parents Understand Why Some Teenagers Runaway
No parent would like to face that moment when their child goes missing, or even with the certainty that their teenager simply left their home. While most parents will restrict their children’s use of the Internet by using applications that will enable them to control their children’s use of the Internet, there are parents who are not as tech savvy.
Still, relying entirely on the technology of parental control applications is not a guarantee that their teenager will not harbor reasons to leave home for good. The NMEC tells of runaway teenagers who feared facing the wrath of their parents after getting into trouble, or for failing in their academic performance
There were also teenagers who maintained communication with a friend who had previously ran away but who is glorifying her experience and present status. The obvious purpose of course is to lure other teeangers.
Ways by Which Parents Can Prevent or Keep Their Teenagers Fall victim to Online Runaway Influencers
The best advice we can give to parents is to first and foremost keep the line of communication open between you and your teenage daughter. Being her parents, you should be the first person whom your child can trust and run to for advice.
Secondly, make your child feel and know there is nothing she will do or say to keep you from loving her and giving the support she needs regardless of the consequences of her actions.
Thirdly, give your teenager some sense of freedom but within established well-explained boundaries.
When shopping for a gift to buy your teenage daughter, choose those that will let her know that you have been attentive to the things she discusses during your conversations, whether about entertainment, boys, fashion, gadgets, hobbies and other trending teen topics.
By the way, our website curates age-appropriate gifts for children, which you can check out via this link medium.com/@playtime/best-gifts-for-16-year-old-girls-94fea6c79652.