Runaway Squad

Lately, we’ve been watching episodes of the detective show “Runaway Squad” on DVR.  The way that the parents act on this show bugs the heck out of me, so today I am going to spout off about it.

The premise of the show is that families hire this elite group of seasoned investigators to find their children after they have run away from home and disappeared from their lives.  Often, the squad first begins ferreting out clues many months after the kid absconded.  Typically, the rogue teen is located somewhere in New York City, ground zero for the nation’s runaways.  While New York has become the destination due to the ease of blending into the city and the multitude of opportunities there, it is also a dangerous center of exploitation where both girls and boys often end up sucked into the sex trade.

Predictably, the squad gets their man (or woman) and sits down for a discussion with the newly reunited family.  What transpires never ceases to amaze me.  After the tearful hugs, the parent(s) begin raging with anger at the recovered kid.  How could you do this to us?  How could you not take our feelings into consideration and allow us to wonder whether you were alive or dead?

Um, excuse me?  First of all, after you’ve gone through the effort and money of hiring the Runaway Squad and then successfully recovered your kid, you think you’d act a little grateful that your kid is back at home?  Secondly, you know perfectly well why your kid ran away from home.  Either it was a difference of opinion about a boyfriend/girlfriend or about religion or about privileges or about lifestyle choices or about something. Parents, how could you fail to take your kid’s feelings into consideration on an issue that meant so much to them that they felt they had no choice but to run away from home?  You only see what your kid did to you, but you refuse to see what you did to your kid to cause him or her to leave home in the first place.

Wise up, parents, it’s not all about you.

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3 thoughts on “Runaway Squad

  1. I haven seen the show but I agree. Parents need to listen to their kids. They know how they feel and what they want. It’s the parents job to guide not the old say. “Do as I say.” There are dangerous folks out there.

    • So true! Kids often feel powerless, particularly when their parents refuse to listen to them and there are repeated clashes over differing points of view regarding what is acceptable. Forced to live with their parents due to their minority, teens can feel like square pegs wedged into round holes. The resultant frustration and tension has to vent somewhere, and often leaves kids no choice but leaving a volatile and unhealthy situation. Parental patience, tolerance an willingness to listen can often prevent this unfortunate and dangerous situation. It is both unfair and wrongheaded for parents to fault their children for escaping such a tortured life. If parents stopped for a minute to think about what it would be like to spend months or years wondering if their child is alive or dead, perhaps they might cool it long enough to realize that their kids will likely follow their own paths, one way or another. Tolerance. Listening. Love. It’s not that complicated, parents.

      • That’s why God made grandparents. To listen and advice. My grand children talk to me and trust me. They know I go to bat for them. Sometimes that’s all they need. When I learn what’s bothering them I abstractly tell my children. After we raise our own children we see our mistakes but we get the do over with the grands. My kids are close to me. I listened most of the time. If I got short with them because of stress I apologize. I neve embarrassed them in public I whispered and used eye contact.

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