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June 26, 2013

Girl on the Run

by Tracy Jensen

At Fit4Families, more than anything else we are a community of parents here to support each other. This is why my friend Hansa (a.k.a. Dr. B) and I both share our experiences, hoping you all can relate to the ups and downs of being a mom or dad. Another one of our mom blogger friends was inspired to write the following post about a recent issue she had with her teen daughter.

So please welcome WebMD lead medical editor, Fit4Families mom, and practicing physician ,
Dr. Brunilda Nazario:

I’ve raised three boys and a girl; my daughter’s a challenge. I’m older & wiser; it’s supposed to be easier now, right?

Not with this one. Someone once said, “Your kids don’t necessarily learn from you, but they teach you.” I have certainly learned a lot about myself through her. This weekend, my daughter’s grades got her grounded. Why did I ever think this would go over smoothly? It didn’t. She was sent her to her room until she was able to communicate respectfully. She ended up walking out of the house.

Fortunately, this isn’t a crisis in my home. My kids are allowed to be angry; they can “run away” if needed. But there are rules. They can only run to grandma’s or a close family friend’s home. And they stay there until they’ve calmed down and are ready to talk. Everyone’s on board with this plan, including the kids. They know that grounding or consequences continue at their “new digs,” meaning they don’t escape their problems. This plan has turned out to be a lifesaver; setting parameters around running away has worked for us all.

The teen years are hard; she’s teaching me. I’m learning an unconventional way to care, to be patient and understand her struggle to express her frustrations. She’s stubborn and articulate, but she doesn’t have the tools or maturity to deal with frustrations. So until she does, she has a safe place to run.

Has your teen ever threatened to run away? If so, how did you deal with it?

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