Keeping Youth at Home, One Call at a Time

Photograph of a teen girl making a telephone call.Jaime, a 14 year old from San Diego, called the Family and Youth Services Bureau-funded National Runaway Safeline because she wanted to run away from home.

"My mom treats me like a prisoner in my own home," Jaime said. "She doesn’t let me hang out with my friends…she even gave me a PHONE curfew!"

Jaime explained to NRS frontline member Donnie that she fights with her mom all the time about the rules.

"I can understand how this may be frustrating for you," Donnie said. "Have you thought about what your plan would look like if you decided to run away?"

Jaime told Donnie that she had planned to stay at her friend’s house down the block. She thought that maybe her friend’s parents could intervene and talk to her parents for her. She told Donnie that she was feeling really overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn.

"Have you ever told your parents how you feel?" Donnie asked.

Jaime replied, "Umm, I just figured mom knew and didn't care how I felt."

Donnie helped Jaime explore how to talk with her parents about the way she was feeling. Then Jaime gave Donnie permission to mediate a conversation between her and her mom via conference call.

After talking with Jaime’s mom, Donnie learned that Jaime had recently been lying about where she was going when hanging out with one of her friends; as a result, the rules got stricter. During the call, Jaime asked her mom if she would be open to giving her more freedom. Jaime's mom said that she would have to earn some trust back but that they could work on that together. Jaime agreed to work on gaining her parents’ trust back.

"Thank you so much for helping me talk to my mom. I feel so much better now," Jaime said.

For more information about the National Runaway Safeline, visit their website, or call 1-800-RUNAWAY.