My friends left home last year for California and my parents forbid me not to go. I am now 14 and I think that I can make it on my own, especially if I can go and join my friends. However, they are older. My best friend is 18 and her boyfriend is 20. This is my concern: I am tired of being told everything like I am a child. I am practically grown now. I have missed many days in school and have been told that I am not going to be promoted to the next grade. I don’t care. Life will be great once I leave my parents’ home. Gwendolyn, what do you think?—Janelle
Child, child, child. The last 14-year-old runaway I saw looked more like 50. Let me tell you this: People do not tell you the truth. Have you heard from your friends lately? No, it seems all you know is they left for California.
Get your education and stay home with your parents. Teen runaways too often become picked up by the dregs of the earth who hang around bus stations and offer food, shelter, and little or no money. You are too young to have a best friend of 18 years. I want you to do research on the number of teenage runaways who end up buried somewhere in a ditch or worse, never found. Janelle, think about it. Your teenage years are not to be wasted. Make good decisions and listen to your parents. As a teenager, life looks great and it is—providing you don’t grow up too soon. Remember, become educated as far as you can achieve. And when you do become that adult, leave home in good spirit with your parents and their door will always swing open to you in case of a hardship.
(Do you have a son or grandson age 10-17? Help him to choose college not jail. Order DECISIONS In The Life Of A Growing Male Youth. Send $14.95 + $4 S/H to: G. L. Baines, P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066. Got a problem, e-mail her at: or write to her at address above (to receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.)