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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FAMILY: Don't Want to Live With Either Parent
Letter #: 380021
Category: Other

Original Letter

So I'm a 16 year old young lady. I've been having a rough time with a lot of things in my family. I currently live with my mother during the school year and my father during the summer. In both homes I'm struggling. Constant yelling and disagreement. I've thought about running away but I don't know where I would go. Knowing that at the age of 16 my parents can't do anything about me running away makes me want to do it even more. I've thought about going to my boyfriends house or my best friends house but I don't know how I would do the rest of my life. Do I need legal papers to live somewhere else? I've thought about living with a friend then getting a job so I can get an apartment and have my boyfriend who also has a job to live with me. I just don't know what to do right now. My emotions are all over the place but what I do know is that I don't want to live with either one of my parents.. But I can't get emancipated because I don't have a job yet.

Elder Response

I am so sorry you are so unhappy.  It is a tough thing to have to split your time between two homes.  I am sure you are doing your best to cooperate with your parents.   It isn't always easy to communicate with parents.  Sometimes we don't remember how hard it was when we were growing up.  If you and your parents are fighting whenever you are together it may be you are all not listening to each other.  Is there anyway you can take the first step with one or the other of them and ask how things can be made better?   Communicating is so important.  Sometimes we just need to slow down and try to think of a better way to handle things.   If your parents yell at you can you be the bigger person and not respond in that way?  When we yell we really don't hear each other.   If you talk calmy back to them it may make them realize what they are doing.  If you are doing the yelling please remember that they are your parents and do deserve your respect.

Do you have a teacher or a relative who you can confide in to ask for help?  Perhaps a relative could act as a go between and lay the groundwork for a meeting so you can discuss your needs, and find out what your parents are expecting of you.  

Kendall, you really cannot continue to be under this stress.  I hope you won't run away.  There are so many dangers out there.  Running away won't solve anything.  You need to stay in school so you have a chance of getting a job which will pay enough for you to be self-sufficient.  If you quit at 16 to get a job it will only make your life harder.  After school you can decide whether or not to disengage with your parents if that is what you really want.

Can you suggest family couseling to your parents?  It may really help to have both sides told to an impartial party.  If they don't want to go to counseling, do look into it for yourself.  A counselor at school or a priest or minister would be someone you could talk to.  Many communities offer counseling services for free. 

I am sure your parents love you very much.  Sometimes we all get lost in trying to have our way and forget how important being together is.  That goes both ways.  I am not letting your parents off the hook, nor you.

I will think about you and hope that somehow things will work out for you.  I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you  that things will get better.

Best Regards,



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