What to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Come Home: 7 Things to Do

What do you do when your child doesn’t come home? It can be incredibly frightening when your child doesn’t come home at the expected time. Your mind is likely to race, and you’ll feel helpless as you try to figure out what could have happened.  It’s a terrifying experience not knowing where your child is or what happened to them.

If this happens to you, don’t panic. There are things you can do to find your child and bring them home safely. This blog post will discuss seven steps you can take when your child goes missing. I will also discuss some other tips for parents with a teenaged runaway.

what to do when your child doesn't come home

What to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Come Home: 7 Things You Can Do

#1. Be prepared:

You first need to remain calm If your child leaves home without permission. Be prepared for this unfortunate situation if it ever arises. Ensure you have updated photos and other information about your child if they go missing. This way, you can provide law enforcement with what they need quickly and easily.

Also, know what to do if you receive a call from someone claiming that your child is with them. Never give out personal information over the phone; only believe what they say if you can confirm their identity. Often child goes away from home due to the fear of complaints from neighbors. Check if any such indecent happens.

#2. Call your child:

If the child has a mobile, this is often the first thing parents do when their child doesn’t come home. However, even if you don’t get an answer from your child, it’s still important to try calling them multiple times. Leave a message so they know what has happened and that you are looking for them.

If you don’t have a phone number for your child, you can also try to reach out to them through social media channels.

#3. Call their friends:

Call your child’s friends and see if they know what happened or where they might be. Ask them not to spread the news of your child missing, as it could complicate matters further. You can also get in touch with their teachers and coaches to see if anyone has seen them last.

Moreover, if you know where your child was last seen, ask people who may have been nearby what they saw and heard. There are many children who hate their parents and run away from home to stay with their friends. So contact their friends.

#4. Contact your relatives:

Children might need to inform their parents before they go to a relative’s place. If you haven’t been able to contact your child, try calling your relatives and asking if they know what happened.

You can also ask them to spread the word that your child had gone missing and provide information on what they wore when they left home. This will help people recognize your child more easily and could help in bringing them home faster.

#5. Call the police:

“Can I call the police if my child refuses to come home?” 

As soon as your child is missing, call the police immediately and file a missing person’s report. This will help start the search for your child, and law enforcement may be able to track down what happened or where they are.

When filing a missing person’s report, provide as much information about your child as possible, including what they were wearing at the time, their hobbies and interests, who their friends are, etc.

If your child is a minor and left without telling you, you can involve the police. But at the legal age, if your child doesn’t want to come home, then you cannot force them. In that case, you cannot reach out to the police unless you have a court order or similar documentation.

#6. Post about your child online:

Posting about your child on social media and other websites can help spread the word quickly. Ask for help from friends and family in finding your missing child, but be sure to provide accurate information about what happened. You can also post photos of them so that people know what they look like.

Be sure to also check online for any information relevant to their disappearance. This could include posts on forums or blogs, tips from websites dedicated to finding missing people, and other resources. If you are a non-custodial parent, be careful about posting pictures of your child on social media. Other parents may object to this.

#7. Keep searching:

Don’t give up hope. If there is no news about your child, keep searching and don’t stop until you find them. Keep an open mind about what happened and consider other possibilities, such as abduction or running away.

You can also contact local media outlets in case they can help spread the word about your child’s disappearance further. Also, reach out to members of your community who can help. Even small details can be a huge help in tracking down what happened and finding your child.

What to say when your child is back home?

When your child returns home after not coming home, show them that you are relieved and grateful that they returned safely. You should express your love for them and explain why their absence was worrying.

Ask questions about what happened and listen carefully to the answers without judgment or criticism. Make sure to hug them or give them a reassuring gesture of affection to let them know that you are happy they are back home safe.

Show your appreciation for the time they spent away, but also make sure that there is an understanding between both of you that this cannot happen again in the future.

In addition, talk about how their not coming home has affected other members of the family and the wider community. Talk through potential solutions together, so it does not happen again in the future, and ask for their opinion on how best to resolve the situation.

Let your child know that you will always love them unconditionally regardless of what happens and stand by their side no matter what.

Explain why it is important for everyone involved to come home when expected and how much relief it brings when they return home on time. Reiterate how much every family member loves them and wants the best for each other in all circumstances.

This video might help you to know more about what to do if your child runs away:

FAQs on What to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Come Home

What to do if your child sneaks out at night?

Many parents experience great anxiety when they realize their child has left home without permission. If your child sneaks out at night, stay calm and speak with them clearly and respectably upon their safe return. Identify why they chose to leave the house, and make sure that avenues for communication remain open so that further secrets are less likely.

Remind them of the potential dangers of leaving home in the evening, even if it seems harmless. Additionally, explore family counseling options with your child so that any underlying issues can be discussed in a less threatening environment.

Ultimately, by remaining composed and friendly during conversations about sneaking out, you will be better equipped to understand what was causing your child to engage in this dangerous behavior in the first place.

What to do when your 17 year old doesn’t come home?

“My 17 year old daughter refuses to come home.”

Dealing with a situation where your 17-year-old doesn’t come home can be stressful and overwhelming, and it’s natural to feel panic. Finding the right balance between being concerned for their safety and giving them space to mature can be difficult.

The most important thing is that your teenager feels safe, respected, and loved. Start by remaining calm and not overreacting while you contact their close friends or recent places they’ve been. Also, check whether he/she goes to live with a non-custodial parent. Teenage children often do that.

Also, consider contacting the police if you feel foul play is involved. If they do come back safely, it may be a good idea to have an open discussion with your child about why they stayed out so late without notifying you first, so you can better understand what led up to this incident.

How to deal with a daughter who runs away from home?

It can be incredibly difficult to handle an adolescent daughter who runs away from home. It’s important to remember that running away from home is often a sign of underlying problems, so getting to the root of the issue is essential.

Start by talking with your daughter and finding out why she ran away. Was there a specific reason she was unsatisfied at home? Or did something happen that caused her to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in your home? Make sure to encourage an open dialogue and take the time to listen actively.

It’s also important to create a safe environment at home where your daughter can talk about anything without fear of judgment or repercussions. Offer her support and understanding, and ensure she knows you are there for her.

In addition, enroll your daughter in counseling services or join a family therapy program so that she can learn how to cope with difficult emotions or situations in the future. This can also help strengthen the bond between you and your daughter and make communication easier.

What to do when your child leaves home without permission?

When your child decides to leave home without permission, it can be a stressful and confusing time for any parent. The best thing to do is to remain levelheaded and not panic.

Remember that your child likely has a good reason for leaving, even if you don’t immediately understand it. You should reach out to their friends and classmates to see if anyone has seen them or spoken with them recently or think they may know where they are.

Additionally, contact the police and report the incident while they investigate possible locations of your child.

Lastly, try to have an open dialogue with your child when they return home and have patience; there is likely something deeper behind the decision for them to depart in the first place, and understanding their reasoning can help avoid similar incidents in the future.

How do you deal with kids who run away from home?

Dealing with a child who has run away from home is a difficult and emotional experience for any parent or guardian. Take steps to ensure your safety, as panicked interactions between runaway children and their families can exacerbate the situation.

After reaching out to authorities and beginning a search, parents should also focus on understanding why their child ran away. Reaching out in an understanding way can be incredibly helpful; it may even spark conversations that repair damage in the family dynamic.

When he/she returns home, follow up with professional counseling for everyone involved to create an effective healing process. Understanding how each family member feels and exploring strategies for effective communication in the future can begin a long-term journey of reconciliation.

Should I beg my child to come home?

No. Begging your child to come home is likely counterproductive, as it communicates to them that they are not in control of their own decisions and that you think they cannot make a responsible decision on their own.

It may also cause resentment if they feel like you’re pressuring them into coming home. Instead, talk to your child calmly, show your support and understanding, and devise a plan to help them transition home. Consider their needs as well as yours when deciding how best to handle the situation. 

Encourage your child to take responsibility for their choices and be willing to support them in whatever way you can. Additionally, setting expectations for your child before they come home is important. Talk about any changes you need to make, such as rules and boundaries, to maintain a healthy home life. 

Make sure your child knows that while you are there to support them, they also need to take responsibility for their actions and behave in a respectful manner. With clear expectations and understanding, you can help your child make a successful transition home.

Final Thought:

When a child is running away from home, it can be a very stressful and worrying time. But by following the steps outlined above, you can take action quickly to try and bring them back home safely.

Remember to stay calm and think logically to find your missing child as soon as possible. And most importantly, let your child know that you love them and support them no matter what.

Following these steps can help ensure that your child is returned safely home. With the right approach, you can reach a better understanding and open a line of communication with your child, leading to more secure and connected relationships in the future.

About Shakir Ahmed

Head of the editorial team. I hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from UoL. Written hundreds of articles on divorce, child custody, employment and other human rights law topics for blogs and websites worldwide. Worked 6 years as a relationship development trainer. For any communication regarding any legal matter, please feel free to email me at shakir@lawyersnlaws.com

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