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Story of a 15 year old Daughter

“At the age of 15, our daughter began running away from home to be with friends who were also acting out. Over the next two years she extended her runs to months at a time, failed to attend school, and became involved with violent street kids to her own endangerment. Even when she was at home, she was very disrespectful and disruptive of the family. For some time, we tried our best to deal with the problem in ways we knew about under the assumption that we could handle the situation ourselves. But the truth was that we needed help because nothing we had been trying was working.

Once we joined a CHANGES group to obtain assistance, we still harbored the assumption that we could simply adopt some of its ideas and go on our way. But the truth was we needed more help than that, and in ways we did not realize. To our amazement, we soon found that other parents in the group perceived that we, not our daughter, should be the first ones to make adjustments. They encouraged us to re-evaluate our assumptions and goals as parents, and only after that process did they help us make a plan to deal with our daughter’s behavior.  This approach ultimately worked very effectively to bring her home to stay under a new set of understandings.

In sum, the experience we had is a good example of what parents can achieve working together, committed to certain common sense principles and supporting one another.”                            

– Mother and Father of 15 year-old daughter