SAFFORD – Police were dispatched to Walmart on January 17 in regard to a 14-year-old juvenile, who was allegedly handcuffed by a male and female who were reportedly not his parents.
Upon arrival, the responding officers spoke with the boy’s mother, who reported that he had run away that morning. The mother said she had found her son in Walmart and that she and her brother-in-law had been trying to get him to come home. She said that he began to walk away from them while they were discussing options with him. The mother reported that she made him stop and again tried to talk to him but he allegedly turned and attacked her. At that point the mother and brother-in-law allegedly forced the juvenile to the ground and handcuffed him.
The youth declined to speak to the officers He was placed in one of the officer’s patrol car and booked into Graham County Juvenile Detention Center.
Some helpful tips when a child threatens to run away:
1. Take seriously repeated threats to runaway. Ignore frivolous threats.
2. Parents need to extricate themselves from the power struggle. It takes two to fight. When children are passionate about what is going on, most are unable to stop fighting. Parents are the ones that need to make the shift. They need to stop fighting without abdicating their authority. Not easy to do. Then children are less likely to actually leave.
3. As best you can, let go of your anger. If you are unable to, then talk about it. Children need to know they are cared for and it is difficult for them to feel loved when parents are angry.
4. Tell your children in words that you do not want them to go. They need to hear it.
5. Acknowledge that you cannot stop them from going. By acknowledging your child’s power they do not have to push so hard to prove to you they have it. This means they no longer need to fight. They can now choose to stay.
6. NEVER CALL A CHILD’S BLUFF. Doing this escalates the power struggle and backs the child into a corner. They are more likely to leave even though they do not want to. They are more likely to do something that puts them at risk. NEVER HELP THEM PACK or do anything that makes them feel unwanted. It makes it harder for a child to come back home and save face when they do.