Missing Children: Tips for parents and guardians

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – This week two teenagers were reported missing in Mercer County.

Police are actively searching for two teenagers that have gone missing this week in southern West Virginia. One is believed to have run away from home.

When a child goes missing it becomes a terrifying experience for any parent and there are ways to try and prevent it from happening.

“I would say to parents as best as you’re able to stay connecting to your kids but nothing prepares you for some of the things that your kids can get involved with,” Hamlet Smith, Director of Life Strategies Counseling Services, said.

With the current society, we live in there are several ways for the outside world to come into one’s home and pull a child away but there are ways for parents to stay on top of their children.

“You’ve got to have communication, you’ve got to have awareness, and you’ve got to have an education. There is a generational gap between parents of my age and kids who are now so technologically based and you’ve got to be able to speak to them to understand what social media they’re using and enforce, that’s a privilege and not a right,” Parent Lori Pace adds.

There are a lot of things that kids go through that parents may be unaware of such as bullying and peer pressure.

“Say even to teenagers put yourself around trusted people, people who have demonstrated to the community that they care about kids,” Smith adds.

No parent can predict if their child will go missing.

“Teenage years are a time of pulling away from your parents and trying to be more independent but trust me they still do need you and they need to know that you’re in their lives. We have to more than ever be in their lives, be talking to them, know where they are, know who their friends are and know what they’re doing,” Pace adds.

Reporting your child missing as soon as possible will allow police to quickly add your child to the National Crime identification center database to help locate them.

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