A 13-year-old from Texas is likely in MAJOR trouble with her folks today after sneaking out of her bedroom window and taking her older brother's car on a road trip to visit her 12-year-old online boyfriend in Kentucky. Somehow, Elizabeth Annette Robinson made it 700 MILES before she was caught.
A trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol stopped her after noticing the car she was driving matched the description included in an Amber Alert which had been issued for her. She was then turned over to Tennessee juvenile authorities. Crazy!
Can you believe this?! No charges will be filed, but no doubt there will still be a lot of finger-pointing in this case, with Robinson's parents likely being accused of being negligent. But I'd beg to differ. I'm not sure there was really anything this girl's parents could have done to prevent this from happening. In fact, they had attempted to ban her from speaking to the boy. That obviously backfired!
Robinson reportedly met her beau online via Xbox and anyone who ever experienced young "love" -- whether it was before or during the Internet age -- knows that emotions run extremely high at that age. If a teen makes up her mind to do something as bold as running away to visit an online boyfriend, she's going to.
I can relate to an extent, having had online boyfriends when I was Robinson's age, but I would have never had the guts to do anything as wild as this teen! But I definitely disobeyed my parents, racking up the dial-up Internet and long-distance phone bills. And yep, I was punished for it. But I wasn't forbade from speaking with my long-distance BFs. My parents trusted me ... and knew overly strict rules are only made to be broken by headstrong teens.
Obviously, Robinson is going to have to suffer the consequences for her actions. But going forward, what might work better than prohibiting her from speaking with her boyfriend might be setting up a chaperoned meeting or scheduling phone/Internet chats. Because if one thing's clear, it's that the 13-year-old has no qualms about doing whatever she must to keeping her relationship afloat -- come hell, high water, or 700 miles of highway driving.
How would you handle this situation if this was your teen?
Image via Moyan Brenn/Flickr