It's New Year's Eve, and a dreary day, so let's have story time, shall we?
Say, hypothetically, you have a teenager who is flunking math. And say, hypothetically, you punish said teenager by taking away said teenager's iPod.
What happens next?
A) The teenager sighs but takes the punishment like a trooper.
B) The teenager calls you a name and slams the bedroom door.
C) The teenager threatens to run away from home.
OK, so the iPod has been stripped from the teenager's grasping little fingers. There's wailing. There's whining. There's gnashing of teeth. Parental ears are genetically coded to block such teenage assault. The iPod is firmly tucked away for safe keeping. Grumpy, slumpy teenager stomps to the bus and is whisked away in a belching cloud of fat, yellow bus exhaust.
While on the bus, the teenager rants against the inhumane parental punishment, leeching the one entertainment available to the teenager on the laborious ride to school. Quick with pen and paper, teenager vents by authoring a note:
"I'm leaving. By the time you read this, I'll be far away."
Teenager slaps the note down, crosses arms, and sulks all the merry way to school. A day goes by, fraught with learning, and when teenager comes home from school, it's necessary to wash away all that learning residue, and hops in the shower. Whilst in the shower, teenager hears dog barking like a maniacal Cujo-resurrected-from-doggie-hell kind of way. Teenager drips to the window to inspect what is disturbing the force.
Oh my. The police have arrived!
Crazy, salivating dog is tucked safely away in a bedroom while teenager eyes the suspicious cops lingering by the front porch. Teenager does not confront them.
The phone rings. It's the police requesting an audience with teenager.
While teenager is speaking with the police at the front door, the father parental comes sliding into the driveway. The father is confronted with the idea that teenager just may have some serious issues. Teenager could be on the verge of running away. Teenager could want to end it all.
What the he...? the father blusters.
"The teenager left a note on the bus."
Teenager looks sheepish. "Oh yeah..."
Father parental explains that teenager was angry in the morning because the iPod was taken away. Teenager was being overly-dramatic, and is not in crisis.
"That explains it," says the officer. "However, the ambulance has already been called."
Teenager is gurneyed into the ambulance and carted off to the hospital where teenager is gowned and tagged and told to wait for a crisis counselor. Teenager watches T.V. and does all the happy things teenagers do...minus the iPod, of course.
3 1/2 hours later a crisis counselor takes 5 minutes to evaluate teenager, coming to the conclusion that said teenager is a normal teenager who got angry and thought about running away for all of 2 minutes. The teenager is not in crisis, stop wasting my time, thank you very much. Teenager is sent packing.
Sheepish teenager arrives home. Teenager still doesn't get back the iPod, but the parentals get landed with a 4 figure bill to pay for it all.
This is called the "F" effect.
Hope you enjoyed the story!