Teen Mom 2 alum Jenelle Evans wants to set the record straight regarding her son Jace’s recent runaway incidents.
As Monsters and Critics previously reported, 14-year-old Jace was reported as a juvenile runaway on Tuesday, August 15, after he didn’t return home after a day at school.
Jace was found safe hours later, but went missing again on Wednesday, August 29. Luckily, the teen was located safely once again with the help of police officers after Jenelle called the cops.
Jenelle credited the fact that Jace is a teenage boy for his multiple disappearances. As Jenelle’s rep, August Keene, told E! News, “Nothing to be alarmed about. Jace is a teenager finding his independence, wanting a bit more freedom, and Jenelle is a momma bear.”
Now that the dust has settled, Jenelle is speaking out after being accused of neglecting her parental duties, which her critics feel are responsible for Jace running away twice in two weeks.
Taking to social media, Jenelle uploaded a video of herself on TikTok. In her recording, Jenelle responded to a comment from a critic who told her to “take care of your kids instead of running away to cali tf.”
Jenelle Evans responds to critics who implied she neglected taking care of Jace, leading him to run away
Jenelle, who was recently in California reportedly for work, began by telling her fans and critics, “So, yeah, let’s talk. There’s a lot of comments going on right now, and it’s crazy.”
“First of all, I didn’t ‘run away’ to Cali,” Jenelle added. “It was a work trip that was planned for months ahead of time.”
Jenelle continued, “A lot of you are relating the incident that happened with my son to my work trip, which has nothing to do with each other.”
The mom of three explained that Jace’s actions are being “pinned against” her, and she said that it’s causing her to receive a lot of hate.
Jenelle said that Jace has been having a hard time for the past two or three years, implying that his behavioral issues began while he was still in the care of his grandmother, Barbara Evans, before she signed over full custody to Jenelle in March 2023.
However, Jenelle wants the details about Jace’s struggles to remain private.
“None of this has gone public cuz we’re trying to keep his privacy. Me and my mom, when she gave me custody, she’s like, ‘Oh, we’re just getting along, I’m just gonna give [Jace back to Jenelle].’ Well, there was a big reason behind why I got him back.”
Jenelle didn’t want to publicly discuss those reasons, though, in an effort to keep Jace’s issues out of the public eye.
The former MTV star also shared some advice for other parents of teenagers: “But I will say one thing. Monitor your kids’ phones.”
Jenelle admitted that she monitors Jace’s phone usage, and when she takes his phone away as a consequence of his actions, sometimes he gets “really mad.”
The Teen Mom 2 alum ended her video, noting that Jace is “fine, he’s healthy, and he’s safe,” and adding that she would appreciate it if her followers would “kindly please give us the privacy and give my son the privacy right now.”
Teen Mom 2 alum Jenelle admits the situation has her feeling ‘stressed’ and asks critics to stay out of it
Later in the day, Jenelle took to Facebook, pointing out that she was feeling “stressed,” and calling the rumors surrounding Jace’s disappearances “insane.”
“Dont comment on a situation you know nothing about,” Jenelle wrote. “Thanks!”
Following Jace’s first disappearance earlier this month, Barbara spoke with TMZ and claimed that Jenelle took Jace off his ADHD medication before he ran away and had ceased his visits with a behavioral specialist, both of which Barbara said were working well for Jace.
Since then, Jenelle and Barbara are no longer on speaking terms after Jenelle revealed that she “cut off” contact with her mother.
Teen Mom: The Next Chapter airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.