Have you ever been in trouble at home or at school and thought to yourself, “I will run away and then they will be sorry!”
There are numerous reasons why kids run away from home, however, they all have something to do with one or more of these problems:
- at home, like feeling unsafe, fighting between parents, fighting with siblings, feeling unwanted, divorce, parent’s new partner, a new baby, money concerns, too many rules, not enough rules.
- at school, like bullying, teasing, work being too hard or too easy, problems with a teacher, homework, or having no friends.
- with friends, like teasing, spreading rumors, people telling your secrets, peer group pressure.
- with the law, like drinking, drug use, stealing, graffiti, vandalism, breaking-in, attack.
- with boyfriends/girlfriends, like breaking up, not wanting to take no for an answer, having an argument, being dumped.
Running away may get you away from one problem for a while but it doesn’t solve the problem. It can give you a lot more problems and put you into danger however if you really feel like running away, ask yourself some questions first:
- What else can I do to improve things at home before I leave?
- What could make me stay at home?
- How will I survive?
- Is running away safe?
- Who can I count on to assist me?
- Am I being realistic?
- Should I think about this some more?
- What are my other options?
- If I end up in trouble, who will I call?
- When I return home what will happen?
When you have asked the questions, think about who can help you sort out the problems, running away is not the best option in any circumstances.
Maybe you think that it will be a lot of fun – no rules like at home, eating what you like when you like, no school, but in reality, it is not so cool:
- having nowhere to live
- having no friends who care about you
- being afraid
- having no cash for food
- being bullied or hurt by bigger children or adults
- sleeping rough and being unsafe
- maybe having to steal or do something you don’t want to do to get food
- not having anywhere of your own
- having nowhere to rest
- having nowhere to put your stuff
- having to carry everything
- having nowhere to wash yourself or your clothes
- always being alert for danger, and never able to relax.
Even many stories have a happy ending, sometimes kids who run away from home have a lonely and really horrifying time until they discovered the right sort of help. Some kids:
- may stay at friends’ houses.
- may stay with someone else in the family for a while.
- go home again and work things out with their mother and father.
- get help from an organization that helps street kids.
- live on the streets.
- end up being badly treated and badly hurt.
- disappear and are never seen again.
If you feel sick or unhappy, it is far essential to inform your mother or father, a teacher or another grown-up.