Discovering that their teens have run away is one of the most painful experiences for parents. Every year, thousands of youngsters run away from their homes, never to come back, leaving their parents shocked and traumatized, who then try hard to understand what went wrong. As parents, it is important for you to know about the factors that can influence kids to run away. We have highlighted some of the underlying reasons behind the problem of teenage runaways.
Home is supposed to be a place where one feels safe. Unfortunately, most kids leave their homes for the exact opposite reason. They do not feel safe at home due to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that they may be facing. They are so nervous to speak out about it that they are not left with any other option than to leave home. Unfortunately, child abuse is not just restricted to homes. It has made its way to schools as well. Not only this, with an increase in cyberbullying, the internet has also become a commonplace for harassing, humiliating and teasing kids.
It is pretty normal for teens to feel depressed, but things have a tendency to become a lot worse when they take big decisions during that state. Depression affect the problem-solving and rational decision-making ability of kids, who start believing that all their problems will vanish the minute they run away from home. Little do they realize that they are only making things worse for themselves this way.
Conflict with Parents
Teens are hungry for love, support and attention from their family, particularly parents. When they fail to get it, then it becomes difficult for them to stay at home. This also became apparent in a study conducted at the University of Chicago. National Runaway Safeline considers conflicts with parents the major reason behind teenage runaways, with 50 percent of the teens running away having made the decision due to this factor. Sometimes parents become so angry that they ask their child to get out of the house, thinking the latter will eventually come back. That, unfortunately, is not always the case.
Drug addiction is also a common reason behind teens running away. Leaving home makes it easier for them to continue taking drugs without worrying about getting caught and having to give explanations to their parents. Addiction to drugs clouds their mind and gets the better of their judgment, due to which they make irrational and unwise decisions without realizing the consequences of these decisions.
Fear of Failure
Believe it or not, the fear of failure is amongst the worst of fears. Some parents want their teens to be the best at everything they do, be it studies, sports, debates, or something else. This, along with various other expectations, puts an unbearable amount of weight on kids’ shoulders, putting them in a state of constant stress. The feeling that they do not have what it takes to be successful or that they cannot meet the expectations of their parents is frightening for most of the kids so they prefer quitting rather than fighting. Knowing that they cannot face their parents after quitting, they simply run away.