Do You Know?
There is a pattern to running behavior among teens.
At least half of all youth who run away from home, stay within the town or vicinity in which they live, many going to a friend’s or relative’s house. Most runaway episodes seem to be poorly planned, reflecting impulsive behavior, and most runaways return within a week. Generally, the length of time gone from home increases with age. However, the more they run the further they go, and the longer they stay.
It’s not always possible to predict or anticipate running behavior in teens. The wise parent or concerned adult must be alert to the possible causes of running behavior (abuse, alienation, rebellion, a perceived lack of control, and fear) and seek to address conditions that may contribute to such behavior before the situation reaches a crisis point.
In addition, because most teens run to a friend or relative first, it is sometimes possible to prevent further running behavior by addressing the reasons for such behavior as soon as its shown to be true.
Some of the following suggestions given in this article may help a caring parent, leader, teacher, or youth worker to reach out to a teen who has shown or is showing signs of running behavior.