Running Away: Intervention for the Teen and the Family

Running away behavior is seen in children from around the age of four or five up through the teen years. This behavior is more serious and dangerous when the child becomes a teenager. They are able to travel significant distances and may be inclined to imprudently befriend the wrong person out of desperation or being impressionable. When children run away from home there are usually problems in the home that must be addressed before the child can genuinely commit to not thinking about running away again. In regards to depressed younsters, running away is at times a psychological alternative to suicidal behavior. A child who runs away is demonstrating the need for counseling intervention of the individual and/or at the family level. Some teens run away to be of assistance to their friends. Even though they may not be the unhappy ones at home, their thinking, unhealthy loyalty and lack of regard for their own situation and safety warrants intervention.