Why do children run away from home?

224 cases of missing children registered in Mysuru Police Stations

Mysuru, October 30:- Any child can run away at any time if the circumstances are right. If they’re under enough stress, any kid can justify running away.

Don’t forget, running away is like any action. In order to do it you need three things: the ability, the willingness and the opportunity. And let’s face it, kids have the opportunity and ability to run every day — so all it really takes is the willingness to do it. That willingness can develop for a variety of reasons. It could be a stressful situation your child is under, a fear of getting consequences for something they did, a form of power struggle, not wanting to go to school, or a substance abuse problem.

Another factor is that kids often idealise running away and develop a romanticised view of life on the streets. In reality, it’s awful: you’re cold, you’re hungry and it’s dangerous, but adolescents often see it as an adventure or the key to freedom, where “No one is going to tell me what to do.”

Many kids run away because of drug and alcohol abuse. When teens and pre-teens get involved in substance abuse, they may leave home to hide it so their parents don’t find out. These kids are often using a lot more than their parents know; they want to use more freely and openly, so they run away.

In addition to fear or anger, feelings of failure can also cause kids to leave home. Some children run away because it’s easier to live on their own than to live in a critical home. I remember being a 15-year-old and living in a hallway in the Bronx in winter. I didn’t miss home at all because I felt like such a failure there. Sadly, kids with behaviour management problems or learning disabilities often get tired of the feeling that they just can’t get it right; it’s easier for them to run than to fix the problem. Often, they don’t know that what they’re facing can be dealt with using other strategies.

In the recent past, around 60% of children are running away from home because of issues related to love. Mysuru registered 224 cases and of that, 19 children have not been traced at all. Children are so sensitive that they can’t tolerate being scolded.

DCP Dr A N Prakash Gowda

In a case that happened at N R Mohalla in Mysuru some couple of months back, brother and sister were hauled up by their parents for spending Rs 100 without telling them. It was enough for them to run away to Bengaluru. Three brothers, aged 7, 9 and 11 from a slum in the city decided to leave the city and go to Ballari. Later on, they were brought back to Mysuru.

Four boys and 64 girls in 2018, 32 boys and 44 girls in 2019 and 13 boys and 25 girls have been missing. Whereabouts of 19 children are yet to be traced.

DCP Dr A N Prakash Gowda said, “Whenever children go missing, it is registered as a kidnap case. These days, most of the cases are related to love. Parents need to be extra careful with their children. It is better to treat them like friends to avoid untoward incidents.”  (MR/KS)


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