Snapily is a photo gift website with an innovative twist. They take your favorite digital photo and transform it into a greeting card, business card, notebook, invitation or scrapbook page with a feeling of depth and movement.
When you were little, did you ever run away? Maybe you packed up your backpack and made it down the driveway or around the corner to your friend’s backyard. But after a little while, you forgot why you were running away and it was getting dark out, so you went home. How about have you ever been in trouble at home and thought to yourself, “I’ll run away… and then they’ll be sorry!”
When you think about running away, you probably imagine that there will be no more rules, no parent to tell you what to do, no more fights. Sounds great and exciting, right?
Most small children aren’t serious when they threaten running away from home; it’s usually the symptom of problems at home, at school or with self esteem. Another problem kids have at home these days is that both parents may be working. Mom and Dad aren’t around much. They spend little time as a family. Absence of a parent does not make the heart grow fonder. Oftentimes a runaway will complain that he or she is not loved any more.But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take your child seriously when she says that she is running away. It may be your child’s reaction to a very serious problem.
Let me tell you a story……………
I was 6. It was the day after Easter, and I had a brilliant idea. If I put my chocolate Easter in a glass of milk and microwaved for a really long time, it would turn into delicious chocolate milk! It didn’t. The milk curdled and boiled over and the house smelled bad. It was a mess. My mom yelled at me and sent me upstairs.
I was so hurt. I thought it was a great idea, why was she so mad? I spent an hour crying because she yelled at me. She was just so mean! I decided this was clearly child abuse and I didn’t want to live with a mom who hated me. So I packed a bag full of dolls, my baby blanket, and the remainder of my Easter candy. I was going to go live in the wild for the rest of my life. I would learn how to make fires and build a log cabin in the woods.
Just as I was about to leave forever, my mom stopped me at the door. “Where are you going?”
I confidently told her, “I”m running away”.
With a clever mother smirk, she offered to pack some food for me. It sounded like a good idea to me.
5 minutes later I left my house with a backpack full of spaghetti sauce and canned vegetables and a can opener. She walked me to the door and told me goodbye. I couldn’t believe it,she wasn’t even going to try and stop me! She must really hate me, I thought. She doesn’t even care.
So I bravely stepped out into the great big world. I made it approximately 200 yards from our house before I realized I was really hungry. So I sat down with a can of spaghetti sauce and my can opener….then I realized, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO USE A CAN OPENER! After 10 minutes of absolute frustration, I gave up on eating and continued walking. I guess I would just have to learn how to hunt rabbits.
I made it about a mile from my house when my mom drove up in her car. “It;s going to rain soon. Are you sure you don’t want to come back?”
I thought back to the can opener. I didn’t have any money, and most of my chocolate was already gone! WHAT WOULD I DO? The answer was simple
“Alright, I’ll go back.” I said. “But I’m going to leave again when the rain stops.”
National Runaway Switchboard states that between 1.6 and 2.8 million children run away in America every year. Many of these children are running from personal problems, but can encounter even greater ones when living on the streets
Running away from home can be very dangerous for your child. It is important to understand why children run away in order to prevent it from happening in your home. If your child runs away, it is very scary for you. You have lost control over the situation because you don’t know where your child is. There are many dangers out there that children don’t often think about when they leave the safe arms of their parents. Even when they do know the dangers, they tend to think that nothing bad can happen to them.
The Top 10 reasons why other kids have run away are:
1. Kicked Out………..Mostly the reason kids leave home isn’t because they run away, it is because they get kicked out.
3. Violence……….someone in your house gets hurt a lot………..maybe You.
4. Alcohol or Drugs………Someone in your house drinks alcohol lots or uses drugs to get high.
5.Verbal Abuse……………….People yell or scream at you all the time.
6. Neglect…….You don’t get basic stuff other kids do, like food, or it may be as if you aren’t even there and no one cares about you.
7. Crime………………Someone in your house does crime like stealing from people or beating them up.
8. Stress…………..Someone is always on your case putting pressure on you to do something all the time like cleaning up or doing your homework.
9. School…………You get bullied at school and can’t put up with it anymore or you get in really big trouble at school and just can’t go home because of what might happen when your parents find out.
10.Someone is Gone………….This could be because they died, or your parents get divorced or separated. It also could be an older brother or sister moved out of home.
In order to prevent missing children, parents should always make sure to do the following:
- Teach children by the age of 2 to memorize their first/last names, home address, telephone number, the names of their parents, and how to dial 911
- Develop a secret “family password” and instruct children never to leave home or school with someone who does not know what that password is
- Teach them to yell “HELP” if they sense danger from an unknown adult
- Prevent runaways by spending enough quality time with the child, listening intently to any worries or fears they may be experiencing, and refraining from talking to them in a lecturing manner
- Always know the whereabouts of your children
- Never leave children in an unattended vehicle
- Do not allow young children to go into public bathrooms alone
- Always have a detailed and updated description of your child on hand
Let me share another story about running away.………..I was fed up. I just couldn’t take it anymore! That last injustice was too much for anyone to take.
After going to my room for the third time in as many hours, I decided that I was going to run away. That would teach them to be mean to me. Being very careful to not upset my toys, I quietly got my stick that dad and I found when we went out walking along the river several months ago. To this, I tied my handkerchief that grandma had brought me from he trips across the ocean.
I fashioned a small bag with my handkerchief, and put my book of Dr. Seuss, a change of underwear (even though I was mad at her, I stilled listened to my mom. I mean, what if I did get hit by a car?), and my stuffed bear in it. Quietly, I slipped out of my room and into the kitchen.
In the kitchen , I climbed up onto the counter and opened the cupboards, looking for food I could take. Once I found my peanut butter crackers, I grabbed them and climbed back down and went to the refrigerator, where I got a couple of apples. stuffing my food into my bag, I slung the stick over my shoulder and walked down the hallway to the front door.
I was opening the door to leave, my Mom came out of her room. I stopped dead.
“Honey”, what are you doing?” She asked, looking at me quizzically.
“I’m running away!” I said, mustering as much conviction as my four year old body could.
My mom sighed “O.k. sweetie, if this is what you really want to do…” she trailed off and stood up.
My heart leaped into my chest. My mind screaming at me ‘she’s going to throw you into your room! Run!’
That was not to be the case however. She opened the door for me and let me walk past. As I marched down the walkway to the sidewalk, she called out “Just remember, you’re always welcome to come back!”
Acting like I had not heard her, I resolutely continued onwards, turning left at the sidewalk. After walking for a few minutes, I came to a street, and turned left, continuing down the sidewalk. Even though I was running away, I didn’t want to go that direction. Again, I walked for a few minutes. By this time, I was starting to get hungry, so I found a place to stop. Carefully sitting down, I opened up my bag and got an apple.
Crunching the apple, I sat back and watched the world around me. I felt the sun beat down on my skin, warming me. I could smell all sorts of different smells. I felt content, that I had made the right decision. I came back to my senses when I realized that I had eaten the entire apple. Sighing slightly, I packed my stuff back up and continued on my way, turning left at the street.
This continued for several hours, until I found a nice little place to camp for the night. It was a wooden house that was just my size, with a loft and blankets that looked a lot like the ones I used to have. This place reminded me a lot of my old home. Feeling sad, I pulled out my stuffed bear, my book, and some crackers and read Dr. Seuss for a while.
A knock on the door startled me awake. Looking around wildly, it took me a minute to get my bearings. It was getting dark, and I didn’t know where I was. the knock came again. My heart began pounding wildly. I didn’t dare say anything – it was probably the police, here to arrest me for breaking into this house. I burrowed under the blankets and shivered uncontrollably.
A second later, I heard the door open.
A second after that, I heard footsteps.
Another second and the sheets were pulled off of me.
A light flashed in my eyes, I couldn’t see. Fear gripped me, and I almost wet my pants.
And then, a voice. Familiar, reassuring, comforting.
“Son? Are you ready to come home?”
Too afraid to say anything, I nodded my head slightly, my eyes tearing up.
He took me into his strong powerful arms and held me close. “Shh…. it’s o.k. kiddo, we’re not mad.”
I looked at him, my eyes adjusting to the light. “Promise?” I asked in a very small voice.
“Promise” he replied, his answer echoed in his eyes.
I snuggled close to him as he grabbed my things. He handed me my bear, and I hugged with the fierce intensity of a frightened four year old. “alright kiddo, lets go inside” My dad said as we stepped out of the building and crossed the backyard of my house.
You Have to Have a Step-by-Step Way to Teach Your Kids that Running Away Won’t Solve Their Problem You have to Teach Problem-Solving Skills…………………
The most important thing you can do is teach your children problem solving skills. Ask them, “What can you do differently about this problem? What are some ways we can deal with this problem?” Always approach something as a problem that needs to be solved, and reward your child when they are able to do it successfully. Be sure to say things like, “I liked the way you solved that problem, Josh. The teacher was upset, but you went up and apologized. That took guts. And now she has a better opinion of you. I’m really proud of you.” As much as possible, praise your child when he does something positive.
Create an Atmosphere of Acceptance…………….Unconditional love is an idea that is used a lot in parenting, but different people mean different things by it. Some people say “unconditional love” but what they mean is “co-dependency.” When I say unconditional love, I mean “I can’t love you any less if you do poorly and I won’t love you love anymore if you do well. If you get an A I won’t love you any more. If you get a D I won’t love you any less. I love you.” I think it’s important for parents to have that kind of atmosphere in their house and to reinforce it with their kids. It’s also good for parents to say, “It’s okay to make mistakes around here.” Make it clear to your child that “the way we handle mistakes in our home is by facing up to them and dealing with them.”
Check in with Your Child………………….All parents should have a system where they check in with their kids frequently. Just stop and ask, “How’s it going? Anything you want help with?” You can say this two or three times in one day; go by their room and knock on the door. That way you’re constantly giving your child hypodermic interest and affection. You’re saying, “I’m interested in you, I care.” This is a skill that parents can build; it doesn’t always come naturally. I understand that parents who have worked all day come home and they’re tired. My wife and I were both social workers and when we came home, the last thing we wanted to do was talk some more. But we trained ourselves to do that so our son would know we were interested and that we cared. You never lose when you show that to a child.
Talk to Your Child if You Think He’s at Risk of Running…………….If you think your child is at risk of running away or you know that his friends have done so, you want to sit down and talk with him. Always temper your comments about other kid’s behavior by what your child might be thinking. They hear you when you say, “Oh, that little hoodlum, if my kid ran away, he’d never come home.” As a parent, you need to be careful about who’s listening. What you really want to say to your child is, “If you screw up and run away, don’t hesitate to come back and we’ll talk about it.” And if your child says, “Talk about what?” I would say, “Talk about how to solve the problem differently.”
Responding to Threats…………….When your child threatens to run away, I think you should respond by saying, “Running away is not going to solve your problems. You’re going to have to take responsibility for this. And by the way, if you do run away, you’re still going to have to face this problem when you come home.” And then tell them what will solve their problems: “These are the family rules and learning to deal with the family rules is going to solve your problems. Not running away from them.”I think you can give warnings, as well. You might say, “Listen, if you run away, I can’t stop you, but it’s dangerous out there. I won’t be able to protect you. So not only will you not solve your problems, you’ll also be putting yourself at risk. Bad things happen to kids and that’s the risk you’re taking. I don’t think it’s worth it, Jenna.” As I mentioned before, you can also try to get them to take a time-out by saying, “Why don’t you just calm down for five minutes and then let’s talk about it.
Children need to know that his/her parents love him/her. If a child feels that your love is conditional, you may lose him/her to the streets. Parenting is a tough job. It takes a great amount of skills to do it well. Preventing your child from running away from home is as easy as putting unconditional love at the top of your priority list.
You can protect your child by providing a better quality of life at home. A loving and happy home atmosphere with good communication will help your child to feel secure, which will make them think twice before running away from home. Parents who care will also weigh their decision in the light of what is in the best interest of the children. Parents do not want there children to become neurotic and paranoid. Just take the time to show your child the love and affection that they deserve and need. By doing this you will not have to worry about your child being among the number of runaways in the world today.
You can always Call the National Runaway Switchboard at (800) 621-4000. It’s open 24 hours a day and the call is free. The switchboard operators get thousands of calls each year, many from kids who have run away or know someone who has.
The Fine Print
This policy is valid from 19 February 2010
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by us. For questions about this blog, please contact Dennis and Barbara Harnsberger at ourfamily2yours.com.
This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org