Runaway is increasing day by day. Runaway is not simply running away from home but also changing one job to another, wife leaving her husband’s home and runaway to parent home. Runaway ratio is inflating and according to the national runaway switchboard each year approximately 2.8 million children and teens run away from home. Many return home within the first 24 hours, but there are still a staggering number that never make it home. Most of the time when runaway is about to happen or child is threatening to run away, there are few things need to consider and need to learn about the communication at that risky time.
Ms. Amina Javed is working as a Clinical Psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. In 2015, she completed her MS in clinical psychology, from Centre Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore. She had training of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Behavior Therapy and she is interested in Dialectic Behavior Therapy as well.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
Those children who never return home are usually the victims of sexual abuse or sex trafficking, get involved in drug abuse and other illegal acts. Usually when child threatens to run away, most common reaction is provoking and asking him to leave home and never come back. This leave no choice for child even if his mind changes after running away from home. Letting your child know that they are loved and wanted, and that you will do everything in your power to help them through a difficult time, can keep them away from this dangerous fate. Before you jump to the conclusion that they are just a bad kid, or lecture them or grow angry, determine what really pushed them in this direction. There are ways you can open a line of communication with your teen to improve the situation.
How to hold them accountable at that time?
When your teenager or loved one threats to run away, at that time you need to know that how you should hold him or her accountable. First thing to keep in mind while holding other person accountable is “Don’t”. Yes, it means that don’t hold them accountable at that time because accountability will be the fruit of communication. Because naturally he or she will be scanning for any such clue that will alert him or her for threats, therefore stay neutral at that moment. When you tell someone that he or she did wrong, he or she feels threatened and disconnected. They will fear that shame at that moment not the truth. Here shame is not how they despise you but how they despise themselves, therefore your job is to connect with them so they can connect with themselves.