PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN AFTERCARE!
Everyone knows that stress is a daily element of life, even for kids - but being able to deal with problems with confidence, hope, and practical solutions makes kids less likely to run away.
Here are some ideas you should try instead of giving up early:
- Know your emotions. Try to understand what you are feeling inside and use words to describe it.
- Express your emotions. Don't be afraid to tell those close to you how you're feeling and why. Use words, not actions. This is especially true for anger. Anger is one of the hardest emotions to manage because it's so strong - but everyone needs to learn how to express angry feelings without violence.
- Know how to calm yourself down after you're upset. Maybe you need to run around outside, listen to music, draw, or write poetry. Do whatever safe things you need to do to feel better.
- When you have a problem, try to come up with a list of solutions. Get someone else to help you if you can't think of at least three things to do. For each possible solution, ask yourself "If I do this, what would happen next?"
- Get some help from trusted adults - someone like a parent, close relative, teacher, or neighbour. Know who you can count on to support and help you.
YOU ARE THINKING OF RUNNING AWAY?
It may seem like there is no way to manifest the troubles which are making you think about running away.
But if you are capable of fixing them, tell your mother or father how you feel. It is essential that they know about your inner attitude, because they love you for sure. You need not have any doubts that you could be unloved or unwanted. Assuredly there is a way to work together as a family in order to improve the current situation. Sometimes a family therapy where you talk to an expert could help you and your family.
If the crisis is as grave as abuse and a parent is involved, we recommend to talk to a teacher or counsellor at school, a good friend's parent, a close relative, or another trusted adult. Even it might be hard to share this secret because you may feel ashamed or afraid of getting someone in trouble. You have to keep in mind: Abuse is never your fault!
One option now is that the trusted person offers you a safe place to stay, another option is to call the National Runaway Switchboard at (800) 621-4000. It's open 24 hours a day and the call is free.
YOUR FRIEND IS THINKING OF RUNNING AWAY?
If you recognise that one of your friends is intending to run away, you should consider warning him or her about how tough it will be to survive on the streets. Your friend is probably anxious and disordered. Attempt to support him or her! Motivate your friend to find another solution instead of running away, even if neither one of you can imagine these ways right now.
You have to keep in mind that telling an adult that your friend is about to run away is not betrayal and demands a lot of bravery, but do not allow yourself plenty of time. Running away is not a solution for either of you! It only leads to more difficulties and hazards.