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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
LearningMama
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Default How normal is wanting to run away from home?

I remember reading a recent thread here where some mamas talked about running away as teens. This helped me remember a time in elementary school where I attempted to run away.

My mom and I were on our way home and during the drive I was plotting my escape. I was going to run into the woods just before my street and never come back. THIS was going to be the day I finally did it. When we got home I had my doll in my arms and started walking, I made it to the end of the driveway. Then my mom asked me what I was doing and I turned around and went in the house.

Since discovering GCM I have learned that I was not simply disciplined by my singer-mother. I was abused. I don't remember ever having any marks but I was so afraid of her when she was mad that I thought she was literally going to turn into a monster. Once, maybe in middle school, I asked her why she didn't hit me with a belt (although I remember her doing it once), she said that she would get so mad she would just swing(which included her hitting me with whatever was in her hand). Can we say hitting in anger? The church I grew up in had no parenting guru, you just spanked anyway you wanted. Not until maybe high school did I hear a guest speak at the church say not to hit your kids in anger.

I could go on with the things that were done to me but my question is, how normal is wanting to run away? How much of it has to do with problems at home versus just being a kid and not liking the rules in your home? Does it vary depending on how old you are when you want to leave? I'm still trying to unpack my life.
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Last edited by LearningMama; 11-01-2011 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Removed sensitive icon
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

My parents were abusive (to each other and us). I wanted to run away multiple times--I was probably 9 the first time. I made it around the block a few times, but for whatever reason, I always came back.

For us, leaving was presented as a very valid solution to problems. If my parents were especially mad at each other, one of them would leave (and come back eventually). If we were misbehaving, we were told (among other things) that we could just move out if we didn't like the rules (starting around age 7 or 8 for me). I'm sure that (and the abuse) had much more to do with my desire to run away than any developmental stage I was in.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

Even in gentle homes , it's a developmental milestone for kids to want to break away from their parents. In some kids this manifests itself as "running away." In other kids it's disliking something that their parents like. (even if they liked it before).
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

Yeah, I'm sure every kid has thought this at one time or another with varying degrees of determination. My home was not abusive at all, and I've "tried" to run away several times when I was a little kid. Once I remember packing some stuffed animals into a backpack and taking them to down the street to my friend's house convinced that I was never going home. No reason at all. It just seemed like a good idea. Then my mom called me home for dinner and that was the end of that escapade.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

I was a very daydreamy sort of child and when I hit my middle school years I would frequently fantasize about running away. I never actually walked out the door, but I definitely planned out my route in painstaking detail. I knew where I would live and how I'd manage to eat and what I'd pack.

However, I never actually packed or walked out the door

My family spanked, but was not (to my knowledge) abusive.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

Good reference material for this concept would be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

My professor in one of the counseling classes I've taken said that running away from home DOES signify a relationship problem within the home.

HOWEVER, I think what he's calling "running away from home" is when it's more serious (and older kids, like teens)... I think wanting to run away from home but not doing it is different. I think a little kid who thinks it sounds fun and packs away to a friend's house is different than a teenager and her boyfriend disappearing to another state for weeks. I personally never thought of running away but think that a kid making up how they'd do it, going somewhere but coming home when Mom calls, etc. sounds much less representative of a problem. My high school had lots of troubled teens run away, and it sounds like they did have family problems at home. Only one of the elementary kids I knew who ran away did so as the result of family abuse (I've talked with her about it as an adult), and her running away was much more serious (hiding in a neighbor's attic, not coming out or responding to yells of a search party, seriously hoping she'd never be found) than those kids who disappeared for an hour and were just playing with a neighbor.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

My four year old was going to run away a couple months ago. He told me he'd live off the money his Oma gave him (about a dollar and some change - when I asked what he'd do when the money ran out, he said it wouldn't because his Oma gave him lots of money).

But he was just mad at me because I wouldn't let him do something. I think that sort of desire to run away is a pretty typical thing for kids, but very different than, as Lori Ann said, an older child actually carrying through with it, which would be indicative of serious relationship issues.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

I only ran away as an older kid. I was 11 the first time and made it several miles to my grandparents' house. I ran away several times over the next 3 years, including being taken home by police and leaving again the same night.

It was definitely a sign of something wrong in the home.

A few weeks ago, my 5 yo told me she was going to run away and never come back. Totally different thing. I ignored it and dealt with the anger she was feeling at the time instead.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

All the posts make since. Eventhough I was pretty young, from what I can remember, I was pretty unhappy at the time and I'm an only child so I didn't have anyone else. My home was not a happy place and I spent a lot of time with two sisters across the street; I was basically a third child to their parents. Maybe me wanting to leave was a little because of my home life and a little because of my age.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: How normal is wanting to run away from home?

I was miserable at 12 and thought about running away. But I knew that would be trading one set of problems for another. So instead I started planning my suicide...
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