Why Do Children Run Away from Home?

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: their child has seemingly run away from home and is nowhere to be found. There can be many reasons why this happens, but they can be very difficult to process at the time because of fear and anxiety. If your child has left home and you are not sure why, here are some possible circumstances that may have led to their decision:

Family Problems

This is the main one. The family dynamic has changed due to alcohol, drugs, domestic violence, or some other cause that has made the child feel unsafe at home.


The child may be suffering abuse at the hands of one or both parents, and/or a sibling. This could be in the form of violence, sexual molestation, or degrading verbal abuse.

Substance Abuse

If a child is drinking or doing drugs, that can negatively effect their behavior, how they are doing at school, and their interactions with friends. Parents can respond with punishment and pressure, causing the child to flee their home.

Peer Pressure

Bullying has always been an issue for children, but this problem has increased seriously in recent years due to the internet and the ease with which one can bully a peer. This abuse can also be taking place at school and the authorities there are sometimes unable or unwilling to help.

School Problems

Kids doing poorly in their classes or frequently clashing with teachers may feel that they have to get out, but do not have the option of dropping out because of parental pressure. Also, the parents may demand a level of academic performance that is beyond the child’s ability and they respond to that pressure by running away.

While most police will not consider someone officially missing until 24 hours have past, some will make concessions if the person is a minor. If your child is missing and you have checked everywhere and with everyone you know, call your local police department for assistance.


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