Isha asks: If you were a psychologist and you noticed that a child keeps running away from home every night and you decided to help that child, what would you do, ask, or say?
Hi isha –
I’m not a psychologist, but I’m sure I’d do the same thing if I were: I’d work very hard to befriend that child, and earn their trust, and then ask this kid what is going on that makes them want to run away every night. Lots of kids try to run away once or twice, upset about a punishment or thinking they’re not understood, or even looking for adventure! But if a child is doing it over and over, I’m inclined to think there’s something wrong. Is there abuse in the home, or is the family dynamic so bad it’s intolerable for the child (such as that the parents are fighting all the time)?
Of course the tough part for me is if I find out that something really bad is going on (like if the kid is being abused). Then I have to decide what I’m going to do about it. Whereas, at least where I live, a psychologist has no choice – they have to call the police and make a report about child abuse.
I hope that helps,