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Friday, September 28, 2012

Why do children run away from home?

The main story in this week's newspapers was the disappearance - and return - of a young couple. The girl 14, the boy 16.
According to their parents and schools, they did not have any problem. Nobody knows why they ran away.
Now I have experience as a teacher for over 30 years, and I know how difficult it is to make children or youngsters talk about their problems - because, make no mistake - more than 90 % of today's children are troubled in some way.
I can talk to my students. I can listen. More than once someone in a class calls me 'Mum' by mistake. I seem to confide trust in them and sometimes they share their problems with me. The biggest problem they have is lack of communication, most of them have nobody to relate to and share their troubles with.
Their parents are both working, they expect the child or youngster to cope on his or her own and they must be adults long before their time.
I can say without a doubt that a happy child will never run away from home.
Because a HOME is a place where you are safe, where you can be a child, where you can play, make your homework, get food and clothing and all the other care you need. Happy children can talk to their parents and they will always find one of them to confide in.
If a parent can give this to their child(ren) they will get adults who feel safe and have happy memories, just like I have.
I come from such a happy home. Never a problem, always someone there for me. And my parents also worked both. But I had a grandma who was living with us and who meant the world to me.
I think our world would improve if people went a bit back in time, when it was natural to share the house with two or even three generations.
My muslim students (and we have a lot of them in our country) respect me for that. They seem astonished that western people can also live in a house with several generations and learn how to deal with the problems involved. Because living with three generations under one roof means giving and taking, and a lot of wisdom is shared between the grandparents and the grandchildren. They'll never take that away from you.

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