I’m thinking of running away, should I do it?

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During adolescence, it is completely normal to experience conflict with your parents. For some teens, running away might start to look like a good option. Before acting on an impulse, we’ll help you better understand what running away involves.

Adolescence is a time when you’re changing rapidly and discovering your identity. You may sometimes face off against the limits your parents set for you, and your relationship with them changes because each of you has to adapt to the other.


Why do people run away?

For some young people, running away seems like the only solution to solve a situation or distance themselves from their parents. Kids may run away, for example, because they’re unable to communicate with their parents, they can’t find a solution for their problems, or they’re experiencing violence within the family. Unfortunately, running away cuts a kid off from his/her resources and environment and puts him/her at great risk.


At what age can I leave home?


At 18, a teenager has the right to leave their parents' home and move into an apartment. If younger, leaving the family home is possible only with the permission of a parent or the person with parental authority who is responsible for the young person.


What should I do?

Since you’re a minor, your parents are responsible for you and you don’t have the right to leave home without their permission. It’s never too late to change your mind, and there are better solutions than running away. Often, just identifying what you want and talking about it can make all the difference.


If you’re thinking of running away or you’re on the run, talk to someone you trust who can listen to you without judging. It could be a friend, parent, family member, counsellor, social worker, teacher, special-education teacher, psychoeducator, nurse, doctor, etc.


What are the risks of running away?

  • Being in danger: finding yourself alone in dangerous environments, with people who want to harm you or take advantage of your vulnerability.
  • Making your family feel afraid, sad, angry, and unable to understand.
  • Being looked for by the police.
  • Triggering big changes in your life and family relationships because your parents will have to protect you when you come back: for example, home schooling, increased supervision, mistrust, or placement in an institution.


Before you risk running away, think about your options. Talking about your frustrations or asking for help from a person you trust can be a good start. Tel-jeunes is there for you too!

To help you think things through, you can also consult this site: https://jeunesenfugue.ca/en/