Runaway kids in Florida

I found this article about runaway teens in Manatee County, Florida. The NCMEC says it has helped find 369 runaway kids from Manatee County since 1997.

My dad once said that kids run away for two reasons: either (1) they are being mistreated at home, or (2) they only think they are being mistreated. I would add a third reason (which kind of ties in with Reason 2): they want to get out and see the world and prove they are very grown-up, thank you very much, and don’t need parents bossing them around and getting into their business.

14 thoughts on “Runaway kids in Florida

  1. Kelsie March 8, 2011 / 9:37 am

    I would say the influence of older friends would be a factor too. How many young girls run away with an older male? Having been 17 and involved with a 26 year old in a high risk lifestyle, I can see that side of it. Being older now I know better, and I would flip if my daughter ever did half the stupid things I did. It’s sad how blind teenagers are, when they really think they know it all. I hope everyday these kids come to their senses and go back to their families who miss them so so much. Or, if they come from a bad home life, get the help they need. There’s so many better places than the streets.

    • Meaghan March 8, 2011 / 9:52 am

      I was 16 and involved with a 27-year-old, and we’re still together. But the circumstances in our case were much different than normal.

      • Kelsie March 8, 2011 / 1:17 pm

        I’m sorry if I offended you or anyone else. I didn’t mean that different ages won’t make a lasting couple, because i know that’s not true. I just meant in some cases it can be an unhealthy relationship, and it’s harder to recognize that when you’re younger, age difference or not.

      • Meaghan March 8, 2011 / 1:20 pm

        Not offended at all. In fact I agree with you. In a lot of cases these relationships are harmful — to both parties involved, I think, not just the minor.

      • forthelost March 8, 2011 / 1:30 pm

        I think it depends on whether the older individual is looking for a relationship, or just looking for sex.

  2. Kat March 8, 2011 / 12:50 pm

    I was not a runaway, though I wish I had been. My husband is 46 to my 34. I met him way after I had finally broken away. i sympathize with Meaghan, having to defend stuff. I agree with Kelsie, but I agree with M. too. I still feel like I am 15 emotionally. But I can get my stuff together when I have to. Age is not always a factor, though I can see how it is….if someone wants to sell you.

    • Meaghan March 8, 2011 / 1:03 pm

      I think at one point I suggested to my boyfriend that we run away and get married. He told me no because he didn’t want me to mess up my life like that. Later, when I turned 18, my parents worried that I might elope. It was to the extent that Mom actually went and privately asked friends of mine if I’d mentioned the idea to them.

      • Kat March 8, 2011 / 3:37 pm

        THree times. I deleted what I said. Oy. Love to you and yours.

      • Meaghan March 8, 2011 / 4:54 pm

        Oy to you as well. I promise I’ll email soon and stop being such a deadbeat correspondent.

      • Kat March 8, 2011 / 9:51 pm

        Oy back lol. Take your time. Everything is good, and, thanks for opening my eyes a bit, on this subject….I guess it really does depend on the person. Or, as they say, the exception to the rule. BTW, your mom sounds awesome, just from what I’ve read here…

  3. Princess Shantae March 8, 2011 / 5:24 pm

    Its not just the age difference that can be a problem. The thing is that somebody that’s say 30 is going to have a lot different experience and life goals than somebody that is say 17. If a 30yo is hanging around with teenage kids or is still having the typical teenage issues, then that to me shows that that older person is very immature. A 30yo should be getting to where they’re settled into their life, working and maybe thinking about a family. A 17yo should still be trying to figure out what they want how they are going to live. In other words, a 17yo still needs to grow up and a 30yo should already of done that.

    • Meaghan March 8, 2011 / 5:59 pm

      Either that or it’s a very mature teen with a lot of life experience, who is mystified by the immaturity displayed by most people their age.

  4. Celeste March 10, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    Do you think that tensions between a child and parents/step parents/sibilings/step sibilings could be another reason why kids runaway from home?

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