Sometimes, a child does not want to live in their family anymore. I am sure that most of
you can remember at least one time when you wanted to run away from home. Some
cases would be more serious than others as the environment would make you feel like
there is no ulterior option. Various reasons could lead to a child not standing to live with
their family anymore.

Scenarios in which children don’t want to live with their family anymore

The child might develop early on a different opinion on certain core values. They might,
for example, be part of the LGBTQ+ community and would be growing up in an
extremely unaccepting household. They might grow up in an environment that involves
a lot of fighting
and name-calling. Their parents might not give them enough attention,
or even love, which can happen if they have children with problematic behaviour or
special needs. The parents might even be unable to fulfil their child’s basic needs for
safety or food due to financial reasons. Another scenario is that the parents put a lot of
pressure on the child. Instead of trying to find and follow their path, the child is
supposed to live up to certain expectations, which at times can be out of reach. There
are various others examples where a child might not feel supported enough, or even
respected by their parents.

Abusive Environments

In the worst-case scenario, it might even be unsafe for them to stay in their family’s
house. Some family members might have grave mental health issues or suffer from drug
addiction which can lead to abusive and neglective environments. Toxic environments
lead to a higher risk of the child building an insecure attachment style, which impacts all
relationships to come. This can be guarded by the parents practising their
understanding of their child’s mental state to control their feelings and behaviour
towards their child. If the parent is not willing or unable to practice this, it might be
unsafe for the child to stay with them, depending on how grave the circumstances are.

Experiencing abuse as a child can, later on, negatively impact the person’s health risks
for drug abuse, depression and suicide attempt.

What to do?

If you feel like staying with your family is not a safe option anymore, there are different
things you can do. You can reach out to adults other than your parents, like teachers,
relatives, or child protection services for support. You might also be able to move out of
the house if you reach a certain age and emancipate yourself.

If you can’t stand living with your family anymore or you’re unsure if your environment
might even be safe anymore and you want to talk about it, feel free to get in contact
here or call the Child Protection Directorate of Malta.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach
out here.

Olivia Szewczykowski is currently studying psychology in Graz, Austria and interning for
Willingness. She is interested in various topics regarding relationships, sex and family


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