I *allowed* my six (almost seven) year old son to run away. He was in the midst of one of his "episodes" tonight (which lately happen ALL the time) when he screamed at me that he wanted to run away. I simply told him that was fine and he could get his stuff when we got home and go.
We get home and he runs to his room to pack his bag. Within minutes he was back at the door with his suitcase. I meanwhile had already moved on to trying to get dinner started. He stood at the front door for a few minutes telling me over and over again that he was leaving - just waiting for a reaction. When I didn't react, he opened the door and yelled that he was really leaving. I still said nothing. Finally after some more yelling and asking me if I really wanted him to leave and some more ignoring on my part - he walked out the door; where I promptly shut and locked it.
**And before anyone goes and gets all upset and calls social services on me - I watched him the entire time he was outside and was ready to go get him if I needed to**
I went and watched him from the window. He stood in front of the door for a couple minutes, I assume waiting for me to come after him. When he realized I wasn't coming he started to walk away but continued to look at the front door. Within seconds he came running back to the door. He realized the windows were open and yelled for me that he forgot something and wanted to come back in to get it. I told him no, he ran away he couldn't come back in to get stuff. (apparently he said he wanted his coat because it was cold, but it was really 70+ outside).
So he began walking away again. This time he got to the neighbors sidewalk before he got freaked and came bolting back to the house. He yells through the window again that he's ready to come back now and was sorry for running away.
When I finally let him back in and he was finally out of his "mood", he was ready to sit down for homework time.
Meanwhile during all of this, I was just dying to know what he had thought to pack and what was in his suitcase. I didn't want to make a big deal of it but I did notice he left his bag at the front door. Normally I would have requested that he take it back to his room; but because I wanted to know what was in it, I let it stay. Are you curious to know what an almost 7 year-old would pack to run away?
Why, duh....doesn't everyone pack their Daddy's to run away!
And yes, his Daddy doll is the only thing that he packed to take with him.
I sure hope his plan wasn't to go far!