When I was a kid I watched Davey And Goliath, a clay animation series produced by the Lutheran Church. Art Clokey, who created Gumby, was also behind it. It was about a boy, Davey, and his dog, Goliath. Each story has Davey learning an important moral lesson. I don't recall liking it that much, but kids will watch anything animated.
There were two separate stories, each fifteen minutes. One was about a bully. He hits Goliath with his slingshot, so the bully and Davey start fighting. Not a little fight--it's two unsupervised kids rolling around on the street, punching each other in the face. When Davey gets home, they put bandages on him. No one seems too alarmed. The main thing they want to know is what the fight was about.
Davey is told to love bullies, not hate them. Next time he meets up with the bully, he's able to help him out and they become friends. But if the bully didn't come around, I wonder if it'd be okay to continue that fight.
Sure enough, Davey tires of the circus. It's hard work and he's not cut out for the atmosphere. He returns home, happy to discover his father still wants him back. So the lesson here is if your kid runs off, don't do anything--he'll discover what's best for him. And if he discovers he likes the circus better, well, that's one less kid to worry about.