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Parent Abuse

There is growing problem happening in this county. As family violence continues to be a problem, many are finding the abuser to be their own children. I have seen on Maury, a daily talk show, many parents who have dealt with this problem. I have, through this web site, met many parents who say they have been abused by one of their children.

We have seen kids take their violence into schools, why not their homes? It should not surprise us that this is becoming a growing problem. Family Violence is breaking all bearers. It is finding it's way into all types of relationships and situations to add more problems to keeping our homes safe. This is just another reason why I feel so strongly about making Family Violence the issue and not just focusing on one or two different types. Until we tackle all areas of Family Violence, we will never have the safe homes and communities we desire.

More information is available at ATC Parent Abuse.

(Information on this page has been updated and several points have been changed. New references and resources have been added.)

What are the warning signs for violent behavior?

It's important to be alert to behavior changes. The following list of items can relate to any form of Family Violence. People who are violent will show some behaviors which we may see present in the person before the violence actually erupts. Abusive teens or children will show some of these same warning signs. People usually give hints that they are considering violence toward other people, such as:

* Talking about violence, especially violence directed toward specific people or groups of people, such as student groups, or places, such as schools, churches, or government buildings.
* Talking, writing, or drawing about death and violence.
* Having unexplained mood changes.
* Having intense anger or losing his or her temper every day.
* Fighting often.
* Acting aggressively toward others. This may include:

o Hurting animals.
o Teasing or taunting others by calling them names, making fun of them, or threatening them.
o Making threatening phone calls.

* Following or stalking another person.
* Damaging or vandalizing another person's property.
* Using alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.
* Having risk-taking behavior, such as speeding, drinking and driving, or high-risk sexual behaviors.
* Carrying or talking about a weapon, especially a firearm. Having access to a gun increases the likelihood of teen homicide 3 times and teen suicide 5 times.
* Buying or talking about other means, such as poisons, that could kill or harm others.
* Not taking responsibility for his or her actions or saying that the actions are justified because of how he or she has been treated.

The possibility of teen or child violence, also, increases when the following factors are present in a teen's behavior over several weeks or months:

* Aggressive or violent behavior
* Drug or alcohol use
* Gang membership or having a strong desire to become part of a gang
* Access to or a fascination with firearms or other violent weapons
* Threatening other people regularly
* Withdrawal from friends, family, and usually pleasurable activities
* Fear of other people (paranoia)
* Feeling rejected, alone, or disrespected
* Being a constant victim of bullying
* Poor school performance or attendance
* Frequent problems with figures of authority

(The above information was take from Revolution Health/Teen violence which was an article which is no longer on the web, but the information is too important to ignore. More information about Teen Violence can be gained by doing a Google Search or visiting the following link. Teen violence.)

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How can parents help teens?

Parents can help protect teens from violent situations in the following ways:
* Be involved in your teen's life.
* Know what your teen enjoys and how he or she spends free time.
* Know who your teen spends his or her time with.

o Explore ways your teen can avoid unsafe situations and can avoid hanging out with troubled teens.
o Talk to your teen about the effect a group can have on his or her life. Peers have a strong impact on a teen's behavior.
o Be aware of what your teen watches on TV, reads, listens to, or does while using the computer. Teens may model what they see and hear.

* Discourage physical violence. Help your teen find ways to resolve conflict without resorting to violence.
o Role-play conflict. Let your teen determine which style fits him or her best. Role-play ways to help your teen walk away from fights.
o Be a positive role model. Use nonviolent ways to resolve conflict in your home. Teens who witness violence in their home or community are more likely to choose violent means to resolve conflict.
* Remove firearms and other violent weapons from your home.
o Studies show that violent acts are more likely to lead to death in homes that have a gun even if the gun is kept unloaded and securely locked up.
o The most common victim when a teen fires a gun in the home is the teen. The second most common victim is a teenage friend.

* Encourage participation in physical activities. Encourage your teen to become involved in organized sports, music, or recreational or service activities.
o Participation in sports gives teens a sense of skill mastery and contributes to a positive self-image.
o Being part of a team is a healthy way to release energy.
o Organized sports and other recreational activities provide teens with good role models.

* Discourage alcohol and drug use. Alcohol and drug use are involved in over half of all violent situations among teens. Talk with your teen about what to do if he or she is in a situation where alcohol or drugs are being used.
* Be a positive role model. All other adults in the house and other family members can be good role models as well.
o Use safety measures, such as wearing your seat belt, whenever possible.
o React to difficult situations in a calm, relaxed manner. Avoid yelling or name-calling.
o Monitor your own alcohol or drug use.

+ Do not give your teen the idea that you have to have a drink in order to enjoy yourself.
+ Never drink and drive.
* Get help. If you notice that your teen views the world as a harsh place where people are either bullies or victims, he or she may be more prone to violence. Talk with your teen about your concerns. Talk with a health professional or counselor if you think your teen may need help responding to conflict.

(The above information was take from Teen violence which is an article available with other helpful information at Revolution Health.)

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Ending The Abuse

Sadly, there is no "fix" to stop teens from abusing their parents. There are some things that a parent can do to stop this "unacceptable behavior". As with partner abuse, the first thing that needs to be done is the silence needs to be broken. There is a severe lack of information on this topic and parents do not know where to turn. Parents of abusive teens need to make their voices heard so that credibility increases for this problem and it is taken more seriously. Talking about the abuse is a good way to get a grasp on the feelings that go with it. Talk to family and friends, find a support group, check and see if there is someone at the local battered women's shelter or women's resource center that can help. Counseling and therapy are a must for a parent who is being abused by a teen.

Some other things that can be done: have someone mediate between the teen and the parents. Both parents work together - instead of apart to stop - the abuse. Also, uniting with other people in the community; teachers, police, probation officers can help.

Parents needing help should contact Parenting Teens. There is a lot of information, support, and help available there.

A link listing of other resources is available at ATC Parent Abuse.

I would encourage parents of troubled children to read the following article, Why Kids Kill Parents.

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