South Carolina residents often hear stories of child abuse, or about instances of domestic violence that involve one partner causing harm to another. However, it is not every day that the news shares stories about parental abuse, which occurs when teens act out violently against their parents or guardians. Though there may be several factors that explain lack of awareness, more often than not, it is because parental abuse is so unacknowledged that many parents do not recognize it, even when it happens to them.
EmpoweringParents.com details three warning signs your teen is abusive. The first is feelings of intimidation. It is typical to feel frustrated when your child asks for the same thing over and over again. However, what is not typical is to be afraid to say no for fear that your child will act out in a violent or aggressive manner.
Another sign of parental abuse is when your teen demonstrates extreme defiance. A little pushback is normal and should not be cause for concern. However, when your adolescent shows no respect for you or your partner, and when he or she outright defies the rules of your home without fear of the consequences, it may be a sign of a deeper issue.
The final sign of parental abuse is an escalating pattern of violence. It is normal for children to get angry, throw tantrums and eventually to learn that acting out is not the way to get what they want. However, if your child’s tantrums escalate to hitting, shoving, punching, throwing or destroying property without regard for the consequences, he or she demonstrates a pattern of abusive behavior.
Admitting that your child is abusive may be difficult, but it is a necessary first step to correcting the behavior. Once you accept your child has a problem, clearly communicate boundaries with him or her. In a firm, unwavering tone, tell your teen that it is not okay to hit, shove or act out violently.
Once you have communicated the boundaries, make clear the consequences of crossing those boundaries. Follow through with what you say. If calling the police is not something you feel you can do, do not threaten your child with this.
If your child continues to act violently toward you, you may have no choice but to call the authorities. You may feel bad about doing so, but just know that your teen’s violent behavior will not stop with you if not corrected. Upon arrest, the police may order counseling, anger management and like courses that could turn your teen’s attitude around.
The content in this post is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.