Parenting Articles about Abusive & Violent Behavior

Has your child crossed the line from acting-out to abusive and violent behavior? Get real advice about what you can do to stop the chaos in your house today. Articles for parents of abusive children and teens. Help your child to stop using violence and aggression to solve their problems.
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Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Jennifer’s son began hitting her when he was 14 years old. “I just didn’t know what to do,” she told us. “If anyone else had hit me, I would have called the police. But this was my son! I didn’t want him arrested but I wanted the abuse to stop. I was ashamed to admit to my family what was going on and I knew they would take action, even if I didn’t. The situation was intolerable but I couldn’t take action. I felt trapped, like I was in a car without brakes.”

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In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

Recently, a frustrated mom sat in my office and said, “I just don’t know what to do anymore. We’ve tried everything! There’s no punishment that gets through to our child; there’s nothing we can say that will fix her behavior. There’s so much going on we just don’t know where to start.” Sound familiar? Parents often get by on intuition and advice from others, but let’s face it–that’s not always enough, especially if you have a child who doesn’t respond well to your attempts to manage their behavior.

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Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Karen hasn’t slept through the night in years—she’s too worried about her son Mason making it through high school. He tried two different schools and now takes online classes, but that's not working, either. Karen has resorted to sitting with him for three hours every night (after coming home from her full-time job) to help him through his homework. She’s given up trying to make him take the ACT or SAT tests for college. Karen’s just focused on one goal—Mason graduating from high school. She’s not sure what will come after that.

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Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Everyone gets mad sometimes, children and adults alike. Anger is an emotion that can range from slightly irritated to moderately angry, all the way to full-blown rage. A child’s anger often makes us feel uncomfortable, so there can be a natural tendency to try and change the situation for your child, so the anger will evaporate.Or on the flip side, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “bringing down the hammer,” to put a stop to the anger through intimidation or punishment. But the fact is, your child will experience situations that may trigger anger throughout life. You can’t stop the triggers, but you can give your child the tools to understand anger and deal with it.

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How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

Have you been looking back on the last year, reflecting on how things went with your child? If so, perhaps you feel frustrated when you think about his or her behavior—and your reaction to it. Maybe you feel like no matter what you do, nothing changes. But understand that positive change can happen in your family. You’re not stuck in those negative patterns—you really do have the power to improve things, starting today.

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6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

If you have a child or teen who misbehaves, the holidays can be a source of infinite stress and anxiety. Your individual expectations of the holidays can be seriously at odds: you expect to have a nice, shared time with your whole family and maybe attend some larger family gatherings; they expect to get every gift they demand, and they intend to spend their school break staying up late, sleeping in, and playing video games. The resulting holiday season can be filled with tantrums, obnoxious behavior, and lots of yelling and screaming.

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Stop Aggressive Behavior in Kids and Tweens: Is Your Child Screaming, Pushing and Hitting?

Stop Aggressive Behavior in Kids and Tweens: Is Your Child Screaming, Pushing and Hitting?

When a child is aggressive toward others – hitting, screaming, pushing, throwing things – the natural response of the people around him is to withdraw. It’s frightening to see someone whose anger has reached a point where it seems out of control. If your elementary or middle school-age child is behaving aggressively toward others, it’s important to address the issue now, before it escalates to serious consequences such as suspension, legal problems or serious harm to others.

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Why You Can't Really Win an Argument with Your Child

Why You Can't Really Win an Argument with Your Child

Why does arguing with your child give him power? When you engage in fights with your child, over time he will begin to believe that he is your peer and that he has the power to challenge you. This is a loaded situation because your child doesn't realize that this empowerment he’s feeling isn’t real. The more powerful he thinks he is (and the more that defiant behavior gets him what he wants) the more he will use fighting as a way to solve his problems.

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4 Things Not to Do When Your Young Child has a Tantrum

4 Things Not to Do When Your Young Child has a Tantrum

Does your head ever spin from all the suggestions you get about how to manage your young child’s temper tantrums or out-of-control behavior? Your in-laws tell you you’re spoiling your child, your best friend thinks you’re being too strict, and the other parents you know all seem to follow a different playbook.

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Do Your Kids Respect You? 9 Ways to Change Their Attitude

Do Your Kids Respect You? 9 Ways to Change Their Attitude

We often forget that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others. While each child has a different personality, all children need to be taught to be respectful. From birth, kids learn to manipulate their world to get their needs met—this is natural. But it’s our job as parents to teach them respectful ways of doing this.

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Does Your Overly Sensitive Kid Have a Hair Trigger Temper?

Does Your Overly Sensitive Kid Have a Hair Trigger Temper?

When you have an oversensitive child with a hair trigger temper, it really puts you—and other family members—on edge. You begin to tip toe around him or her; you feel like you can’t be direct for fear of causing an angry, explosive response. You also start to feel responsible for your kid’s behavior and “take the blame.” Parents often begin to do more enabling behaviors like giving in and making things easier on touchy, easily-angered kids. But in the long run, it’s important to realize that this response isn’t helpful to them or you.

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How a Former Troubled Teen Turned His Life Around: The James Lehman Story

How a Former Troubled Teen Turned His Life  Around: The James Lehman Story

James Lehman did not have a life that could be called “usual.” His parents were alcoholics who abandoned him when he was still a baby, leaving him in his crib wearing nothing but a diaper. He was discovered by their landlord, but James was so sick he nearly died. The landlord’s son and his wife decided to adopt him and raise him as their own. Thinking they were unable to have children, they went on to adopt another boy, but then ended up having two more biological sons. James never quite felt like he fit in, and he began to act out at home and school.

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Tuning You Out: When Your Child Ignores You

Tuning You Out: When Your Child Ignores You

Do you feel like your teen tunes you out—or just plain ignores you—any time you make a request or try to have a real conversation? If you’re feeling this way, it’s probably not your imagination. This is a weapon adolescents have in their arsenal, and many use it to manipulate their parents passive-aggressively. Keep in mind that it’s not always intentional. Some kids are easily distracted or can only focus on one thing at a time—they really can’t communicate while concentrating on something else. But many kids ignore their parents to manipulate them. Instead of “acting out” they’re “acting in.” They might be angry or want you to leave them alone. Instead of yelling, “Stop bothering me!” they simply tune you out. The question is, what can you do about it?

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The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: I Can't Solve Problems

The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: I Can't Solve Problems

What causes bad behavior in kids? James Lehman says it happens because children don’t yet know how to solve problems effectively. To put it another way, they’re trying to handle many of the situations that life throws at them by acting out. They do this, frankly, because it’s working for them. But here’s the truth: If you don’t find out what problem your child is trying to solve with his behavior and offer him a new solution, the acting out will most likely continue—or even get worse over time.

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