Abusive & Violent Behavior

Has your child crossed the line from acting-out to abusive and violent behavior? When a child or teen starts using intimidation, violence and aggression to solve problems, it’s normal to feel frightened, angry, isolated, ashamed, and/or disbelief that it is even happening. As we frequently remind parents, there is no excuse for abuse. Even if your child has a diagnosis, or is going through a tough time, this type of behavior is never acceptable. If violent and aggressive behavior is happening in your home, it's important to learn effective strategies to keep everyone safe, help your child learn more appropriate means of solving problems, and hold your child accountable for the choice to become abusive. The articles below provide information to assist you in dealing with abusive, violent and aggressive behavior in children.

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

When Kids Get Violent: "There's No Excuse for Abuse"

Is It Time to Call the Police on Your Child? Assaultive Behavior, Verbal or Physical Abuse, Drugs and Crime

Setting Limits for Difficult Kids: Are You Too Strict?

By Janet Lehman, MSW

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Do your kids make you feel like an ogre when you set limits? Does the word “no” kick off whining, yelling and protests? How many times have you heard your nine-year-old say something like: “That’s not fair! Brandon’s mom lets him watch Sons of Anarchy!” Or does this sound familiar: “Jessica’s dad lets her stay... Read more »

How to Keep the Violence Out of Your Home

By James Lehman, MSW

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Fifteen minutes with Grand Theft Auto--San Andreas and Josh (age 14, under the persona of CJ in the game) has killed ten gang members and made off with over $100,000 dollars. He pulls another “Baller” out of his car and cuts him in half with a chainsaw. Then another.  Slices into him again for... Read more »

Tuning You Out: When Your Child Ignores You

By Janet Lehman, MSW

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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... Read more »

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

By Dr. Joan Simeo Munson

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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. Knowing how to effectively... Read more »

Dreading Parent-Teacher Conferences? Try This New Approach

By Anna Stewart

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Soon we will be carving pumpkins, raking leaves, pulling scarves out of the back of the closet…and bracing ourselves for parent-teacher conferences. Some parents go to conferences expecting glowing reports, but many of us dread them.  Maybe it’s because, like me, you’ve had a prior bad experience.  I remember going to my first parent-teacher conference when... Read more »

Why Child Counseling Doesn’t Always Work

By James Lehman, MSW

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Have you sent your acting-out, verbally abusive or behaviorally-disordered child to counseling, only to find that it didn't improve his behavior at all? Or maybe counseling worked for awhile, but then your child fell back into the same old patterns of behavior. Counseling for kids can be effective and helpful, but not all counseling is... Read more »

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