Parenting Abusive Teens: What To Do & What Not To Do If Your Child Hits You

Is your child abusive towards you and behaves violently?

Is he/she using aggression and intimidation as a solution to their problems?

Does your child yell at you and hit you?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you are dealing with an abusive teenager. Believe it or not, abusive teens are more common than you think!

Even though you may be ashamed and terrified of what is going on in your family, it’s important that you speak up because age is no excuse – young people can still inflict harm and damage others people’s quality of life, including yours.

Abusive teens have the tendency to hit, intimidate, name-call and threaten adults. Also, they may constantly refuse to do what you ask from them, whether it’s homework or cleaning up, and may damage the property, use drugs at home, blackmail you emotionally or steal money from you.

Unfortunately, a lot of parents who are being abused by their children think that they need to sacrifice themselves in order to keep their child safe.

However, your safety also matters and you should never sacrifice it. Remember, calling the authorities if necessary never means that you do not love your child.

It’s important that as parents we understand that we cannot trade our safety for our child’s protection. All people have the right to physical and emotional safety, including parents.

Not understanding that aggressiveness and abuse is not an acceptable nor normal part of childhood or adolescence can have a damaging effect on your life and that of your child. You must never ignore violence and wait for it to pass.

Parental abuse is a violation of rights and it is severe and illegal.
In this article, you will learn what parents should do and what they should not do, in a situation involving a violent child.

Parental Abuse: Living in Fear of Your Child

Kim Abraham (LMSW) who specializes in work with teens with behavioral disorders, asserts that responding to a child’s violence or abuse is one of the most difficult parenting tasks. So, it’s understandable that parents have a hard time accepting the seriousness of the situation and doing something about.

On one hand, it’s completely normal that a parent’s instinct is to put their child first and try to look the other way, but on the other hand, they are aware that this is a major behavioral problem which needs to be addressed – the sooner the better.

Parental abuse comes in different shapes and forms, not just physical, but also verbal like swearing and screaming, emotional threats and manipulation, as well as financial like stealing money and credit cards or demanding stuff that the family is unable to afford.

Parents who are abused by their children experience numerous negative effects, including poorer mental health.

The parent will be unable to run the household and take care of the child. They can start feeling trapped and as if they have lost control and disappointed the whole family.

Often times, they will not look for help because they feel that their child’s violence is their mistake or because they fear social services from interfering and maybe taking the child away.

However, suffering in silence must never be an option and parents need to take back their power and put an end to the abuse. Below, there are 5 useful tips that you can use to respond to an abusive child.

5 Ways to Respond to an Abusive Child

1. Confront the child’s behavior calmly   
If your child has hit you or is blackmailing you to buy him/her something you cannot, you need to confront them. However, though challenging, try to do this in a calm manner and point out that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Emphasize that what they are doing is abuse and that they need professional help. Remember to tell them that your love for them is the same, but that you will never turn the other cheek when they are violent, but respond by calling the authorities.

2. Take away their privileges
In order to take back your power and show your abusive child that you stand by your word and that violence is serious and unacceptable, remove their privileges like cell phone, car, money, etc.

Carefully set punishments and limits about physical (or any other) type of violent behavior and always enforce them when the teen is being aggressive and abusive. Remember, in case of threats of homicide, always call the police and get the child evaluated by a psychiatrist.