Parent Abuse: A Serious Issue Shrouded in Shame and Secrecy

If your kid shouts at you, harasses you, hits you, threatens you, or uses any other way to abuse you, then there are two things that you need to understand. Firstly, you are not the only one facing this issue. There are thousands of other parents experiencing something similar. Secondly, getting rid of this problem is possible only if accept the fact that what you are experiencing is actually parent abuse, open up about it, and then let others help you. Letting yourself silently suffer in secrecy is the worst way to go about dealing with this issue. You need to understand that letting such a thing continue can leave you emotionally scarred and traumatized. If you’re not yet fully aware of the magnitude of parent abuse, then maybe the following information might help.

An Underreported Problem

Despite the severity of the issue, there is very limited information available on it. Only recently, the researchers have started focusing on this aspect of domestic violence and bullying. According to a 2015 study, 10% families in the United States are facing this issue. In another study, it was found that 80% of the victims of parent abuse are mothers. According to Impact Family Services worker Victoria Taylor-Robinson, “Parent Abuse happens up and down the country, in all classes, all religions, estates, everywhere”. She believes that this issue remained hidden for a long time because talking about it was considered a “taboo”.

The Blame Game

A major factor unique to this particular type of abuse is the “culture of blaming parents” which can be quite disturbing for them. Thankfully, this trend is changing with time as researchers, child experts, and psychologists have started talking about it openly to reveal that bad behavior on the part of kids is not solely because of the parents. They believe that parents surely play an important role in the upbringing of kids, but they are not the only one to blame. Other family members, friends, teachers, etc. also influence kids. Not only this, media also promotes violence, which eventually leads the kids towards abusing their parents.

The Underlying Causes

The first questions most of the parents ask after facing this rather awkward situation is why their kids are showing this behavior. Unfortunately, the question of why is not easy to answer as there are various factors that can cause kids to harm their parents, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Sometimes, this behavior is a sign of a bigger emotional or psychological issue such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Alcohol and drug addiction are also known to be two major reasons behind this behavior. In some cases, kids become violent after facing or seeing a similar situation at home or school. Kids with lower self-esteem and poor communication skills are also likely to exhibit this behavior.

Drawing the Line

According to Sean Grover, who is currently writing a book on parent abuse, defiance is acceptable up to a certain level as it is perfectly normal for kids to become angry and violent once in a while. The problem occurs when they start repeating this behavior frequently. This is when you need to speak out. You must understand that silence is not the solution. Share your feelings with friends and relatives to seek help. If you feel uncomfortable sharing anything with them, then you may seek help from professionals like counselors or psychologists. They will be in a better position to guide you and help you in getting back the leadership position in your family. Your kids may also need counseling and therapy to overcome this behavior. Don’t just sit and suffer, expecting the problem to go away on its own. If anything, doing nothing will make it only worse. Therefore, come to terms with the situation, speak up, and get help immediately.

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