Parent Abuse: When teenagers turn violent on their parents

We have all heard of child abuse. You only have to Google ‘Child Abuse’ before you can find page after page about the horrifying behavior. But how many of us have heard about parent abuse or even thought about it? Especially by teenagers with violence issues? Google it. You won’t find more than a few pages about it. It is a growing issue for parents who live under one rooftop with abusive teenagers with virtually no support.

Parent abuse is a kind of domestic abuse that can potentially cause problems such as physical harm, emotional damage including depression, damage to property, unemployment and family breakdown. Parent abuse is usually done by a young adult usually in his or her teens displaying the following behavior:

  • Threats of or actual physical violence against a family member
  • Swearing and calling names
  • Intimidation
  • Refusal to do as being asked by an older family member
  • Bullying
  • Deliberate damage to the property
  • Physical abuse directed towards pets
  • Emotional blackmail
  • Drug and alcohol abuse at the house
  • Belittling parents in front of friends

Most parents perceive this behavior normal coming from a hormone-driven teenager but parent abuse at its extreme can lead to physical damage going as far as death, damage to the property, heft and bullying. Parents can lose confidence in themselves both as a parent as well as a human being. The teenager also suffers as they are most likely to be unsupported in the society leaving them to be outcasts.

Teenagers who indulge in this horrifying activity have a psyche that is fundamentally devoid of empathy and compassion. They abuse their parents for enjoyment and willfully. Teenagers who abuse their parents face anger management issues and psychological and hormonal disturbance. Let’s not generalize it by saying that all teens turn on their parents but a growing number is.

What causes teenagers to abuse their parents?

There is a variety of reasons that cause teens to turn on their parents. Some children take up violence because they are emotionally or psychologically troubled in some way. Some abuse because they themselves have been abused at some point. Some suffer from a severe alcohol or drug addiction that creates the problem behavior.

What can parents do to put an end to the abuse?

The first step towards stopping the parent abuse is to stop suffering from it in silence. Speak up and take back control. Seek help if necessary but do not wait for it to end. It will only aggravate the situation. You must realize that whatever your teen is doing to you is not your fault. Take the help of a friend, a GP or approach the problem professionally.

Confront the teen with his or her behavior. Explain to them very calmly that what they are doing is a form of abuse. Reassure them that you love them just the same but you will not tolerate this behavior. Explain that they need professional help to stop this problem behavior. Cut down their privileges like access to mobile phones, computers and video games.

Get therapy for yourself and your family so that you can come out of the dilemma that your teenager has caused.

If none of this works, cut your troubled teenager from the family as soon as he/she turns 16. Change all the locks and exclude them from your life. It is very hard for a parent to shut the door on their teenager but you have to make up your mind and do this.

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