Law & Legal & Attorney Family Law

Domestic Abuse From an Unexpected Source

When most people think of domestic abuse, they usually think of men beating their female partners or occasionally men suffering at the hands of their wives and girlfriends.
Angry, teenage antics would certainly not be considered domestic abuses, but in some cases, the child's behavior can become so extreme that parents have been abused, physically and emotionally.
Most children act up in some way as they reach their teenage years, and it is only a minority of cases that their behavior can be described as abuse.
Parents need to be aware how "normal" teenage behavior can escalate, and be prepared to ask for help and take action if needed.
Parent abuse does not have to be physical, though many of the protagonists are likely to be violent.
Sometimes the abuse can be psychological, with teens intimidating and manipulating their parents as a way of exercising control over their own lives.
In other cases, the abuse takes the form of reactive anger towards the parent, when the child may steal or damage something that belongs to them, in order to get revenge.
Often these children have had troubled pasts, and may even have been the victims of abuse themselves.
They will use this to justify their behavior and the parent may feel reluctant to take action against them because of the pain they have already suffered.
This is a mistake, as any teenager needs boundaries and it is not just a parent's job but also their responsibility to make sure that their children know what is an acceptable behavior.
Many experts believe that these problems started in the 1980s, when children's rights groups succeeded in getting the law changed so that young people had more power, more protection and a voice in the world.
While this was obviously a good thing, in some cases the power has swung too far the other way.
Parents and other adults are afraid to censure children for the behavior, for fear that they will be accused by the young person and get into serious trouble themselves.
If parents feel that the balance of power has swung away from them in their relationship with their children, it is important to deal with the situation as soon as possible.
Set boundaries and stick to them, with no exceptions, no matter how difficult it makes your life in the short-term.
Make sure you have the support of your partner in everything you do, and if you are a single parent make sure you have someone, even a friend or a family member, that you can turn for support.

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