Category Archives: Book review

When children kill their parents.

The book currently at the top of my “to read” pile is Kathleen Heide‘s Understanding Parricide. Twenty years on from her first book, Why Kids Kill Parents, this book builds on and develops the understanding from the earlier work. In this comprehensive tome, Heide relies on accounts from the literature and her own significant clinical experience, to answer the questions everyone wants to know: who, how often, what weapons, is it increasing and most of all WHY? Continue reading

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Parenting a Violent Child: book review

What do you do if you are a parent experiencing violence and abuse from your child but there is no help available where you live? So many parents speak of a lack of understanding from non-specialists, and regular parenting groups that can make the situation worse rather than better. Up until now the only recourse might have been to online message boards, helplines or friends. Now there is a “virtual group” in the shape of a step-by-step guide to understanding behaviours that can hinder or help the restoration of a healthy family relationship. Continue reading

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Adolescent Violence in the Home: Believe the Impossible!

In July I posted details of a newly published book about adolescence violence in the home from Gregg Routt and Lily Anderson. Rather belatedly, I am really pleased now to offer a review for those who have not yet had time to read their own copy.

When considering the abuse that human beings heap on one another, it can sometimes seem that we are being required to believe “as many as six impossible things before breakfast”*; and, for many people, the notion of children abusing their parents falls neatly into this category. One of the things that make the excellent new book by Routt and Anderson so accessible is the frequent use of case studies to illustrate a point, whether to further understanding of an aspect of abuse, or to demonstrate the detail of the programme they have developed. By including this level of illustration they make an important contribution to believing the impossible: Yes, this happens, and this is what it looks like, but change is possible. Continue reading

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Some book reviews

A couple of reviews for Amanda Holt’s text, Adolescent-to-Parent Abuse: Current Understandings in Research, Policy and Practice, have been brought to my attention recently.

Janet Jamieson has a review in the journal Youth Justice, and Sarah Galvani in Social Work Education: the international journal.

Both are very positive, commenting on the dearth of available literature, and drawing attention to the usefulness, to those from many backgrounds and fields of work, of the text itself.

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Silent Cries: a child’s account of living with violence

Amongst the many factors that have been identified with regard to children’s violence to parents, the experience of living with domestic violence has been found to have significant prominence. Yet the way this influences children’s behaviour is itself multi-layered and will vary from family to family.

The normalising of violence, anger and disdain for the parent who failed to protect themself or the children, “stepping up to the plate” once the abusive adult is no longer in the household – these are the links commonly cited, but we hear less of the child who fights back at the time in attempts to protect one parent from the other. A book, which I was sent this week, opens up this aspect of parent abuse, in what the Yorkshire Post described as “an intensely moving account” of domestic violence through the eyes of a child. Continue reading

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