It would be so much easier if we could point to one clear cause of violence and abuse from children towards their parents. Once that was made obvious we could then wheel in bespoke solutions and solve the crisis in an instant. Sadly the reality is much different, with almost no end to the factors that might increase vulnerability, and often layer upon layer of complexity for families affected. Some situations get a (relatively) large amount of coverage: exposure to domestic violence and early childhood trauma for instance. Others are highlighted less often. While each family’s experience will be unique to them, there is much to learn from the experience of others, and the despair that is common to parents across the board. Continue reading
Category Archives: TV and video
If you’ve not come across child to parent violence before; if you don’t know anyone affected; it’s easy to misread the signs. Sadly, we have come to accept that adults can experience intimate partner violence. Folk may not all fully understand what is going on and why, but they get that it happens. So when you hear shouting and screaming noises through the wall from the neighbours, or when you see bruises, it would be natural to draw that conclusion.
Watch the video «A Home For Maisie» uploaded by wynharlow on Dailymotion.
I know I’ve banged on about adoption for quite a lot of the time recently, and I need to be reminded that there are so many other families also experiencing violence and abuse from their children. And I also know that each family is unique, even when apparently following a similar path. There is no violence and abuse competition. For each family at the time the violence and abuse is too awful and it is a struggle to get through it.
Having said all of that, I do want to bring this video to your attention because it is so informative about the effect of early trauma, and the way that violence plays out, affecting so many people in its wake. It is long, but be prepared to watch all of it for the joy at the end!
I have recently come across the following resources, that may be of interest or use in work with parent abuse.
With Meerkat Brain, Jane Evans offers an easily digestible explanation of the neuroscience of why individuals are not always able to respond to instruction or reproof, and why traumatised children will need particular understanding and care. This is one of a number of similar models of brain operation, but one that people are reporting to be especially helpful.
Secondly, This video will change you in exactly 60 seconds, from BVC Network with thanks to Laurie Reid who brought it to my attention. Clearly there are many influences in a child’s life and no straightforward causal link between parent and child opinions or behaviour, but anyone who has watched a child teetering on high heels, following round with a dustpan and brush, or picking up a briefcase to head off “to work”, will attest to the power of imitation. Furthermore, previous exposure to, or the witnessing of, domestic violence is known to be the most frequent single issue in the background of families where children are violent to parents.
I’ll take the opportunity to link again to an animation from AVITH, which gives a very accessible overview of adolescent violence in the home for use with parents particularly, but would be helpful for anyone wanting to learn more. The film was made for use in Australia so the final advice may not be directly applicable to other situations. You can download it on the front page of the website.
Please do comment with other video resources which you have found and would like to share as useful in thinking about parent abuse or adolescent violence in the home.
I have written in the past about the Peninsula Health ‘Adolescent Violence in the Home’ project in Victoria, Australia, which has been running for the last two years.
This week I was sent details of the website which has been developed as part of the work, and which gives a link to an animation which clearly and succinctly lays out what is understood about adolescent violence in the home. The film is Australia-specific in that it refers to particular services, but could otherwise be used very successfully as an introduction to the issue for professionals or families.
A final research report should be available in February 2014.
I am grateful to the Peninsula Health team for making the material available and for permission to link to it here.
This post updated 18th January 2017 with new website link
Another moving video about parent abuse, this one from Joey Chan in Hong Kong.
Chan calls for a comprehensive solution based on three steps:
* Encouraging more parental care and communication
* Governmental support including counselling and psychological services
* Law enforcement as an extreme resort
This video of the official launch of the research project based at Brighton University was posted on YouTube on May 9th this year. It’s an hour and a quarter long but worth watching, or dipping into, for a flavour of the project’s aims, the current situation in the partner countries and more detail about the two intervention methods being assessed: Non-violent Resistance and the Break4Change model. The title of the post comes from a parent interviewed for a short film, shown within the video, and certainly the theme of hope is one which comes through strongly throughout. Continue reading
Part of the Infinity True Stories series, Certificate 15, 2001 Hearst Entertainment Ltd
Starring Delta Burke as Sally Cambridge, and Ryan Merriman as her 16-year-old son, Jack.
“She always protected her son. Now she must protect herself … from him”
I bought this DVD a while ago, but only recently got around to viewing it. More fool me!
Sally has been caring for her two sons by herself after their father left her. There are no surprises how this works out as the film opens with the younger child being rushed to hospital in a critical state. What we are then treated to is a clever and accurate portrayal of life with an abusive son, as we see Jack’s mother battling to come to terms with the fact that her troubled teenage boy is not the beautiful baby she remembers him to have been. Continue reading
Parentchannel.tv presents a series of videos discussing parenting issues. You can search by age or by topic and they include tips and advice on a whole raft of topics dealing with normal behaviour and expectations, through all the possible questions you can think of, and also importantly – from our point of view – aggression in the home. This five minute video, produced by Family Lives, is presented by Kate Iwi, of Respect, and looks “into the factors that can cause a teen to become threatening in the home and the signs that things are going too far, with tips on how to take control of the situation” Continue reading
Dr. Phil picked up on the topic of parent abuse where Anderson left off, in his show on February 29th. The clips, which are also available on Youtube, show interviews with women still experiencing abuse from their adult children, unable to break free from a longstanding pattern of destructive behaviour. There is also a link on his site to a clip from an earlier programme, “Stabbed in the heart by my teen”, where he counsels the family that this longstanding relationship issue needs proper professional long-term help. “It’s never easy to confront this stuff and deal with it. Somehow, it’s easier to suffer and let days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and months into years.”
Without the benefit of seeing the whole show, it’s hard to know how to respond to the clips, which are obviously chosen to draw the viewer in.