When the Guardian carries two pieces in a weekend alluding to violence and abuse from child to parent, (A letter to my teenage girl who hates me so very much and My ten year old daughter was bullied – is this why she has tantrums?) I think we can safely say that we are beginning to go mainstream.
Neither of these pieces is entirely straightforward – but isn’t that the point? Relationships within families are complex and varied. Violence and abuse has roots in so many different places. The tipping point between normal reaction and abusive behaviour can be hard to identify other than retrospectively. In both cases we see parents who are unimaginably sad for their children and at what is happening in their families, looking for answers and hoping for a better future. Continue reading
Soon after viewing the Channel 5 documentary last week, I received this paper, from Neusa Patuleia, a clinical psychologist / family therapist in Portugal. (De)constructing Child-to-Parent Violence, discusses a particular therapeutic intervention at a residential establishment in that country. Continue reading
The scramble to find reasons and culprits for the recent riots in England has demonstrated again just how visceral is our desire to apportion blame. Once more, parents, particularly single parents, were right up there along with gangs, drugs and schools. Never mind that single parents may have experienced years of abuse themselves, or may be struggling to hold down two jobs to provide for their family; now it seems we expect parents to know where there teenage children are, and what they are doing, at all times. Pointing the finger to the bottom of the pile is easier than asking more troubling questions about our attitudes to those different to ourselves, about the values we have come to hold as a society, and the priorities we have placed on growth, wealth, advancement. Arguably we are all to blame once we buy into this way of life. Continue reading