We should feel encouraged that, increasingly, friends, colleagues, acquaintances are accepting of the fact that there are parents who face regular abuse from their own children; and understand that parents may suffer further humiliation at the hands of the authorities when they do report the abuse, and its cause is identified as a failure of proper parenting. But there are still some aspects of this phenomenon that seem a step too far, even for convinced supporters. I was in just such a conversation recently when I introduced the problem of parents actually being punished for their children’s behaviour. “I don’t believe it – show me the evidence” was the response. It is indeed hard to believe that we still live in a society that is so procedurally rigid that we cannot accommodate the situations that do not fit the standard template.
I would suggest that there are a number of different scenarios here. Continue reading