Parent Abuse & How To Overcome It (37 Tips)

Help and support are here for parent abuse, grandparents and guardians who are experiencing abuse by children. This can be emotional, physical, or verbal violence.

Those on the receiving side of being abused by children walk on eggshells as they are unsure of what to do or how to approach the situation. 

The reason for this is that they feel intimidated, out of their league, powerless, unsafe and unprotected and tend to give in.

The result is parents with unhealthy boundaries, becoming the victims, being walked all over, jumping to demands and this gives rise to the child living a life with some or more of the following: lack of integrity, ethics, morals, values, respect (consideration), honour, compassion, and love. 

This all leads to self-entitlement, greed, selfishness, inconsiderate, and disrespectful children and these children will become adults carrying the compounding effects of these traits.

Throughout the decades of observing and working with those on the receiving end of child to adult abuse, it is evident these adults require some form of treatment or therapy such as counselling or even hypnosis to assist them to deal with depression, anxiety, setting boundaries, anger, guilt, alienation, abandonment, betrayal, abuse and even anger management.

You are not alone, this has become an increasing trend since the 90s, and parents are dealing with so many changes within society and the added stresses arising within the household.

The chaos is being injected by children and their legal guardians into society within the professional sectors and educational institutions. 

Parents have become overwhelmed with the difficulties of life during the last few decades with increasing levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and guilt. 

Accompanying all of this are the stresses and being overwhelmed by the abuse and manipulation. It may seem this isn’t a serious issue as many parents, grandparents and guardians are detached from the severity of the issues at hand.

Children are the product of their parents, a child who subconsciously identifies unhealthy boundaries will take advantage of this and they are also learning to deprive themselves of healthy boundaries.

The three levels of a healthy boundary are as follows to avoid parent abuse

  1. Saying no, walking away and feeling alright for saying no as they honoured their choice and decision.
  2. Saying no, walking away, and feeling guilty, anxious, or angry for saying no.
  3. Wanting to say no, accepting what they are being told to do, walking away, then becoming upset or infuriated for not standing up or not upholding their beliefs.

They have no faith, belief or trust in their abilities. They have a victim mentality.

Which one are you?

Self-entitled and self-serving will feel they are number 1, the issue with these personality traits is that they are accompanied by a selfish, me and only me at all costs, mentality.

To be number 1, you would fall in alignment with the Souglides 8 Rules of Empowerment ©, these being;

1. Integrity
2. Honour
3. Ethics
4. Morals
5. Values
6. Respect (self)
7. Love
8. Compassion

The essence of an individual is to strive and live by the Souglides 8 Rules of Empowerment ©

Many parents make excuses or turn away from this subject matter, they do this because they feel they have failed or are terrible parents. 

Child to parent, grandparents, and guardian violence and abuse, is a very serious issue.

The feminine roles are mostly affected, mothers and grandmothers are most likely to be the targets of this abuse and violence; other members of the family may also be at risk, extending to gender-based violence.

Self-centred, self-entitlement creates abusers who intimidate, deceive, manipulate, hurt, and cause physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual pain, shock and trauma, creating an environment where the victims of abuse overcompensate, feel unsafe and unprotected.

Living with a child or adolescent who has abusive or violent behaviour and may even subject their parent, grandparents, and guardian to verbal, psychological, physical, or financial abuse with young people engaged in a variety of behaviours designed to dominate, threaten or coerce parents or other family members.

Abuse is not on, it simply breeds more abuse so it is never okay!

There may, from time to time, be disagreements, the occasional conflict within a family living together between parents, their children or even the siblings squabbling amongst themselves, a conflict becomes abusive and can escalate to extremes when one person threatens, forces, manipulates another to gain power over them.

The time has come for those who are responsible for children to take responsibility and step up, take themselves out of the victim mentality, step up and live a life with healthy boundaries. Standing in your power starts with living your life Souglides 8 Rules of Empowerment ©, understanding what healthy boundaries are thereby clearing the blockages that prevent you from living your life filled with joy, love, peace, and harmony. 

Freedom from the burdens of abuse costs you nothing.

It liberates you to live your life in truth, honouring yourself and your divinity.

There is a difference between being angry and violent. Anger refers to emotion, violence is acting out by needing to control, using tactics, manipulation, to force or overpower and subdue their parent or carer.

Domestic violence is between adults, and child and adolescent violence are like domestic violence. With child-to-parent abuse and violence, parents feel ashamed, often trying to hide the abuse as they will most often feel judged and possibly attract more of it due to the child or adolescent needing to prove a point that they are in control.

Shame is usually hidden and not acknowledged as the fear of what could happen if it is reported. If you are a victim of child-to-parent violence and abuse, you are not unique, this exists across every community irrespective of age, nationality, social class, culture, and geographic area, it is happening all around the world.

The different states of child-to-parent abuse and violence are:

1. Battered parent syndrome
2. Child and adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse
3. Child and adolescent violence in the home
4. Child-to-parent abuse
5. Child-to-parent violence
6. Parent abuse

The pattern of violence and abuse can start at a very tender age escalating even into adulthood.

The definition of domestic violence and parent abuse

  1. Any incident or pattern to control, coerce or any behaviour that is threatening, violent or abuse towards parents, their intimate partners or family members.
  2. The violence or abuse can be against any gender or sex.
  3. Abuse and violence is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse.
  4. No legal definition as yet for child, adolescent to parent violence and abuse.
  5. It is recognised as a form of domestic violence and abuse, depending on the age of the child

The types of abuse and violent behaviours

  1. Damage to property
  2. Emotional abuse
  3. Economic or financial abuse
  4. Violence and abuse can happen individually or collectively
  5. Behaviours can encompass but are not limited to:
  6. Humiliating language and threats
  7. Belittling a parent
  8. Outbursts
  9. Damage to property
  10. Stealing from a parent
  11. Heightened sexual behaviours
  12. Behavioral patterns that are coercive or try to control
  13. Episodes of explosive physical violence
  14. Uncontrollable abusive behaviours

Physical abuse – harming pets, hitting, kicking, punching, punching holes in the walls, pushing and shoving, slapping, swearing, throwing things, wrecking other parts of the structure in the home, taking weapons like a knife, baseball bat or gun.

Verbal abuse is psychological abuse that includes shouting, yelling, arguing, challenging, judging, name-calling, criticising, belittling, and swearing. 

Constant abuse if not resolved breaks down the parent or a caregiver.

Subjected to psychological or emotional abuse includes living in fear, feeling intimidated, maliciously playing mind games, unrealistic demands on parents or a carer, manipulating, withholding affection, threatening to run away, threatening self-harm or threats of committing suicide, leaving for periods of time and not informing family members where they are going, using offensive language in emails, texts or other communication, chasing parents around the home in a threatening way, making demands.

Financial abuse includes stealing, helping themselves to your money or belongings to sell, demanding items beyond the parents’ financial level, incurring debt from the use of credit cards, online shopping, using the parents’ petrol card with no respect for how much they use.

Abuse and violence from children and adolescents should not be tolerated and it is not part of the norm, by neglecting it you are not taking responsibility to guide them.

Having an attitude, too old now and they will be moving out soon, is denial from the parent or carer and they lack boundaries and take no responsibility.

By allowing the child to do as they wish you are changing your behaviour because you simply feel guilty for something a child may experience, you feel threatened, being controlled, living in fear means you are unsafe and feel unprotected, you need to take responsibility, lay down the rules in your home, after all, it is you who pays your bond, feeds them, and looks after them, it does not mean you have to sell your soul to the demands of abuse and violence.

Feeling unsafe creates behavioural changes within the parents or carer, these include:

  1. Avoiding confrontation with your child
  2. Being fearful for your safety and the safety of other family members
  3. You do not want to distress your child further so you avoid confronting them in case they lash out verbally or physically
  4. You walk on eggshells to keep the peace
  5. Stealing or damaging other family members’ possessions
  6. Threatening you or others
  7. You avoid engaging with them on issues as they threaten to harm themselves, threats of self-harm need to be taken seriously
  8. They have risky behaviour that will possibly throw you off
  9. The child is critical, dismissive of you, and has no interest in your life
  10. You are blamed for their behaviour

This is not entirely your fault, there could be many factors you are not aware of that influence how your child reacts or expresses themselves. 

Although your child is a product of you as a parent, if you have not treated them with abuse or violence then one needs to identify the cause of their behaviour and try to assist them.

Some of the reasons could be as follows: witness to abuse or family violence, having a mental issue, drug or alcohol addictions, not being nurtured, being bullied, sexual trauma, shock, pornography, observing how others get away with violence to achieve a goal, idolising an actor, mimicking to feel worthy and accepted.

There are no excuses for abuse or violence; however, understanding some of the issues assists in seeking professional help and results in developing and enhancing closer family bonds.

Parenting styles to consider that are sabotaging the family:

  1. Child happiness comes first, self-sacrificing yourself disregarding of yourself
  2. Constantly sacrificing own needs or interests for those of the child
  3. Fear of conflict
  4. Feeling ashamed to reach out for help about the violence
  5. Feeling helpless as you feel nothing can be done and that no one can help
  6. Overcompensating, trying to give the child everything
  7. Overly responsible for the child’s emotional well-being over the rest of the family
  8. Permissive or indulgent parenting
  9. Preventing the child from taking accountability or responsibility
  10. Preventing yourself from taking action
  11. The previous support you felt was misunderstood, trivialised, minimised or dismissed
  12. When a child has too much freedom
  13. Worried that you will be blamed
  14. You avoid and hope the problem goes away
  15. You avoid seeing the truth that there is a problem
  16. You do not accept that you need help to deal with the situation
  17. You feel you are responsible for their behaviour

Dealing with this:

  1. Seek out support for you, your child and your family
  2. Have a safety plan in case you need it
  3. Be kind, gentle and loving to yourself
  4. It is your birthright to feel safe

Taking a stand to change the child’s behaviour can only be achieved when responsibility is taken, using consequences, unpacking, and reflecting on yourself, and putting your plan into action.

For every action there is a reaction, some decisions in life have consequences.

Within the parenting role, there can be an out-of-control child or adolescent. When responsibility is taken, there will be an understanding that there are consequences for misbehaving, abuse, violence, and aggressive behaviour. 

You can regain your confidence when you stand in your power, take a stance and take your power back when you understand you are the wiser one, the one who needs to lay the healthy boundaries.

When a parent or a carer states, “we are no longer putting up with …….any longer, we are taking steps and putting a stop to ……” a parent must have a strategy after they have said that and this strategy is based on consequences related to behaviour, unacceptable behaviour.

Unacceptable behaviour by the child, towards a parent, carer and or other parties that are involved and who are affected by this unsavoury behaviour, there is a consequence to their behaviour. 

The sentence fits the crime, getting out of hand has consequences. It is very important to give orders, threats defeat the purpose of winning them over and consequences result in pocket money being placed on hold.

A child may become violent when there is no negotiation, violence is not acceptable.

Setting healthy boundaries forces others to respect your home, your decisions and your views without pushing the boundaries. When you plan and activate and put that plan into motion for your child to act in a positive, respectful manner, one in union and cooperation.

Identifying behaviours that are reasonable or unreasonable, and writing them down is a good way to review them and remember them. Deciding what is reasonable or unreasonable is up to the parents, knowing and understanding and consciousness. 

A parent that feels a child stealing money is not ok will then decide what a reasonable, fair consequence is.

Using statements like “I will not accept, tolerate verbal abuse or behaviour in this house”, and “you steal from me or any other and you will have that deducted off your pocket money”, you must stand firm. 

The child may try to negotiate or manipulate, but there are no negotiations, never fall into a trap, do not get bullied, teach them the Souglides 8 Rules of Empowerment ©, to produce children that take pride in themselves, their lives, and their journey. 

Take control of your life, take your power back, and healthy boundaries come from knowing what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

Limit or restrict technology use to achieve your goal for them to achieve better results. If they cross the line, they get less pocket money, earning respect for you, your time, your rules and regulations. 

Accountability must be realised through actions of cause-and-effect principles. By giving them a choice they are making choices in accordance with the situation, therefore they are not choosing their terms. 

To win the battle you make them decide on the options you give, through this process they are subconsciously forced to make decisions that are not manipulative.

A war that conquered the masses was never violent, it is about letting someone believe they have the upper hand, meanwhile, you are giving them two choices, each having consequences, positive or unpleasant.

Consequences are required to be revealed ahead of time, for the rules to be known.

Explain that you still love them; these are the choices, one with negative consequences and the other positive with rewards.

This is the process of character building. Do not give in by dropping your guard, always mind-check your motives and behaviours. To achieve a goal you may need to sacrifice the comfort zone of not taking responsibility, it is the lack of responsibility that got you into the situation, you now find yourself in.

Never let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, never let up that you have stepped back, even when they push you harder than before, negative behaviour will run dry when a plan is in action, boundaries are healthy and upheld. Be consistent, be prepared to follow through, and do not give up or bend in the wind. 

If you do not pay your taxes or a fine there will be consequences.

To assist you, here are some tips:

  1. Be firm when stating consequences
  2. If you are unable to initially implement the consequences let your know child you will let them know within the next ten minutes
  3. Resist setting a consequence while at the height of an escalation, reveal the new consequences once things have settled down
  4. Initiate small successes to begin the process of small changes
  5. With persistence, you will eventually achieve change and success
  6. Focus on your wellbeing and self-care, put yourself first, the priority is you so everyone benefits in the long term
  7. As a parent you deserve to be treated with respect, after all, it is you who pays the bills, who provides the family with food, money, holidays, and a home, you are the most important person, if you are not, then the family will suffer
  8. Reflect on your responses and actions to your child, be mindful as your responses may not be conducive to achieving your goal
  9. Identify triggers that may be defeating your plan of action
  10. Develop a calm, collected presence
  11. Love and nurture yourself, meditate, do yoga, and tai-chi and by practising oneness
  12. Taking 5 minutes of your day to focus on yourself, self-care a is a priority and hugely beneficial to your mindfulness of the self
  13. Focus on building your relationships for positive outcomes
  14. Celebrate any improvements
  15. Try not to see the relationship you have with your child as one that is a war, there is no battleground, if you see it that way, there is a perception of limitation
  16. Let your relationship with your child be a-win-win
  17. Realising it is not the child it is only their behaviour
  18. Develop ways to decrease, resolve or diffuse stress where possible, “I feel happier when we work together and when you speak nicely, your words do not hurt, thank you, what I would like to do is to continue speaking kindly”
  19. Think and feel what other improvements you can do to achieve your goal and in turn by assisting your child to take responsibility for themselves and their life
  20. Discover who you could go to get assistance when there is an emergency
  21. Always have a strategy and plan of action for emergencies
  22. If you feel your life is in danger have easy access to police and a relative’s numbers
  23. As a parent you do not want to criminalise a child, to avoid this, have your plan, and cover all bases
  24. Keep records of your dates and times when there have been violent, abusive behaviours
  25. When the authorities are called to resolve the issue, they will carry guilt from the negative experience, they worry about the stigma it may have created
  26. Let them know their actions have consequences with the law, they can be taken away, sent to juvenile detention facilities, jail or other places where they will lose their freedom and rights
  27. Have access to both emotional and practical support
  28. Find a family member or friend with good healthy boundaries to alleviate tension
  29. Find useful resources and services
  30. Seek out a support group, counselling sessions or hypnotherapy
  31. Attend a social occasion to ease the stress and pressure
  32. Be empathic to the abused parent or carer
  33. Respect an abused parent’s privacy
  34. Do Not tell an abused parent what to do, offer support through kindness and compassion
  35. Do Not blame them or imply that the parent is at fault
  36. As a support person confront the young person
  37. Be understanding and supportive to the abused parent

Want to talk? Book a meeting with me to see how I can help you through this tough period.