Why do I feel scared of my child?

Why do I feel scared of my child?

There feels an increasingly common thread in parenting, and it’s huge to admit yet alone talk about. We’ve come a long way in recent decades to expose a level of abuse and domestic violence in homes between adults. We now have a level of awareness of this issue and support systems in place. But who is talking about the level of abuse that is occurring from our children in our homes towards us as parents?

What does 'Child to Parent abuse look like?

This abuse can be seen in many ways, from the small dismissive gestures and actions to out and out violence and intimidation. Abuse includes manipulation and controlling behaviours, whether coercive or not. There is the subtle control of teens refusing to come out of the bedroom, refusing to eat the food provided, demanding their own ‘special’ food and drink when it suits them, refusing to take part in family chores and hold family responsibilities for walking the dog etc. This behaviour can go up a gear to include actions and words that are demeaning, dismissive and verbally destructive in the home. In addition, we see manipulation occurring to get and access devices or games that are violent or out of their age range, our teens are attending events that don’t feel safe in our assessment, and we are being pressurised into purchasing all kinds of things for them that may take us beyond our financial means, we are having raised voices towards us, with our teens yelling right into our face leaving us shaken, crushed and disempowered, even being physically hit and punched by our children of any age from toddler to adult child.

The sense of feeling powerless can be overwhelming. We have an opportunity to stop and ask:

What is going on? How did my child become the bully in our home and why do I feel so intimidated to jump to this tune, to appease this force coming at me through this member of my family?

It can be, and it needs to be, a real stop moment when we come face to face with the reality of what is going on. We all want our families to be loving happy places, to admit that ours is far from that can be a real stinger. To continue to allow the abuse is often a choice taken, ‘I can’t tackle that’ is a common approach, then the abuse entrenches and grows, which is to everyone’s detriment. To call a halt to abuse in the home is a much-needed step to take by going into the detail of how the abuse plays out for us and how we can stop it in its tracks.

Abuse does not need to be a lodger in our home

We need to understand that this abuse is happening everywhere and not just in our homes. It’s a global occurrence. We need to be honest and willing to really see what is going on for us, that is the first step if we want to change. We do not need to live like this.


Further reading

The Basics of Communication

Saying no to bullying

Rules standards and boundaries

Anger awareness

What is Love?

Photo Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash