experience and conversations with other psychotherapists, social workers,
psychologists and psychiatrists suggest that the aggressive behaviour of
children and adolescents towards their parents is an increasing concern in
direct work with families. It seems that although the initial referral for
assessment and intervention may be related to concerns about ADHD, depression
or out of control behaviours, more parents are beginning to talk about their
experiences of being the target of their child’s physical and emotional
aggression and violence in their homes.
this article I would like to broaden our understandings of family violence to
include the threat of and the use of violence by children and adolescents
against their parents. One way of making a clear distinction between abusive
and violent behaviour and what could be termed as “normal” conflict between
parents and their children at different developmental stages will be suggested.
Using an outline case example, the Non Violent Resistance Programme (Omer 2004;
Weinblatt & Omer 2008) will be suggested as one response to the problem of
child to parent violence. Some of the challenges in psychotherapeutic practice
for the detection and development of effective responses to child to parent
violence will be explored.