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Child to parent violence

Artichoke May 15, 2019 15:13

Hi all

This is a constant in our relationship with our adopted son. From the time he was placed at 4 years old to now at 11 years old. The frequency/nature of it hasn't really changed - but he is obviously getting much much stronger. We go through spells where it might happen daily and then spells where it is fine for up to 6-8 weeks or so. Inevitably there is a correlation with other stresses in his/our lives.

PAS have nothing further to offer - early conversations went along lines of 'he doesn't do it enough to warrant referral to CAMHS or similar", I've been on lots of courses, and we started therapeutic life story work (which they stopped as they didn't think it was helpful - another long story).

I'm not really sure what my question is, but parents of teenagers - how do/did you cope? Did you ever get any meaningful support that made a difference?

I can't see anything changing over the next few years, plus we will have hormones, secondary school etc adding to the mix - I don't want our family (or him) being subjected to this over the years ahead and his life chances suffering as a consequence.

It isn't okay and I don't want to live with it, but he is a brilliant, lovely boy in all other respects - he just cannot control the violence when dysregulated.

Any suggestions hugely appreciated.

Many thanks


chestnuttree May 15, 2019 17:30

Have you tried to access therapy through the ASF? My daughter used to become physically aggressive during tantrums and music therapy has helped her tremendously. She is 12 now and hardly ever becomes physical. From what I have read, if it is still an issue at age 8, it won't go away without professional help. Have you read up on NVR? We have not used it, but it seems to help some people.

Bop May 15, 2019 19:18

NVR (Non-violent resistance) can work well with CPV - google it!

mumiam May 16, 2019 09:27

I too have lived through something similar with my AS now 11. Like yours, he is a lovely boy until he becomes dis-regulated. I have done lots to help us and over the years it has got a lot better. I'll try and summarise what helped.

NVR - some good parenting groups on Facebook, I got great results with parental presence and reconciliation gestures.

Creative Attachment Therapy funded by the ASF got us through the difficult times and has continued. It really helped build a bond with my son when I was finding it difficult to connect with him.

Managing Violent Behaviour course run by the NATP, and lots of their other resources too.

Building a relationship with school, even though they don't see any of this behaviour, anxiety about school was the cause of much of it.

It's not perfect by any means, and living through SATs this week I have seen a lot of the old behaviours resurface. But, when he does get angry the rages are much shorter. Rather than being violent towards me, he now tends to be destructive (which for some unknown reason I find harder to deal with). He is also getting better at recognising what is happening and finding an acceptable outlet for his rage, such as the punching bag or his trampoline.

Hope this helps a little.

Artichoke May 17, 2019 14:42

Arghh - logging in to this site is so hard!! Anyway.....

Many thanks for the replies above. I probably need to look at NVR again and the Managing Violent Behaviour course sounds helpful.

On a positive note we have survived SATs week, with the help of school's relaxed approach to it, so that was good......

Thanks all

Lucy May 23, 2019 13:00

I wrote a post on this earlier but it seems to have disappeared. We have issues with violence with our two grandchildren, nearly 7 and nearly 8, who live with us on a residence order (their mum is our adoptive daughter), so it was really helpful to read this post when I joined the site today. I have been feeling very hopeless and helpless about it.

We are not eligible for help through the ASF as the children were not in local authority care, but I would be interested to know how anyone found out about or got access to music therapy or other things which have helped. Have looked up info about NVR. Would really like to know more about music therapy.

Bluemetro May 23, 2019 17:58

Lucy, in some areas there are groups which meet for support and input regarding children who have needs and are difficult to parent. Sometimes schools have information about these groups which will be open to anyone.

About you now May 23, 2019 21:42

NVR is fantastic - & can be accessed without ASF. Google Connective Parenting and Sarah Fisher. Her (online) NVR course is about £60.

Violence from a child is horrific: NVR isn't rocket science but makes a world of difference.


Lucy May 24, 2019 13:31

Thanks, both. We live in south Lincolnshire, which is a fairly sparsely populated part of the country and therefore there often are not support groups nearby of the sort that might exist in cities or larger towns etc. So far not found anything and school don’t know either, but will carry on looking. I have recently started, with some other parents, a group within the school for those of us with children with any kind of additional needs - not necessarily dealing with the main things we need help with, but still breaks the isolation a little.

I have just spoken to a worker at PAC UK today, who was very helpful. Had not come across/thought of contacting them so that is an immediate result of joining this forum and reading this post. Thank you all.

Grandparents June 21, 2019 12:25

We have a new (for just 3 months) adoptive 7 year old grandson and we are struggling to know where to set the boundaries.

For example - two instances yesterday.

  1. He picked up a handful of sand and was asked to put it down before entering the house. He ignored the request and threw it at the (closed) front door. The adoptive father chose to ignore it as he said it was designed to provoke a reaction and, when no reaction came, the incident was over.

2. At the dinner table, he picked up a toy and was asked to put it away whilst we were eating. Again he ignored the request and carried on playing. From the look in his face, he knew he was being defiant, and smiled when he could see he was 'getting away with it'.

Our daughter and son-in-law are trying very hard to adopt 'theraputic parenting' and the whole concept is taking some time for us to get our heads around. As grandparents, we could understand the fathers reaction to the first instance, but the look of defiance for the second incident, suggested to us that stronger action should have been taken.

Our grandson has frequent outbursts of violence and causing damage, such that our daughter is living in fear of him (although she is holding it together remarkably well). Our concern, reading other posts here, is that he is getting physically stronger by the day and the anticipation of further escalation is giving us a foreboding of what the future may hold. He is getting psychological help (and so is our daughter) but the only comments are "you are doing everything right" with little or no real help.

We are new to the concept of 'theraputic parenting' so would appreciate any comments and suggestions.

(PS - I have posted some of this on another forum as I am not clear on who sees what).

Donatella June 21, 2019 12:32

Hi grandparents. I have replied on your other post so I won’t repeat - other than to say it’s for his parents to set boundaries. They know best.


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