August 07, 2019
In just three years, the number of reported crimes involving children physically attacking their parents has doubled, figures suggest.
Number of Children Attacking Their Mum Or Dad Has Doubled In 3 Years – What Can Parents Do?
Data from 19 different police forces across England, Wales and Scotland – obtained via Freedom of Information requests from the BBC – were compared from 2015 and 2018.
In 2015, there were 7,224 such incidents. In 2018, this doubled to 14,133. Of the police forces that had relevant data (the rest of the 44 police forces in Britain don’t record these statistics), Lincolnshire had the highest proportional number of incidents, with almost 130 per 100,000 people.[Read More: Child Anger: Eight Ways Parents Can Manage Behaviour And Understand Their Child]
Police organisation The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) suggested that the statistical rise could simply be down to changes in recording practices, where verbal arguments that wouldn’t previously have been recorded as “legal incidents” were taken as common assault, harassment or threat of violence.
However, the number still seems high. Tom Madders, from mental health charity YoungMinds, told the BBC the figures were “alarming”, but they don’t surprise him. “When a young person is behaving in this way towards their parents, there is a high likelihood that there is some sort of mental distress involved and that young person is communicating that they do need some support – too often that support is too hard to access,” he said. People are having to resort to calling the police as the only line of support."Tom Madders, from mental health charity YoungMinds“People are reaching out for support and not getting it and often having to resort to calling the police as the only line of support,” Madders said.
There is no legal definition of adolescent-parent violence and abuse, known as APVA, according to the Home Office, but it is “increasingly recognised” under the government’s official definition of domestic violence and abuse, the BBC report stated. 
There is also no one specific cause. A 2013 study from Oxford University of families that had experienced child-on-parent violence listed potential causes as substance abuse, mental health problems, learning difficulties, or a family history of domestic violence or self-harm. However, other families in the study described themselves as “at a loss” to attribute their child’s aggression to anything, and often had other children who did not display such behaviour.
Brighton-based Break4Change has also reported 10% year-on-year increases in APVA incidents, and said parents are often ashamed to seek help, feeling that angry or violent behaviour by their children reflects poorly on them as a parent. What Can Parents Do?If your child is showing signs of aggressive behaviour, there are different ways you can try to manage it, Emma Saddleton, parents’ helpline operations manager at YoungMinds, previously told HuffPost UK.
She said acknowledging how your child is feeling is important. “You can always say: ‘You’re right to feel angry, I completely acknowledge how you are feeling’,” she advised. “Try to separate out their feelings from their behaviour.”The NSPCC recommends communicating with your child about what is on their mind. “It can be difficult for parents to have conversations about sensitive topics with their children but it is important they do talk with them so they can get to the root of the matter and get them help, if needed,” they advised. It’s also vital to see if you can spot any signs of anger early, to help your child make more positive decisions about how to handle it. 
But, Saddleton said, parents should also know when it’s time to seek professional help. The NHS and YoungMinds offer advice and helplines for parents dealing with children who have issues with anger. Read more advice on managing child anger here. Related... We're Closer To Our Facebook Friends Than Our Neighbours – And That's Not A Bad Thing Fleur East Sets Record Straight On ‘Depression’ And How She Found Her ‘Happy Place’ How Bristol University Is Trying To Prevent Student Suicides, After 11 Sudden Deaths
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