Facing violence and violent behavior is something that no one deserves. It can be jarring and upsetting and leave you feeling angry and frustrated. When your teen displays this type of behavior, things can feel even more off-kilter. What should your next steps be? What are your options? Are there any steps that you can take to keep your teen from hurting himself and others?
Don’t handle it alone
Perhaps one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you don’t need to handle this difficult phase on your own. If you have a parenting partner to lean on, that’s great. You will still need more support and help along the way, however. What that support and help look like will vary based on your social circle, available resources, and willingness to reach out for the help you need.
Some of the options you could consider may include the following.
- Therapy, individual, and family. Therapy is a great way for you, your teen, and others in your family to learn how to better cope with the stressful situation you’re all living with.
- Support groups, both online and in-person. Support groups with parents who’ve struggled with their rebellious teens can offer you support, insight, and so much more. Your therapist may be able to help you find the right types of support.
- Family and friends who’ve experienced similar things to your struggles. Many parents live in silence with the struggles they’re facing at home. If you vocalize your struggles to trusted family and friends, you may find that others can offer an ear and understanding.
If you have the right type of support, you’ll be able to reach out when you need it. Maintaining your own mental wellness is going to play a strong role in your ability to help guide your teen away from rebellious and violent behavior.
If you’re faced with a violent teenager
Whether your teen’s violent behavior has been gradually escalating or it’s something that seems to have come out of nowhere, it’s never going to be a situation you want to cope with. It can be challenging to figure out what your next steps should or could be. Should you try to punish your teen more? Add more boundaries and restrictions? Should you get the law involved?
While only you know what things are really like at home, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when trying to navigate this type of situation.
- Protecting other children, pets, and vulnerable family members and friends should be a priority. Teens who are violent and lashing out do unfortunately often pick on those they think they can hold power over.
- Create a safety plan for yourself, your teen, and of course other members of the family. If things in your home have escalated to a situation where others are being harmed, it may be time to consider more serious options to protect everyone.
- Know when you need to call law enforcement to help. This option can be worrisome for parents, which is understandable. No parent likes the idea of calling the police to their home to help them with a violent teenager. Many of us feel like this is just another phase, and it’ll pass if we can just weather the storm we’re in today. The truth is that if your teen has been displaying aggressive and violent behavior, it’s not likely to get better on its own. Things are likely only going to get worse. Call for help from the police if you don’t feel safe or if your teen has been hurting others. Keep in mind that the police don’t just remove teens and lock them up. They can help to give everyone a bit of breathing room and help connect you with local resources that may be useful.
- Speak with your teen’s school guidance counselor, teachers, coaches, and anyone else who may have some insight as to what else may be going on in your teen’s life. It’s not always the case but your teen may be struggling with something that you’re entirely unaware of. Figuring this out can put you in a good position to help with changing his aggressive and violent behavior.
Above all, protect your family and yourself from the violent behavior that your teen is showing at home.
How can you protect others from teen violence?
Having taken steps to protect yourself and the other vulnerable members of your family from your teen’s violent behavior, you may wonder what can be done to protect people outside of your home. Teens acting out aggressively and violently may turn their sights on other people, particularly if they appear more vulnerable or try to impose boundaries or rules. This could include peers at school, neighborhood children, teachers, coaches, and even their therapists.
What steps can you take to help protect others?
- Impose stronger boundaries at home, with the understanding that your teen may react aggressively to being told he can’t go out after school or at night.
- If your teen has a driver’s license, consider taking away his driving privileges until his behavior is under better control.
- Provide teachers, coaches, and therapists with a heads-up about your teen’s behavior. Keep in mind that these groups of people are considered mandated reporters. This means that if they are told of a threat to themselves or others, they have an obligation to reach out to protective services and potentially law enforcement.
If your teen is already showing signs of aggression and is being violent, it’s unlikely that he’s going to react well to being told that his actions and privileges are further restricted. The situation may escalate to the point where it is unsafe to continue having him live in the home with you.
Consider a residential treatment or therapeutic boarding school for your teen. These types of facilities understand how to work with and treat rebellious teens who are violent, aggressive, and unable to cope with the things that are going on in their life. There are many options when it comes to residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools, including those that focus on rebellious teens or teens who are struggling with trauma.
The decision to send your teen to a facility that can help him is not easy. At HelpYourTeenNow, we understand what you’re thinking and feeling about this decision. Our team of knowledgeable professionals can help you navigate this process and pair you and your teen with the right resources.
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