The Uncharted Waters Of Parent Abuse
When one is a victim of parent abuse the first problem encountered is usually that of recognizing it is happening. While parent abuse would seem to be easy to recognize, the victims are often in denial that they are being abused. Parents who love their children don't usually readily accept the fact that those children are not reciprocating by showing love in return, but often show a lack or respect and even hostility instead.
Those affected by parent abuse often feel they have no place to turn. To make matters worse they often feel that it is all their fault, that no matter how hard they may have tried, they have not succeeded in being good parents. Despite what some may preach or teach, being a good parent is somewhat subjective. Parents who have several children may find themselves with one child who regularly practices parent abuse, while the others, if not perfect angels, at least exhibit decent behavior.
The Child Can Suffer As Well - It's not only the parent who suffers in cases of parent abuse. Often, at the end of the day, the child becomes the ultimate victim. Once the parent loses confidence in the ability to be a good parent, which can happen, the support the child needs to grow and mature will fall away. This is especially critical in the teen years when the child is not quite yet a young adult, and needs more parental support than he or she is aware of. Initially it's the parent who looks for support from somewhere, anywhere, but later it will be the child who is placed in the unenviable situation of being alone in the world. Sometimes a child can bully a parent into becoming totally submissive, and the support will still be there. It will also still be there if the parent is in denial that parent abuse is happening. On the other hand, the parent may overreact by simply kicking the youngster out of the house, at a time the youngster is not yet mature enough to face life alone.
The Police And The Court System - There aren't too many books dealing with parent abuse, nor are there many support groups to be found. When it comes to abuse, child abuse gets all the headlines, as it probably should as child abuse can be a terrible thing. Still, adults need a place to turn to for support and all too often they come up short. If violence or property damage is the case, one can always go to the police or the court system. Even though laws often are more protective of minors, physical violence can still be treated as a felony, and property damage is still a crime, no matter who does it. More than one parent has had to make the difficult choice of turning his or her child into the police to over to the court system, and often that is the proper choice and the only real choice.
Show And Demand Respect - As much as we love our children, we have every right to demand their respect, as long as we show them respect. Parents also have every right to lay down reasonable rules and regulations and expect them to be followed. Children don't always do what they are told to do, but neither do adults for that matter. Teenagers have the rather annoying habit of doing what they are told when they get around to it, which may border on bad behavior but is usually just annoying and not abusive. Teenagers in particular need to be given a little slack when told to clean up their room. Failure to clean up their room promptly isn't parent abuse, although refusing to do so outright can border upon it.
Parent abuse is one area where often the only solution lies in seeking help and advice, rather than trying to go it alone.