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How do I Cope with a Violent Child?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye

When dealing with a violent child, you should get a mental health professional involved as soon as possible. Continue to maintain your position as an authority figure and impose consequences for bad behavior. Avert harm and property damage by restraining the child if necessary, but do not make him feel as if you have turned your back on him. Also avoid allowing the problem to escalate due to the use of drugs and alcohol.

It is imperative that you get a professional involved if you are dealing with an angry and violent child. Such problems are generally triggered or motivated by a problem other than the one expressed during an episode. As an adult, you may be inclined to assume that you know the true cause of the child's problem, but this can be a dangerous assumption that prevents her from getting the help that she needs. Allow a trained professional to do the diagnosing.

Most bad behavior exhibited by children is due to emotional trauma.
Most bad behavior exhibited by children is due to emotional trauma.

Once you have involved a professional, if you feel that there is a need for a second opinion, you should promptly get one. Otherwise, you need to follow the instructions and advice that you are given. Remember that the point of utilizing these services is so that you can get help, and ignoring professional advice is not generally helpful.

When a child is angry and prone to sudden bouts of violence, it can be shocking, and your instincts may tell you to do whatever is necessary to diffuse the situation. In many cases this involves the adult relinquishing power, but you should avoid allowing this to happen. Always remember that you are the authority and that a child should be governed by rules and consequences. If he acts inappropriately, it is important for you to maintain your position.

Do not allow the child to hurt herself, to harm others, or to destroy property. This means that you may need to restrain her when she becomes violent. You need to be prepared for this both emotionally and physically. Preparing physically may require you to get advice or training so that you do not accidentally employ tactics that may be considered abusive.

Maintaining a relationship with a violent child can be challenging, but you need to put forth your best effort. It is important for you to put your own anger and frustration aside once an episode is over. If at any time he wants to talk, you should be receptive. You should also avoid completely isolating the child by refusing to spend time with him or barring him from all group activities.

It has been found that some violent children, especially teenagers, develop habits of self-medicating. They may do this with illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. In any case, if it happens, it is likely to aggravate the problem. It is important for you to make sure that you keep medication and alcohol out of the reach of a violent child and do your best to keep him away from environments where he may be able to access these items.

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    • Most bad behavior exhibited by children is due to emotional trauma.
      By: fasphotographic
      Most bad behavior exhibited by children is due to emotional trauma.