If you are being affected by some of the issues raised in the recent Channel 5 program ‘Violent Child, Desperate Parents’ and need immediate help then please do get in touch. We have occasionally received grants to provide assistance to urgent cases and usually have some part-funded places available for families in particular need. You can call Islay on 07380 282751 or, if you prefer, you can send an email to [email protected]Making contact with someone who understands what you are going through can be the first step to finding a solution.

Some thoughts on the feedback from the Channel 5 program ‘Violent Child, Desperate Parents’

There have been a lot of conversations in response to parents who are struggling with their children. We watch the behaviours of some on the current Channel 5 program ‘Violent Children, Desperate Parents’ with horror. For many the response appears to be that children should fear their parents and then they would do as they are told.

Fear is never an acceptable emotion for children; but, perhaps, many people were brought up that way and see nothing wrong with that style of parenting.  The usual comments are “it never did me any harm” and this is used to justify anger, and sometimes violence, towards children whose behaviour has become challenging.  You only have to read the comments on Twitter to see how often adults consider taking the child outside for a beating.

Yes, that would certainly cause fear; however, it doesn’t stop the behaviour. At best it buries the anger until the child feels old enough to leave and, at worst, the child’s anger escalates with the unjustness of it all.

So, how can parents  get their children to do what they want without inducing fear? And, isn’t that what all parents want? Surely, no parent really wants their child to fear them.

Take away fear and consider respect. If we’re honest isn’t that what we want? But, how do we get it? It is the parents who have been able to gain respect rather than fear that appear to have happier children.

Children get angry because they feel they are not being heard and understood. This hearing and understanding is more than ‘giving in’ to whatever the child wants. It is about recognising that our children have likes and dislikes that are different to our own.

There are times when children need to do what they are told; for example, going to bed,  getting up and going to school. This is achieved more easily if children feel they are being understood. Most children complain when they are told to go to bed – that’s normal but, if children believe that their parents love them, listen to them and understand what they are going through then it becomes much easier.

Respect is not a power struggle, where one person wins and another looses. It is saying I have needs and so does my child. It’s this awareness and acceptance, that no one person is more important than another, that enables families to work and grow together.