Parents, just like anyone else can be abused by a child or teenager. This can become criminal behaviour.

Many people consider parent abuse to be the result of bad parenting, neglect or the child suffering abuse themselves, but many teen abusers have had a normal upbringing and have not suffered from these issues.

Your safety is important.
You are not alone with this.
Rely on yourself and your friends.
It will take time to fix this.
It is usually the mother (or main caregiver) who is most affected (but may involve fathers and siblings too).
Where possible, both parents (or caregivers) should unite and work together.

Parent abuse is a form of domestic abuse and is a serious problem which may result in physical harm, depression, damage to property, job loss, and family breakdown.

Quite often the child is wilfully abusing the parent for enjoyment, since the ability for empathy and compassion is not present in the teenage psyche, and is a way of dealing with anger management issues, psychological disturbances and hormones. But this is not acceptable.

Help your teen understand what you expect.
Use behaviour contracts and family meetings.
Remove privileges when necessary and spend time together doing things you both enjoy.
Remember, you are not your child’s only or sole influence. You may not have a part in causing what is happening now, but you do have some power to direct how your relationship can move forward.

Parents must take the time to learn their child so they can have a meaningful relationship that the child will want to keep healthy.

Each case is unique, but here is an example of a typical adolescent-parent abuse interaction;
Adolescent makes request
Parent asks for clarity
Adolescent provides information
Parent acknowledges but decides to say no
Adolescent tries to change parents mind
If the parent stays firm, abusive remarks, threats, destruction of property etc may occur.

Types of aggressive behaviours are very important to recognise for appropriate treatment of adolescents and parents abused by the same.

The more tendency towards abuse and negative behaviours that the parent exemplifies, the more reactive the child will also be, more often in a negative manner. Balancing these two dynamics is key to health family dynamics reducing potential abuse within families, whether it be parental abuses or child abuses.

Intervention is perhaps the best solution to confront adolescent parental abuse (though this may not always work). There are times where the child may have mental illness, thus he or she may act out emotions in the only way they understand. This can present itself as violence, emotional abuse, destructive behaviours such as destroying personal property or self bodily injury. Seek help.

You are not at fault, and you do not deserve this. So, speak to a friend, or your GP, or contact a domestic abuse support group. Seek professional help. Let the school know and have your child referred to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, informing them you are suffering parent abuse.

Do not suffer in silence. Take back your control.
You do not have to give your power away and you can put a stop to this abuse.

Keep a record of events with dates and times etc.

You may, confront your teen with his /her behaviour, calmly letting them know you will not tolerate it anymore.
Explain to them that it is abuse.
Explain they need professional help.
Re-assure them you still love them.
Remove all privileges, rights to mobiles, computers, video games, money etc and refuse to become a taxi or uber service for them.
If they refuse to come home, report them to the police as missing (sometimes police intervention is enough of a wake up call for them).

A very useful article on Violence towards parents can be found on www.parentlink.act.gov.au and then click on Violence towards parents – parent link

Its a useful read. And explains parent abuse, why kids do it, what you can do, getting police help, and looking after yourself.

I hope you found this useful.

Amanda Dounis