Covid 19 and the subsequent restrictions means families have to spend much more time than usual together. Normal routines have been entirely disrupted. This has resulted in tensions and stresses being exacerbated, particularly in the area of child to parent violence.
Many of these issues were already bubbling beneath but Covid 19 has triggered them to rise to the surface.
The result for many families has been a sharp increase in violent, aggressive and controlling behaviours directed by the child at the parent. This has left many parents fearful in their own homes. Parentline has had a very sharp increase in requests for its Non Violent Resistance programme. Parentline offers parents the support and practical skills to help deal with these situations.
Dr Declan Coogan, PHD/Social Worker/Psychotherapist
“Sometimes parents or carers are afraid of their child under the age of 18 years old. This can be because of abusive or violent behaviour at home used by the child which means that parents or carers feel they cannot be the kind of parent they would like to be. Non Violent Resistance is an evidence-based, non-blaming and relatively short-term intervention model that empowers parents and people working with them to take positive action to end the abusive and/or violent behaviour of a child. It also helps through respecting and protecting children and all family members. People trained in NVR have been offering NVR support to parents or carers through Parentline since 2013. It has worked very well for many families. At a time of COVID 19, social isolation and social distancing, providing NVR over a phoneline, which is how Parentline volunteers have always offered NVR support, can be a lifeline”
2020 has been a challenging year for all and continues to be so. Issues such as compliance with school rules and protocols, worries and fears about school setting, school refusal and the reluctance of some children and teenagers to go to school are just some of the difficulties with which parents are dealing.
Additionally parents continue to face the problem of children displaying anger, aggression and anxiety along with all the other issues and stresses of day to day parenting.
Parents call Parentline with all sorts of problems and children of all ages offer different parenting challenges. Anxiety, anger, aggression, isolation and loneliness, bullying, discipline, frustration, school refusal, drugs, teenage issues and verbal and emotional abuse are just some of the main reasons for the calls Parentline receives daily. What callers have in common is that they are seeking help, support and guidance.
Aileen Hickie, CEO, Parentline
“Parenting teenagers can be a challenge at the best of times. It requires a large amount of navigation as children go through huge hormonal, emotional, physical and mental changes. There is a lot of acceptance required of parents as they strive to ignore large amounts of eye rolling and the self absorbtion that comes with the territory. But there are huge positives also to rearing teenagers as they develop into more rounded independent beings who are capable of great conversation and creativity and humour. Just remember to pick your battles and realise you can’t force them to agree with you. But they do need to be held accountable for their behaviour. Parentline provides a listening ear, along with information, support and guidance on any and all parenting issues. Its ok to ask for help.”