How to Spot Warning Signs of Violence in Your Child

No parent wants to think of their own child as being violent. It just isn’t something you want to put in the front or the back of your thoughts. Yet, we see on a regular basis that there are violent children. Children who come from good homes where successful parents go to extra lengths to provide their children with a solid education, well balanced home life and many amenities to make that life enjoyable and yet violence rears its ugly head, leaving many parents wondering how it happened and what they could have possibly done wrong.

In the real world today, there is no stellar family that is totally exempt from violence. The truth of the matter is that there is a wealth of influences that can trigger violence in a child who is otherwise passive and orderly about things. This is not a bad reflection on parents or schools and finger pointing is not the ultimate solution. Many of the worst incidents in U.S. schools with students who have violently harmed and killed their fellow classmates and teachers are scenarios where someone, somewhere suspected that trouble was brewing but the signs were ignored.  

Rather than take a hindsight approach to violence that children are coming to, it is better to take a proactive approach and learn how to spot the warning signs that there is a child who is having trouble and may become violent. If you’re like the average person, chances are you don’t go around looking at other people’s children for violent tendencies and certainly don’t look for violent warning signs in your own child. However, if you have been chalking up some behaviors in your son or daughter as just their natural aggression or responsiveness to the aggression of others, it may be time to take a closer look to make sure that these are not some of the warning signs that your child is potentially violent or already on the way to becoming violent.

In younger children who have not reached teen years, some warning signs include declines in their grades, repeatedly breaking parental rules, behavioral changes such as use of profanity or loud outbursts, emotional displays such as screaming at other children or adults, aggressive tendencies such as shoving or kicking or hitting others and changes in established sleep routines. Although no one particular warning sign is a definite determinant that your child may be violent, each is a cause for concern because even if your child is not becoming violent, they are having troubles that need to be addressed.

If you have witnessed any of these warning signs in your child, now is a good time to get help and guidance. Professional counseling may be required for both you and your child to help understand these tendencies and how to deal with them.