Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
Editor’s Comments: What rebellious and defiant children often have in common is that they were raised in a permissive environment and never taught to respect the authority of their own parents, much less the authority of teachers, police officers, and responsible adults in society. See Police officer Robert Surgenor’s article on his analysis of the statistics on violent children and spanking. Parenting done badly brings its own form of punishment. Parents who experience violence from their own children are more common today as many more parents are ignorant of Biblical teachings on raising children. Claim your God-given authority to be the leader in your home and train your children to honor and respect the Word of God or this could become your story.
Original Article from the Houston Chronicle by Page Hewitt
Many times the victims are bruised in a fight or shoved down stairs. Others are stabbed with scissors. Last November, one was beaten to death with a hammer. And the suspects, in more than 1,800 cases documented in Harris County over a recent 2½-year period, were their children. One longtime prosecutor in the juvenile courts said he was “floored by the numbers” after a survey found 1,831 young people had been charged with assaulting a parent or guardian. Another called it an “alarming, alarming trend.” Assistant District Attorney Bill Hawkins, chief of the division that prosecutes offenders age 10 to 16 in Harris County, said office chatter last year suggested there might be a sharp increase in the number of children attacking parents. Because those cases are not routinely tracked by the courts or police, his office inventoried juvenile cases filed between January 2003 and last June.
“Those are just the (felony and Class A misdemeanor assault) cases where charges were accepted,” Hawkins said. “That does not include Class C misdemeanors. Plus, there is a much larger figure that is not reported.” “It’s scary,” added Kris Moore, a juvenile prosecutor in Harris County since 1980. ” … I don’t know if it’s media or television or violent games or what. You’ve got so many parents out there working their butts off trying to make ends meet, and it’s harder for them to supervise their kids. If you get into a situation where parents aren’t in control of their kids, they’re going to get into trouble.”
Moore said the violence against parents is escalating. “It used to be that we never had an assault on a parent,” she said. “Would you have pushed your mother down the stairs? Would you have stabbed your grandmother?”
Teenage girl ‘snapped’
In one pending case from northwest Harris County, a 16-year-old girl is being held on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly shooting her stepfather in the head; the man, a financial consultant, survived. Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators say there had been tension in the home after the girl acknowledged to her parents that she is gay. While the parents were generally accepting of her homosexuality, it remained an “undercurrent,” said Sgt. Dennis Field.
When her mother, a teacher, drew the line at the boyish attire, the fighting got worse and and the girl started running away. Her stepfather took charge of the discipline, and then, about 4 a.m. on Feb. 16, the girl shot him three times as he lay with her mother in bed, Field said. “She snapped,” Field said, adding that the teen confessed to authorities a few hours after the incident. Her stepfather still has a bullet lodged in the back of his head.
Addressing the problem
Last April, Hawkins said, the DA’s office moved three high-ranking prosecutors to juvenile courts to deal with the increased load, cases with more severe violence. To specifically address child-on-parent violence, the division is applying for a $94,000 state grant to hire a social worker who would assess the risk in the homes of families that come into the system and help them find resources for counseling and other assistance. Experts say there is no single answer to why children hurt or kill their parents, but they point to a few theories. Almost always, there was a problem at home long before. For some youth, it is a “last straw thing … to get out of a situation they felt trapped in,” such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse, said Dr. Ernest Kendrick, a child and forensic psychiatrist who has been working with Houston area youth for 25 years.
But it also could be that the child struggles with self-control or impulse control, he said.
Wait too long for help
In rare cases, violent teens are sociopathic and think “it is OK to hurt other people,” Kendrick said. Or they suffer from delusions and hallucinations. Some may fear they are in danger of being harmed. Compounding these problems is the turbulence of physical and brain development during the teenage years. Parents of troubled youth often feel they are “policing the child rather than loving the child,” Kendrick said. Hawkins, chief of the juvenile division, said parents often wait too long to get help for their children. “Parenting is an ugly job, and you find yourself faced with this, and if you don’t do something, somebody else is going to,” he said. “Rage and conflict don’t just disappear.”
Many of the youth who come through the juvenile system, he said, fail to reach out for help. “The thing they have to do is talk to somebody about it,” Hawkins said. “It is never too late.”
Christian Parent’s Network Editor’s closing remarks:
This article has a plaintive closing paragraph that can do no more than suggest that the youth who find themselves in the juvenile system reach out for help and talk to somebody about their problems. For parents we have much stronger advice than this. If you follow the principles suggested by modern parental authorities rather than the simple advice provided to parents in the Bible you too can become a victim of violence from your own children. These children did not become violent because of what was done to them, they turned out this way because of what was not done to them. These children were not disciplined from the outset of their lives, and taught to respect God’s authority or even their own parents authority. They lacked loving discipline and never learned self control. The Bible teaches in Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”