Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

What To Do If Your Child Has Violent Tendencies


What To Do If Your Child Has Violent Tendencies

Most parents have the highest hopes and anticipation for our children. When your visions of success and happiness are thwarted because of your child’s violent tendencies, parents may be tempted to deny that your child needs help or that your child’s tendencies will resolve themselves over time. However, ignoring or prolonging your offspring’s violent outbursts is the worst course of action you can take if you hope to restore any desires that your child will be happy and successful in the future.

Rather than give into the worry, fear, embarrassment, and stress that come with having a violent child, parents can instead take these prompt and necessary steps to lead your child to a healthy and meaningful future.

What Makes A Kid Violent?

It’s been proven that excessive exposure to violence through popular media like movies, TV shows and video games contribute to a child’s violent behavior. It desensitizes children to the violence and can make them adopt aggressive behavior. By the time a typical American child reaches the age of 18, he has already been exposed to almost 200,000 acts of violence seen on TV. Popular video games like Grand Theft Auto also rewards violent and destructive behavior.

If a child has suffered some trauma to his brain, this injury can also add to his violent behavior. Use of drugs and alcohol, violence or economic strain in the family can be factors too. Children at risk are those who have problems with being impulsive, irritable, and easily frustrated.

Accept The Problem For What It Is

Some parents may be ready to gloss over your child’s emotional and mental outbursts as a normal developmental stage or a bout of immaturity that will surely go away over time. Minimizing your child’s violent tendencies, however, only serves to deflect the responsibility of getting your child much needed help and addressing the issue for what it really is. Many parents avoid recognizing your child’s outbursts because you may feel embarrassed or that you are to blame for your child’s behavior. Instead of focusing on how you feel, however, you should think ahead about what is best for your child and act promptly to get your son or daughter the professional help they need.

As parents, you must also think of the safety of other children, like siblings or schoolmates, who might be at the receiving end of mean acts. Is your violent child being a typical “brat” or is he taking bullying to a dangerous level? Does he need constant monitoring because he is not to be trusted with playing nice or being left alone with other kids?

Seek Help Through The Professional Community

You may try to keep your child out of the medical establishment by taking your offspring to counseling sessions with religious leaders or natural healers. While it may be perfectly acceptable to adhere to religious or lifestyle beliefs during your child’s recovery, parents are still encouraged to seek out qualified medical help for your child’s violent tendencies. A team of doctors, licensed psychiatrists, and mentors are the ideal choices for heading up a child’s emotional and mental treatment.

In the case of a troubled child, the causes might come from social issues which need to be addressed. A specialist in juvenile justice who also happens to work as a life coach in Seattle for at-risk kids, suggests that the child’s failure to thrive could be because of an addiction, and that he could use help with “releasing stress, reframing and keeping boundary maintenance, and improved communication.” A child may have to be hospitalized, put on medications, or go through other intense medical therapies that can help him recover from the emotional or mental distress that causes his violent behavior. The coach also works with the whole family, to help repair the dynamics between the child and his parents and siblings. Each child is different so the course of action for your particular family would be worked out by the coach with your family’s participation.

Commit To Long-Term Monitoring And Care

Once your child has been treated and shows signs of improvement, don’t be quick to dismiss his behavior and believe that the problem is resolved permanently. Few children recover quickly from violent emotional and mental behaviors. Many kids face years of treatment for their behavior, making it necessary for their parents to commit to a long-term care plan that ultimately should lead to the child’s successful recovery. Falsely believing that the treatment will be short-lived and resolved in a few short weeks or months can set you up for disappointment and frustration.

Work As A Parental Team

Parents whose children show signs of violent behavior may be quick to blame each other. It is vital that you realize that blaming your spouse only leads to a breakdown of your relationship with each other and your entire family’s structure. For the sake of your child and his siblings, parents must work together to focus on his recovery. Showing a unified front can give the troubled adolescent the reassurance he needs to commit to his medical treatment.

When children show signs of violent behavior, parents should not hesitate to act quickly and get their child the help he needs. By taking these important and urgent steps, parents can lead their son or daughter to a healthy and happy recovery.

Debbie Nguyen is a writer who likes to blog about children’s difficulties and how parents can best help resolve them. She has first-hand experience with her two teens.

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No matter what life experiences may happen, kids need to be taught to bounce back from adversity.

No matter what life experiences may happen, kids need to be taught to bounce back from adversity.




You will be glad you did and so will your child.


Empower Kids To Say NO! Sexual Exploitation (EXPERT)

Our challenge as a community of caregivers, teachers and parents is to prepare children for any eventuality of sexual exploitation without scaring them to death.

It is our job to teach them that is OK to say NO! and to have the power to speak up when they feel uncomfortable.

We have to counterbalance their natural deference to authority by providing them with a strong sense of what other people should and should not be permitted to do to them under any circumstances.  They must know that they will be supported in their efforts to act and speak out against being victimized.

"Sexting"  is a form of bullying and sexual exploitation.  Find tips for helping empower your child at

“Sexting” is a form of bullying and sexual exploitation. Find tips for helping empower your child at

Emotional Signs of Sexual Abuse



  • An unusually quiet and fearful disposition, especially when in the company of one person.  For instance if your daughter leaves the room whenever Grandpa comes or sits through dinner when he is present, with her eyes downcast or seems more anxious when she hears he is coming to visit, be suspicious.


  • The child may exhibit a series of stress symptoms; fear of a particular place or person, fear of the dark, stomachs, or headaches.


  • An outgoing child may become shy or vice versa.  A child who has up till now usually been obedient, but now is rebelling, may be asking for help in setting boundaries.


  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares, bedwetting, fear of sleeping alone, needing a nightlight.


  • Lots of new fears, needing much more reassurance than in the past.


  • A return to a younger, more babyish behavior.
  • Withdrawal—usually into a fantasy world, exhibiting infantile behavior; may even appear retarded.


  • Irritability, excessive crying, visibly emotional.


  • Easily intimidated by older children, fear of male adults; often manifested in cowering, crying, being easily startled.


  • Low self esteem.


  • An offender may become extremely protective of the child and jealous of the child’s social life for fear of losing the child’s allegiance to others.


If, for whatever reason, they are not being protected within their own homes, they need to know that there are other supportive avenues of help available.  In that regard, school personnel and other adults who have contact with children must be alert to the visual signs and halting messages of children in trouble.

Thank you for joining our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.  Please sign up for a free 15 minute coaching session with Judy Helm Wright, best selling author and life educator at  You will be glad you did.

Build Confidence In Parenting Skills

Hello from beautiful Montana:

Would you like to build confidence in your parenting skills? Do you sometimes wonder if your family relationships are on a roller coaster. One day the kids seem responsible, kind and thoughtful individuals and the next they disrespectful, defiant and rude. They push against the rules and boundaries and try your patience.

Don’t Be Discouraged, Be Consistent

We tend to think that teaching and discipline is like a diagonal line on a graph moving onward and upward.  However, raising responsible children is more like the ocean tide.  We move forward, we retreat, move forward once more, fall back.  But we are always there.

The falling back and regrouping our strength and power can be discouraging to parents. The way to think about it is to envision the incoming tide.  Then you can more easily see that after a falling back comes the moving forward. Each time we do that we are a little ahead of where we were previously.

There Are No Perfect Families

As humans, we tend to see ourselves at our worst and others at their best. Comparing our children, ourself or our situation with others will only lead to discouragement. Each family has unique problems and different battles to win. Look at your efforts and family with a loving attitude and a forgiving heart.

Understand that your children are not the symbol of your success in life. You can suggest, influence and give tools for improvement but you can never force another human being to change.  Accepting others where they are is a basic principle for personal growth and self improvement in family relationships.

The only real tool in our parenting backpack to encourage positive action in our family which we have direct access is our own behavior. Children will be more willing to change and adapt more responsible attitudes when they see the important adults in their life assuming personal responsibility.

Consistent Guidelines and Unconditional Love

Once parents understand and grasp the notion that by changing our own behavior we can influence the unacceptable behavior, life gets much easier.

Like the tide ever moving towards the shore it has consistent actions. We can count on it ebbing and flowing. We want to be consistent in our expectations so the family knows what the boundaries are.  Children need to know  you will always love them unconditionally but may not approve of their actions.

As we encourage and support their positive actions and help them to understand the consequences for crossing the boundaries, they are better equipped to self govern.

Our love for our family and for ourself should not be dependent on behavior, but rather unconditional and never ending.

I have confidence in you that you will make wise choices for your family. You will learn new and more effective  parenting skills and incorporate them in your life.

If you need additional assistance in order to build confidence in your parenting skills, you are invited to go to:

You will be glad you did.

In confidence,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker

PS: You will also want to check out

Low Self Esteem? Build Confidence

Hello from beautiful Montana:

Are you or someone you love overcome with low self esteem? A belief system which implies that you are less than others and not deserving of happiness is not serving you well.  Each one of us is born with a gift or destiny. It is important that you find ways and means to build confidence and raise your self-esteem.

Build Confidence With Positive Affirmations

Our thoughts and belief systems are continually running through our minds.  Are your thoughts mostly positive or negative?  Thoughts are like plants in a garden, when you plant a bean (or positive thought) you get multiples of beans. You will want to plant a series of hope, success, happiness and enthusiasm seeds of positive affirmations.

Affirmations are statements of belief.  Your subconscious does not grade or evaluate them.  It just tries to make the actions of the individual (you) make them come true. The more you repeat a statement, the more the mind will hear the message and  encourage your physical body to follow the encouragement.

Affirmations For High Self-Esteem

  • I am a worthy person who treats others and myself with respect.
  • I am a successful problem solver and find creative solutions.
  • I draw others to me who are kind, thoughtful and helpful.
  • I  take care of my body and mind so I can appreciate all my talents.
  • I am brave, courageous, and unafraid to change ways and thoughts that are not working for my highest good.

Negative Thoughts and Low Self-Esteem Unwelcome

I have confidence in your ability to encourage a positive attitude and high self-esteem. You can do it.  You are worthy of the respect of your peers, family and friends. Just keep planting positive affirmations in your mind and acting in a confident manner.

If you need assistance, please go to:

You will be glad you did.

In gratitude,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and motivational speaker

Shy in Social Situations

Hello from Montana:

Shyness is an adjective or label imposed by others when they observe someone who does not communicate well and is at unease in social situations. We may label ourselves as “quiet, reticent, unassuming or even self-contained.”

People who are shy in social situations usually do not see it as a problem until someone points it out or draws attention to the behavior.  The perspective of how to look at shyness is interesting, because those who are shy, see only a quiet demeanor.  Observers however, tend to judge the shy person as standoffish, rude, snobby, superior attitude and wants to be left alone.

Starting The  Change From Shy to Confident

It is important for those who consider themselves as quiet or not good at communication to realize that it is okay to be quiet occasionally.  Everyone has periods of  being quiet and also of being confident and outgoing.

If you want to learn to be more confident, especially in social situations, be willing to take a few chances.  One never grows in confident by staying in a comfortable place.  It is only when you step out of your old habits and find a new comfort level that you move toward success.

Practice The Steps To Overcome Shyness

Being shy is not a disease, it is a behavior.  Behaviors can be changed.  Belief systems and negative thoughts can be changed.

Communication is a process of sharing in a relationship. Just by forcing yourself to smile, you will find others more receptive to you and your ideas. The next time it will be easier and easier.

Please commit to starting on the journey to no longer by shy in social situations. For additional support and assistance, please go to:

You will be so glad you did.  Start your journey today.
In gratitude,
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and motivational speaker