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Raising Non-Violent Kids

Your child’s environment – whether at home, at school or socially – can greatly influence how they may behave in the future.

FindYouthInfo.gov, a government website focused on youth issues, found that in 2012, more than 630,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 were admitted to the hospital due to violence-related injuries.

If you’re worried that your child is at risk for violent behavior, there are some factors that may indicate a problem.

Risk factors for violent youth

During their teen years, some kids may behave violently because of some risk factors found in their environment.

Note: Some of these risk factors may be out of your control. However, it is recommended that you keep them under consideration.

At home

From an early age, young people could be exposed to:

  • Violent behavior between parents
  • Severe punishments
  • Parents who are frequently absent or don’t pay attention to their children
  • Rejection or emotional distance from parents
  • A broken home

At school

Youth may exhibit behavioral problems such as:

  • Teasing or bullying other students
  • Skipping class
  • Exhibiting either aggressive or introverted behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating or exhibiting hyperactive behavior
  • Developing learning issues or failing classes

In society

Young people could be considered violent if they:

  • Harass or provoke kids that are their same age or younger
  • Have been arrested before age 14 for committing a crime
  • Belong to a gang or other violent group
  • Take drugs or drink alcohol
  • Have been treated for psychological or emotional issues

Tips to prevent youth violence

You can help prevent violent behavior in your child by following these recommendations:

  • Spend more time with your child and include everyone in family activities.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child.
  • Form a bond with your son or daughter. Communicate with your children if they have any problems or issues.
  • Make respect and open communication a priority in your home.
  • Do not give out severe or violent punishment.
  • Be aware of your child’s friends, but do not be overprotective.

Resources

STRYVE is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national initiative helping families and communities prevent youth violence.

FindYouthInfo.gov is a collaboration among 18 government agencies that supports programs and services for the prevention of youth violence.

Read this note in Spanish.

You know your kids are online, so talk to them about the risks and how their activity can impact them later:

Talking to Your Kids About Death

From Kids.gov

It’s hard to explain to your kids when a relative or pet dies. It’s harder to find the words if you’re grieving yourself. But here are some tips to help you through a tough time:

Listen, Ask Questions and Be Honest

You know your kids the best. They may ask a lot of questions and it’s okay that you don’t have all the answers. Try to use clear and simple terms. Avoid using words like “went away” or “went to sleep” or even that your family “lost” the person. Young kids think very literally; it may make them afraid to go to sleep or scared when someone goes away.

Be patient and open. Allow your child to work through his or her grief as much as possible. Reassure your child that he or she did nothing wrong or anything to cause the death. Keeping open lines of communication may help prevent grief from being kept inside.

Be sure to make other important adults in your child’s life aware of the death. Teachers, coaches and religious figures can offer additional support.

Provide Outlets

It may help your child if you plan something special to remember the person or pet who died. You can try to:
Create art projects

  • Write a poem or story
  • Look at pictures
  • Plant a tree
  • Run a race in their honor
  • Volunteer in memory of the person
  • Visit the grave or a special place 

This may be a painful time for your family. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no amount of time that is right or wrong for the grieving process, but hopefully the more time passes, the less sad you will feel. Remembering the person and the good memories you have will help you and your family feel better.

For more information:

If you’re raising a child with a disability, you aren’t alone. Find out what programs and services are available to you.

Image description: How much will that little bundle of joy cost? According to USDA’s Cost of Raising a Child report, the answer for a child born in 2012 is $241,080 for food, shelter and other necessities over the next 17 years.
Use the interactive calculator to find out how much it will cost you to raise kids.
Infographic from the USDA.

Image description: How much will that little bundle of joy cost? According to USDA’s Cost of Raising a Child report, the answer for a child born in 2012 is $241,080 for food, shelter and other necessities over the next 17 years.

Use the interactive calculator to find out how much it will cost you to raise kids.

Infographic from the USDA.