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.
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
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
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.
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.