It can be quite confronting to observe or be informed that your child has engaged in behaviour that is potentially harmful to others.
Whether it is engaging in sexualised behaviour (such as simulating sex, discussing sex, touching other’s sexual organs), violent acts towards others or animals, stealing, fire lighting or making threats of the above, concerns can be raised that the young person is a monster or predator.
Judgement from others can come quick and fast – why didn’t you do that? Is it because you did this…? Well they are just like Manson! Surely they are just doing what has been done to them?!
Whilst these situations may appear overwhelming initially, here are a few tips to help you analyse the situation and seek further help.
- Make sure everyone in the situation is safe. You may need to increase adult supervision over the young person, separate them from other young people or others who may be targets, or contact the police.
- Speak to the young person in a non-judgemental way with the aim of finding out how they are going and why they may be acting this way. Try to understand the situation from their perspective.
- Seek professional help.
How can a psychologist help?
A forensic psychologist can assist by completing a thorough assessment of the problem behaviour, as well as assessing your child for any mental health issues.
Dependent on the outcome of the assessment, treatment options can be discussed and the forensic psychologist may be able to assist. They should also provide information on managing the young person’s behaviour and risk to others.
In addition, a psychologist can provide valuable support to you as a parent at this time.
Author: Laura Fleming, BA, BSc, Grad Dip Psych, M Psych (Forensic).
Laura Fleming is a psychologist who has provided treatment and assessment reports for clients across the life span, although she has a special interest in adolescents and young adults. Her goal as a Forensic Psychologist is to assist her clients to gain an understanding of why this is occurring currently in respect to their life story, and to help them to develop goals to live a full life.
To make an appointment with Forensic Psychologist Laura Fleming, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.