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

Youths 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.

Source: FindYouthInfo.gov

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From the periodic table to algebraic functions, kids nationwide are back to hitting the books, and many are taking their parents along with them. For the second year running, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) asked a question few parents fess up to—are you ever unable to help your kids with their homework?

The annual survey revealed that more than 60 percent of parents with children in grades K – 8 (60.1 percent) admit they have trouble helping with their children's homework, up from 49.1 percent in 2013. Additionally, more than 25 percent (25.5 percent)* admit the reason is that they are too busy, up from just over 20 percent in 2013.

Additionally, parents identified not understanding the subject matter (33.5 percent) and pushback from their kids (41 percent) as reasons for having trouble with homework help.

"Time is precious, and the responsibility for teaching our families can seem like a harrowing task, but truly the tools to make it easy and natural are readily available to all of us," said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. "Use everyday moments to your advantage, like breakfast or riding in the car, to spark children's curiosity and create habits that feed their natural hunger for learning." 

The family learning experts at NCFL recommend three practical tips to help parents feel empowered throughout the school year:

Get in a routine: Set up a good sleep schedule, regular outdoor activities and a dedicated time for hitting the books—and be consistent, using positive reinforcement to create strong learning habits.

Stay one step ahead: Talk to teachers about classroom learning goals and how to build excitement around them at home.

Spur imagination: Infuse homework assignments with wonder by asking relevant questions: "How can math help you cook?" and "How are mountains made?"

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