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5 Keys To Help Kids Avoid Violence

5 Keys To Help Kids Avoid Violence

As parents, compassion is among the most important values we hope to instill in our children. We hope they treat others with kindness and respect, and never resort to violence. Yet with so many competing influences, like TV, movies, and the media – it can be difficult to ensure that our message rises above the rest. That is why we put together a list of some of the different ways you help your child avoid violent behaviors.

Key #1: Relationships

Father and son smiling and wearing superhero capes

Young people respond well to a positive relationship with an adult who genuinely cares. Kids need to be certain that someone understands them, values them and is interested in their lives. This can be a parent, a teacher, or a mentor —in short, this can be you. Studies show that children who have a positive relationship with an adult are far less likely to act out violently.

Key #2: Safety

Group of people sitting in a circle

No matter how much time you spend every spring—if you plant your roses in the middle of a busy road, they’ll never reach full bloom. Kids are no different—they need a safe environment and the right care in order to grow. Mercy Home provides young people with a true feeling of security so that they can focus on healing and on building their futures.

Key #3: Love

Shape of a heart created by people putting their hands together

Children who are loved, and who know they are loved, are more confident, have more respect for themselves and for others, and behave in a more socially-positive way.

Key #4: Boundaries

Male mentor and male mentee sitting outside in a park

While exploring and even rebelling are just a normal part of growing up, all young people still secretly want—and need—to know where the limits are to their behavior. Having an adult create and maintain well-defined boundaries helps kids feel safer and more secure, and helps them grow into healthy and confident adults.

Key #5: Opportunities

Two young girls sitting outside and smiling

Violence often stems from a lack of opportunity. This is true not only in terms of job, educational and recreational options, but of the chance for children to channel their emotions or frustrations in an acceptable way. At Mercy Home, our youth care staff is trained in de-escalation techniques to help kids act appropriately in response to their emotions in any given situation. We also provide the resources they need for long-term success and self-reliance, such as a good education and career training.

If you suspect that a child you know is experiencing serious violence or trauma, or is exhibiting behavior that threatens his or her future, please seek professional help. You can also refer a child to Mercy Home. We work to find the optimal solution for every child, either through placement in our residential program or through other resources in our extensive network of social service agencies.

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