Researchers from the University of Western Sydney have found that 50 percent mothers in Australia experience some kind of manipulation or bullying at the hands of their kids, even if it is as simple as the silent treatment. In a study of more than 1000 NSW women, the researchers found high rates of abuse inflicted by kids, especially teenage boys.
In the survey, 51 per cent mothers reported that they had been on the receiving end of some kind of abuse.
"There are many types of violence that mothers experience from their children in the home, but people shouldn't assume violence has to be physical," News.com.au quoted Professor Lesley Wilkes, who oversaw the project, as saying.
"While bullying, hitting and threats of self-harm from their children are what mothers are most fearful about, the most common forms of child-to-mother violence reported are swearing and name-calling, demeaning parenting skills, damaging property, the 'silent treatment' and aggressively making demands," she added.
Researcher Michel Edenborough found that most mums seem to write it off, as typical teenage behaviour.
But many mothers, especially those who have sons between 13 and 18, admit they're afraid of their children.
"A blurred power dynamic between parent and child results in mothers experiencing frequent intimidation, lack of respect and bullying, which is not acceptable or typical teenage behaviour," Edenborough said.
The study also found that the younger the child starts this behaviour, the longer it continues and the greater the amount of violence occurs.
According to the researchers, their study suggests that a child who has been violent towards their mother might continue to show a similar behaviour towards others when they reach maturity.
Edenborough said that the unpublished study is one of the first to indicate the incidence and frequency of child-to-mother violence in Australia.