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Violent Behavior in Children and Teens - Topic Overview

What can you do if you are worried about someone's behavior?

When you recognize warning signs of violent behavior in someone else, there are steps you can take. Don't count on someone else to deal with the situation. Taking action and telling someone who can help can prevent harm to yourself and others. It also will protect another teen with potentially violent behavior from making a mistake that will affect the rest of his or her life.

  • Don't spend time with people who show warning signs. Tell someone you trust and respect, such as a family member, counselor, or teacher, about your concerns and ask for help.
  • If you are worried about being a victim of violence, ask someone in authority to help you.
    • Do not resort to violence or use a weapon to protect yourself.
    • Don't try to deal with situation by yourself. Ask for help.
    • Develop a safety plan to help you if you are in a potentially dangerous situation.

How can you manage your own anger without becoming violent?

  • Talk to someone. Find a trusted friend or adult to help you one-on-one if you're afraid to talk or if you can't find the right words to describe what you're going through.
  • Be calm. Try to express criticism, disappointment, anger, or displeasure without losing your temper or fighting. Ask yourself whether your response is safe and reasonable.
  • Listen. Try to listen and respond without getting upset when someone tells you something you may not want to hear. Don't overreact; try to see the other person's point of view.
  • Seek solutions. Work out your problems with someone else by looking at different solutions and compromises.
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