Anti-social behaviour including graffiti

Is your child involved in anti-social behaviour?

Nobody likes to think that their child is a nuisance in the community. But it does happen and it may be a sign of some deeper trouble.

Does your child:

  • avoid you?
  • stay out later and later without permission? - do you know where they are going and who with?
  • spend time with people you know nothing about?
  • attract unwanted attention?
  • attract complaints from other people?

A child might often behave badly because:

  • they are experiencing problems at home or at school
  • they are mixing with the wrong crowd
  • they are upset about something
  • they are getting involved with drugs or alcohol
  • they feel negative about their future prospects
  • no-one has told them to stop

Whatever the reasons it's important to think about who's on the receiving end. Anti-social behaviour can make the victim feel:

  • afraid
  • frustrated
  • angry
  • depressed

What can you do?

Here are some things you can try:

  • Set a good example; you should be their main role model.
  • Ensure a peaceful home life; if your child sees swearing, shouting and violent behaviour they may use this too.
  • Talk to your child about their fears, hopes and aspirations.
  • Try not to judge them - you grew up in a different world.
  • Praise your child's achievements.
  • Get involved - find out who their friends are.
  • Try to help out with homework where you can.
  • Set consistent boundaries for them.

Getting more help

There are many trained professionals who can offer confidential help and advice to support both you and your child. First of all, you should try ChildLine for your son or daughter or Be Someone to Tell for yourself.

For more information about anti-social behaviour visit our ‘More help and advice’ page, or for other related topics, take a look at our sections on bullying and gangs and group violence.