23/11/2011 05:48 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Aggressive Behaviour In Children Is On The Increase - And Parents Are Too Ashamed To Get Help

Aggressive behaviour in children is on the increase - and parents are too ashamed to get help Getty

New research suggests that aggressive behaviour in children has increased, and mums and dads are too ashamed to get help for their families.

The Family Lives' updated aggression report discovered calls to its Parentline services about children's aggression towards parents had increased by two per cent, with 42.9 per cent of calls about children aged 13 to 15 years.

Despite these figures, only 56 per cent of respondents to an online poll had tried to get help for their aggressive youngsters.

As part of its 'Instructions Not Included' campaign, Family Lives reveals that a growing number of parents are seriously concerned about their child's aggression, and that many are unsure as to why their children display such behaviour.

The updated report 'When Family Life Hurts: Family Experience of Aggression in Children' has called for the government to recognise the needs of parents of older children and teens, in addition to the provisions that are in place for younger family members.

Family Life Hurts found that between July 2010 and June 2011, out of 39,258 calls made to Parentline, 27 per cent were seeking advice on their children's behaviour.

The mums and dads making the calls often described their own feelings of desperation, helplessness and shame. Some of the parents were found to be 30.3 per cent more likely to suffer from stress than other callers, and 8.3 per cent more likely to be suffering with anger.

Drug use and keeping bad company were also cited as triggers to aggression, with drugs being a factor in 10.1 per cent (compared to 3.2 per cent of all calls) and to be in with a bad crowd 10.9 per cent (compared to 3.4 per cent of all calls).

Family Lives' Chief Executive, Jeremy Todd commented on the findings: "Family Lives' updated report highlights that children's violent and aggressive behaviour in the home is a hidden and stigmatised issue and we must all continue to support families to help change their child's behaviour and ultimately improve life chances."

He said that there were "many reasons" why children behaves aggressively at home, with "divorce and separation " playing a part.

"Whatever the reasons, children, parents, families and ultimately society will pay a huge cost if this growing area of concern is not addressed and parents must feel able to come forward to seek support without worrying about being judged," he added.

Family Lives' advice and support for mums, dads, grandparents and children is open 24 hours and free. Call 0808 800 2222 or log on here for more ways to get in touch.