TW: Domestic Violence
Research by NSPCC shows one in five children are exposed to domestic abuse, even witnessing it causes significant harm to young people. Here is a guest post about educating your kids and talking to them about domestic violence:
Domestic violence can be a challenging and sensitive topic to approach. The situations intertwine many complicated emotions such as hope, fear, shame, love, and sadness. For kids who see the world in two colours, it can be hard to express their feelings and even open up to other adults. However difficult this might be, it is incredibly essential and valuable to build a support system for your kids amidst domestic violence and your recovery journey. Your kids need to heal from the pain and trauma collected from domestic violence. This piece will guide you on how to educate your kids on domestic violence.
Educate yourself first
You might want to educate yourself first on the impact of domestic violence and how it affects children. It’s essential to approach the topic with an open mind. Thankfully, today there are lots of resources online that can provide plenty of information about domestic violence. Observe your kids’ behaviours to see if they depict some of these discussed effects of domestic violence.
Start the conversation
When is the right time to talk to your children about domestic violence? It’s quite simple; when they are ready for the talk. But how do you know they are ready? You could ask open-ended questions after the events leading to domestic violence. Questions such as:
What did you see?
What do you gather from that day?
How do you feel about the incidence? Do you want to talk about it?
You know your children better, and they may likely give you signs that they need to talk about the past violent incidents.
Things to say during the conversation
Whatever you say during these talks with your child about domestic violence will definitely mould them. Do not blame them for the domestic violence witnessed. Keep assuring them that you are doing everything in your power to help them feel safe. Necessitate on how violence is never a solution for anything. Tell your kids that it’s not their job to fix the family. You are the parent, and it’s your duty to ensure that your kids don’t blame themselves for the havoc experienced in your home.
Listen to your kids’ thoughts
While it’s crucial to relay messages to your children about domestic violence, you might want to give them a chance to express what they feel. Pay attention to how they speak, including their body language. Dealing with intricate feelings can be tricky, especially to a child. Do not interrupt them as they talk. It’s normal for your child to be angry at either or both parents after witnessing domestic violence. Allow them to express their true emotions. However, remind your kids that it’s possible to love someone and loathe their behaviours.
Remember to be age-appropriate
AVO lawyers necessitate the need to be age-appropriate to avoid causing further harm to your children. Talk to your children with a child’s level of understanding. Avoid dwelling on adult concerns that might complicate the conversations.
Lastly, do not overshare or taint your partner’s image. Instead, educate them and assure them that things are in control. Make them feel safe for the sake of their frail emotions and states.
Visit: Women’s Aid, Respect: Men’s Advice Line, The Hideout and NSPCC for more information and support.