My message to parents on the receiving end of violence is not to suffer in silence but to get help – if you don’t this will only get worse, not better.
I understand that parents are frightened these days.
They fear that if they are seen as not being able to cope they may have their children taken away.
As a parent that’s your worst nightmare, much worse than what you’re already going through.
But people need to know that would not be the case. Taking a child away is a last resort of social services.
I also think this is something parents feel embarrassed by.
It’s like a woman committing domestic violence against a man – it goes on behind closed doors and people feel ashamed to admit it.
So if it’s happening to you now, take some comfort from the fact that you’re clearly no longer alone.
Also, remember: you aren’t just getting help for yourself, you’re also getting help for your child.
Child psychologist, parenting expert and book author Dr Claire Halsey writes:
This issue goes to the heart of why there is any kind of violence in any home.
There isn’t any single reason. A blurring of boundaries, tension in the home and frustration that the child is unable to convey in words.
Children cannot always calm themselves down and regulate their own behaviour. Though it is never acceptable, acts of violence are often impulse acts and the ability to control impulse acts is something which we only develop as human beings grow older.
The demands on a family, such as caring for elderly relatives or being a single parent, can raise tensions in a home too. Either way, this kind of violence is a sign that there is a problem and often the only way to resolve it is to get help.
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