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How to Effectively Discuss the Topic of Domestic Violence with Your Child

Parents often make the mistake of assuming that children are too young to understand complicated topics like domestic violence. Whether your kids witnessed violence in your own home or in the home of a friend, they often understand more than you might think. Breaking the ice and talking with your kids can make them more aware of the possible dangers associated with partner abuse, and make them more willing to talk with you when a problem arises. Consider a few of the following suggestions when determining how best to talk to your kids about this subject:

How to Effectively Discuss the Topic of Domestic Violence with Your Child

Make Kids Comfortable

Talking with your kids about serious issues can be uncomfortable for everyone involved. Making your kids feel more comfortable may be the key to a successful conversation. Hold your discussion after school or on the weekends when your kids feel more relaxed. Let them know that they can come to you later with any questions they might have.

Use Statistics and Examples

As much as you want to shield your children from the dangers of the world, you don’t want them to be uninformed. Use real life statistics and practical examples that help kids better understand that domestic violence is something that occurs every day in America. Now may also be a good time to go over some of the laws and legal troubles associated with domestic violence. The professionals of Moses and Rooth, attorneys at law, suggest that you spell out the consequences that come after domestic violence for your child. Let your kids know that someone who violently attacks a loved one may face prison time and that they may lose custody of their own children.

Be a Parent

Kids are often so frightened of potential consequences that they won’t tell their parents about the things they see and experience. The parent of a classmate might warn the child that something bad will happen if that child speaks about the violence that he or she saw. As a parent, you must make it clear to your children that they can talk to you about anything and that they can turn to their teachers and other trusted adults for help. It’s also important that your kids understand that domestic violence is wrong and that there is help out there for victims. Above all, make your child feel like they can ask you questions, divulge information, and come to you in a time of need.

The incidence rate of domestic violence in the United States seems to climb every year. Talking with your kids today can reduce their risks of becoming an abuser or a victim later. There is never a wrong time to broach the topic of abuse with your kids, as long as you make them feel comfortable and thoroughly discuss all aspects of the subject.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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