Coping with Domestic Violence Children something is Wrong at my House a Book

When children witness domestic violence, it changes who they are and who they were meant to be. The original self becomes a shadow of the past, and now the child steps out of childhood and into a world that is unsafe, frightening and faces grown-up challenges and issues that was never meant to be their’s. Now, day-to-day concerns and worries are the order of the day. Instead of day dreams of “what will I be when I grow up,” these day dreams now turn into daily nightmares.

Mentally and emotionally they put away the dolls and toy trucks and concentrate on big questions with no clear answers. Such as, “will my Dad hit my mom tonight”, “will my Mom be OK while I”m at school”, “if Dad leaves us, how will we live.” Children lack the adult resources to deal with these stressors.

Children become confused, bitter, depressed, do poorly in school, feel sick more often and even experience anger. These emotions placed on the shoulders of a child who witnesses domestic violence, will be acted out or acted in. Punishing self or others in attempt to feel some sense of control, their personality changes because they simply do not know what to do with pent up anger and other negative emotions they experience.

Schools are becoming aware of how deeply domestic violence impacts a child. Some have begun to address the issue by counseling and providing books to help these dear children know they are not alone.

The greatest help for a child is to see an end to the violence. Get them counseling so they can understand and process their feelings in a healthy way.

Following are a list of books which teachers and others have found helpful:

1. “A Family That Fights”by Sharon Bernstein. This a picture book dealing with a home where father abuses mother and its impact on the children.

2. “A Safe Place” written by Maxine Trottier

3. “I wish the Hitting Woould Stop.” This is a workbook and story book for 4 to 12 year-olds living in a domestic violence home.

4. “Mommy and Daddy are Fighting.” written by authors Susan Paris and Gail Libinski

5. “Something is Wrong at My House.” written by Diane Davies

There is also a web site to help parents and others wanting to help children to cope. www.helpguide.org/mental/children_divorce.htm

Unfortunately, domestic violence is on the rise due to economic stresses. Losing jobs and/or homes is a tremendous can create a breeding ground where domestic violence can take root and thrive. If you are a married couple with children, you can make it. Take advantages of all the benefits you earned while working. You are entitled to government help and any available programs offered in your community. You are not alone. Tough economic times will pass, but the pain of domestic violence can scar a child forever.