Helping Your Child Heal
What to Do if Your Child Tells You More About the Abuse
- Listen to what they are telling you.
- Remain calm.
- Let your child tell you: DO not repeatedly ask your child about the abuse.
- Do not punish them, it is not the child's fault.
- Be supportive, but don't put words in their mouth.
- Write down what they tell you and notify your social worker and detective.
- Reassure your child and thank them for telling you.
- They are not at fault
- Sometimes bad things happen to good kids.
- They are loved and cared about by many people.
What to Say
It's okay to be upset. Reassure your child, "I'm sad and angry this happened, but I am not angry with you."
It's important to reassure your child they did the right thing in telling someone about the abuse. It's okay to say, "I was upset when I heard you were hurt. I want to be sure you know I believe you. I am sorry this happened. It's not your fault. I am going to do the best I can for you.
Sometimes parents hesitate before responding to their child, which can be confusing. You may explain your hesitation by saying, "I'm sorry I didn't act faster. I was confused and I didn't know what to do. I believe you."
Parents Self Care
It's important for parents to take care of themselves, both emotionally and physically. Do not hesitate to seek professional support.
Common Emotions Parents Experience
- Blaming a spouse or significant other
- Feeling alone
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of failure