Helping Children through a Coercive Control Divorce: PLUS The Power of Prevention: Saving Future Generations from Repeating It.

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Supporting children through a divorce involving coercive control is crucial and it’s important to break intergenerational patterns so it doesn’t get passed down later into their  relationships.

Here are some tips for parents:

  • Open Communication:

Encourage your children to express their feelings, fears, and concerns openly. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable talking about their emotions.

  • Be Empathetic:

Show empathy & understanding towards your children’s experiences. Validate their feelings & let them know it’s okay to be upset or confused

  • Seek Professional Help:

Consider family therapy or counselling to help your children navigate their emotions & cope with the divorce. A professional can provide tools to manage anxiety and stress.

  • Maintain Routine:

Keep a consistent routine to provide stability during a turbulent time. Predictability can help children feel secure.

  • Avoid Conflict:

Minimise conflicts & arguments with your ex-partner in front of the children. Co-parenting peacefully can ease the emotional burden on your kids.

  • Reassure Unconditional Love:

Remind your children that your love for them remains constant, regardless of the divorce. Reassure them that they are not to blame for the situation.

  • Limit Exposure to Coercive Parent:

If one parent was controlling or abusive, try to limit the children’s exposure to that behaviour, ensuring their safety and well-being.

  • Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

Teach your children healthy ways to cope with stress, such as journaling, art, sports, or spending time with supportive friends.

  • Be Patient:

Recognise that healing takes time. Children may have emotional ups and downs during and after the divorce. Be patient with their progress.

  • Co-Parenting Cooperation:

Work together with your ex-spouse when making parenting decisions. Consistency in rules and expectations can reduce confusion for the children.

  • Stay Informed:

Educate yourself about the effects of coercive control on children. Understanding their perspective can help you provide better support.

  • Self-Care:

Take care of your own emotional well-being. When you are emotionally stable, you can better support your children through this challenging time.

Remember that every child’s experience is unique, so adapt these tips to fit your children’s individual needs and circumstances. Consulting with a family therapist or counsellor can be invaluable in ensuring your children receive the support they need during this difficult period.

Breaking coercive control patterns in children is crucial to prevent intergenerational transmission.

Here are five tips to help achieve this:

  • Promote Healthy Relationships:

Teach children about healthy relationships based on equality, respect, and open communication. Model these behaviours in your own relationships so they have positive examples to follow.

  • Educate About Boundaries:

Encourage children to establish and maintain personal boundaries. Teach them that it’s okay to say “no” and that their feelings and choices are valid.

  • Foster Independence:

Support children in developing their independence and decision-making skills. Allow them to make age-appropriate choices and learn from their experiences.

  • Emphasise Emotional Intelligence:

Help children understand & express their emotions in healthy ways. Teach them to identify their feelings & seek help or support when needed.

  • Seek Professional Help if Necessary:

If you suspect coercive control patterns in your child’s behaviour or believe they may have experienced it, consider seeking the guidance of a therapist or counsellor specialising in child psychology. Professional intervention can be crucial in breaking harmful patterns.

By providing a nurturing and empowering environment, you can help your children break free from coercive control patterns & ensure that they grow up with the skills & knowledge needed for healthy relationships in the future.


Read my article by clicking on the link:  Let’s Talk – Control. Most domestic and family abuse is NOT physical.

Do go and explore ‘You Don’t Own Me’ because it is a ‘one stop shop’ helping people find useful resources, support services and access to knowledge shared by professionals around domestic abuse.

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