VIOLENCE IN THE HOME HAS AFFECTED MY SON
Last week I had a violent domestic row with my partner of six years.
Regrettably this was in front of our six-year-old son.
He was understandably traumatized by the incident especially as the police were involved.
Could you please advise how best to deal with the situation and the emotional scars it may have left.
Your son needs counselling for the trauma caused by your violent domestic row.
Talking to a sympathetic teacher would give your son the opportunity to release feelings and concerns that he have may have ‘bottled up’ inside.
But that should not replace you and your partner sitting down with your son and explaining why mummy and daddy were fighting and reassuring him that it will not happen again.
You do not say what caused the violent row, but you will need to address that issue if you are to move on.
What your son needs right now is the security of a loving family, not one that is at war.
Continued expose to the scene such as the one he has witnessed may lead to behavioural problems.
Children exposed to domestic violence may fight with others, experience school problems, and exhibit feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment.
The child may have developmental delays, low self-esteem, and little opportunity for growth outside the home.
Children raised in violent homes may have angry feelings toward family members, exhibit signs of fear, anxiety, denial, distracted, and inattentive behaviour.
Most often, children will blame others for the problems at home.
Undoubtedly the scene he has witnessed will have made a big impression on him possibly even one he will remember for the rest of his life.
But that fact that you have acknowledged the problem is the first step towards solving it.
I trust that you and your partner will in future behave more responsibly and protect the child from traumatic situations such as this one.
If you wish to seek further advice please contact Lifeline Botswana, Heart & Hands of Compassion or Childline Botswana to make an appointment for a counsellor to see the child.
I wrote to you last week about the problem I have with my live-in girlfriend who doesn’t care about her daughter or family.
As suggested I found a counselling service but she doesn’t want to get help.
I then tried to chase her out of my house, but still she is refusing.
She bullies me and even locks me out of my own house.
I’m really fed-up with her and am living a stressful life because of that.
I would hate it if her family started thinking I’m the one that encouraged her to move to my house from her grandpa’s place just to neglect both the daughter and grandpa.
Our relationship is not yet formalized, her parents know me, but my parents don’t know her.
I really don’t know what to do next.
This woman bullies you in your own house and you allow her to get away with it.
Is that because you love her or because you don’t have the guts to stand up to her?
I don’t see how she can refuse to move out if you truly want her out.
You say her parents know you then why don’t you go and explain your situation and tell them that you want her out of your house, back to her home.
Ask them to send some of her relatives (preferably older than her) to your house to escort her together with her belongings back home to her parents/grandpa’s house.
Alternatively, the next time she’s away, change the locks so that she sees you’re serious about kicking her out of your house.
Since she won’t be able to get into your house, you can pack her clothes and other belongings neatly and deliver them to her parents/grandpa’s house.
You say that your relationship is not yet formalized – are you hoping to formalize it one day?
Are you perhaps willing to give it another chance?
Do you still love her and hope that she’ll change?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you should both work on your relationship to get it on track.
However the fact that she refuses to refuses to go with you to seek help from a counsellor is not encouraging.
If you’re 100% sure that you want her out, stop wasting your time – and hers.
End the relationship, kick her out of your house and start enjoying a bully-free life.
My father says I’m not his child
I am a young man of 20 years andthe problem is that my father is treating me in a negative way.
Recently hetexted me saying I’m not his child. What can I do?
I’m sorry that your father is not treating you well.
Reading your email makes me wonder what reason your dad could possibly have to treat you so badly?
Whatever the reason, do not be tempted to retaliate.
Two wrongs can never make a right…one of you has to stay sane!
If you’re both behaving badly, then things can only get worse.
If you want things to get better between you, make sure he finds absolutely nothing that he can use to pin the blame you for his behaviour.
With some pieces of the puzzle missing, it’s a bit difficult for me to give you further advice.
For example, did you ask your father why he sent you such a text message? Where is your mother?
If your father doesn’t shed any light as to why he’s treating you negatively and claiming you’re not his son, your mother should be able to provide answers…at least some of them.
Did you ever try to find out from her or from a close member of your family, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent?
Do talk to a counsellor s/he will be in a better position, once they know your circumstances, to give the help you need. For face-to-face counselling please contact Lifeline Botswana (3911290) or Heart & Hands of Compassion (73516022)