Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dealing With Abusive Parents

Each week, I do psychotherapy sessions among parents, adults, and children coming to ABS-CBN's Bantay Bata 163 for help. I'm always appalled by this epidemic called "child abuse." The pain experienced by children from abusive parents (i.e. sexual abuse, physical hurts, being exposed to drugs, alcoholism, adultery etc) is often carried for years into adulthood if not properly treated or addressed. Having experienced such abuse myself in my own life, I can relate and feel more credible in the eyes of the victims and even the parents at Bantay Bata. I know well that recovery is a process. It happens ever so slowly, but it does happen.

If you're a child or teen dealing with abusive parents, some "first aid" tips that can be done are: 1.) Do not "talk back,"scream, curse, or physically retaliate at your parents no matter what they do; 2.) Try to reason with them when they're not in a bad mood; 3.) If needed, get help from a trusted relative, counselor, church friend, or facility like BB163; 4.) If there's violence and your parents are unwilling to work on changing, have a plan to keep away from abuse physically and emotionally, possibly by living somewhere; 5.) Don't burn bridges, pray for your parents.

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