5 steps to educate children against relationship violence
We all need a vision to strive for, a dream to take action towards & a purpose to live for! Do your children see you continuing to learn new skills, show commitment to your health, and set goals to work towards? BE what you want your children to BE- every day they are learning & becoming what they see!
Male role models are essential in boys learning how to be affectionate, supportive and involved. They contribute greatly to your child’s social, cognitive, and language development, as well as academic achievement, sense of well-being, good self-esteem and confidence. Boys look for masculine approval in everything they do and copy those behaviours that they recognise as both successful and familiar. If male role models are loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will want to be that. Role models to boys may be their father, uncle, grandfather, friend, coach or teacher- it doesn’t matter what relationship connection he has, what’s important is that he is involved.
Have you spoken to your teens about bullying, relationship violence?
These 5 steps can educate children and teens to prevent relationship violence:
- Modeling healthy relationship behaviours at home: Witnessing violence between parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor for continuing violent behaviour from one generation to the next. Children who grow up in homes free from physical, sexual, and emotional violence are significantly less likely to cause violence or become victims of violence in their adolescent and adult relationships.
- Talk about it! Promoting education and awareness of healthy relationship behaviours is essential! 1 in 3 teenagers will experience ‘dating violence’, & two-thirds of them will not report the abuse to anyone! It is vital that teens & young adults learn the characteristics of a healthy relationship, such as respect, trust, and honest communication, & to also be aware of the warning signs of relationship abuse.
- Build self-esteem, independence & empowerment: Low self-esteem & dependency can be risk factors that contribute to abusive relationships. Young people who feel confident in themselves & their skills, will feel empowered to gain & maintain lifelong stability & independence, to avoid unhealthy relationships with abuse of power, intimidation & control.
- Involve men in the foundations of learning & supporting healthy masculinity to create a future without violence: Communication is vital between male role models to teach, lead & show the values of living free from harassment & domestic violence, creating better lives for women, children, & men.
- Offer strong intervention, resources & support for victims: Domestic violence is not simply a personal or family issue; it is a community issue. We must feel empowered as friends, neighbours, coworkers etc to safely intervene when seeing, hearing, or knowing of violence by contacting police & referring victims of abuse to safe & confidential resources.
Dr Rachel Murphy
In clinical practice, I continue to pursue passion for treating infants and children as well as pregnancy care, including pre and postnatal support. I have a strong belief that environment plays a crucial role in health and well being, and therefore treatment management must also include advice on exercise and nutrition, ergonomics, stretching, rehabilitation and lifestyle modification.
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