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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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Good morning, I have two boys ages 5 and 7 and they do not

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Good morning, I have two boys ages 5 and 7 and they do not want to talk to their father when I have them, when I asked why they said he hits us, swears at us and screams all the time. I know he is a verbally abusive person from experience. How can I find out if they are telling me the truth or not?



I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you are dealing with. Could you describe the situation a bit more?do you have custody of them?what are the living arrangements between you and your husband for the kids?you said also that they have been seeing a counselor for 2 years, what has been the reason for this?


thank you



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mina,


We currently have a 50/50 shared plan and the kids go back and fourth. I always have the kids on Monday and Tuesday, he has them on Wednesday and Thursday then we alternate weekends. Their father doesn't get involved in anything with the kids, ie. baseball, cub scouts etc.. They have been seeing the counselor due to us seperating and my oldest son was having problem with anger and hitting. I have a boyfriend that I have been dating for two years living with me and the father has a second girlfriend living in his house. The boys say they are always fighting and swearing at eachother. Which I do believe because that was life when we were together. They are stating that they are getting hit alot, the two of them fight and swear at eachother and they don't want to be there. But the problem is, I don't know if they are telling me the whole truth or not. At my house we are always doing something or going away for the weekends with the kids and their father doesn't so anything so they say they have more fun at my house.


I just don't know how to tell what is the whole truth and if I need to move forward with getting the kids away from him more.

I see. It is a difficult situation and of course it is understandable that you feel somewhat alarmed by their statements. I would suggest that since there is a counselor involved already, assuming that he has built a rather secure relationship with the children, it would be best for you to share these concerns and tell him about the children's statements. He then, would need to investigate more about it. If he did discover as well that the children are abused he would then have the obligation to report it to social services and the they would need to make an assessment. The counselor is obligated to report it regardless if he wants to be involved or not, as he shares your responsibility in looking after the children's well being and he is obligated to break confidentiality if he feel that the children may be at risk.

Apart from t he counselor however, you could also inform the social services directly since your children stated that his father hits them. They would then need to do an assessment and meet with the kids. You do not necessarily need the counselor. It is just that since he is involved with the children, he may be able to get some information as well. I can understand that as you read this you may feel that informing the social services sounds very risky and you do not want to "rock the boat" but on the other hand you would need to consider the well being of the children and what environment is best for them. If you decided to go with this option. it is very good that they have the counselor for support and I would suggest you also thought about your sources of support through this possibly difficult time.


Please feel free to share any feedback on this


All the best



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