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Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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When a child is being abused emotionally by their mother,

Resolved Question:

When a child is being abused emotionally by their mother, and you have visitation with that child, what age do you provide the child with proof that their mother is the source of the abuse (and prove the child is not the reason)?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Based on what you have written, I would urge you to inform your son about safety, emotional and physical safety. Instead of recounting the abuse your son endured, let him know that you are there for him and that he should go to you if he had questions about the way his mother treats him. In my experience, kids do one of two things when abused. They either act out their abuse through aggressive behaviors on others or internalize their feelings by being hard on oneself, depression, and isolating one self. If you noticed your son doing either or a combination of these behaviors, I urge you to have your son see a psychologist.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It's not my son, it's my stepson. I was granted visitation 10 days per month by the psychiatrist who admitted the mom is abusive. The judge agreed with the pyschiatrist recommendation and granted visitation (no overnights).

To have him see an expert, I have to go back to the courts, which is problematic on many fronts.

My stepson has cut himself four times, (twice with the cat, twice with his mothers razor - shaved his head while in the shower). Once Child Welfare Services visited his school when his teachers called. He had 100 cuts on him from his cat. They said it was not abuse.

My stepson isolates himself from schoolmates during the day at school.

He has a younger sister too who's been emotionally abused. She almost murdered him last summer when she picked up a gun and put it to her brothers head, but didn't pull the trigger.

The mothers brother in 1983 tried to inject her with lighter fluid at 2 am, then the abusive mother drove her sister to a suicide attempt.

So I am told I get an "A" as a parent from the kids because I'm nice.

Please provide reference material (books/support groups) where I can research further how to parent a child while they are being abused.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
add to your website a statement that "for a second answer, if not satisfied with the first, you do or don't have to pay again". I asked for further clarification from Brad and got no response in 20 minutes. Lame site so far, I'm ready to call VISA and challenge the charge.
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
For support groups, I urge you to contact the National Alliance for Mentally Ill ( This organization was started for family members of those with mental illness and have different support groups throughout the nation and I am sure there is one near you.
A book that may be helpful is called "Parenting an abused child" by Kip Thomas.
Another suggestion I have is for you to contact CWS if you continue to suspect abuse. The earlier you get the step son and daughter into treatment, the better as their behaviors are troublesome.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry I was not as prompt as you would have liked for this question. I was experiencing technical difficulties. Please let me know if you have any questions about the suggestions that I have made.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The book reference "parenting an abused child" is mostly for the parent on how to cope. Amazon lets you search inside the book, and the key chapters show what the parent should do to protect themselves. I'm already very emotionally controlled and the kids and I have a great relationship. Hence, I don't need the support directly, but I'll check them out.

CWS in my experience is l useless (I sent them court documents of admission of child abuse by the mom and asked them to go back and interview her and they said no, we're done with that episode). They should be expanded greatly in order to handle emotional abuse with pyschologists hired for each school. You know how easy it is to coach kids into lying, it's almost effortless.

I need a book titled "How to parent a child who is currently being abused by your ex-spouse". Do you know of any?????

Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
The book that I recommended is for both parent and child. It gives insight into a child's experience of being abused and I found it quite helpful in my own practice.
Another website that may be of interest for you is
What city and state are your writing from (if you don't feel comfortable in sharing, that is okay) The reason why I ask is some cities have a Child Advocacy Center to protect abused children and there may be one near you that I can help look up for you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
santa barbara ca.
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
Attached is a website that list California's Child advocacy centers.
Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, please consider pressing the "accept' button for me to receive credit for my efforts.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I still would like an estimate on the age of a child to inform them about their abusive parent. I asked that originally. AB1050 gives age 14 as the age in which a child can voice who they want to live with. What about providing them information. I don't want to push it and do it too early. The 12 year old (who's 11 actually, be 12 in May) said he wants to know about his mom when he turns age 12.
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
Making an estimate on the age is impossible because a child's emotional age is different for child to child. My suggestion for you is to let your step son know that he should talk to you if he had concerns about the way his mother treats him. If he resists to ask you, you can let him know that he deserves to be treated with respect. I caution informing him details of the abuse only because this may re traumatize your step-son. If you feel that he is more mature than a typical 12 year old, then he may be informed about his abusive parent.
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
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