7 Steps to End Family Violence
There’s been a lot of conversation in the media recently – and controversy and back-and-forth – concerning spanking. But spanking is NOT what we’re talking about today. What this post is concerned with is violence in our homes and, specifically, 7 steps to end family violence.
As a former teacher in exceptional education working with children who presented a variety of behavior disorders, I received a lot of training in crisis intervention — specifically nonviolent crisis intervention.
What we observed in the schools also played out in my students’ homes. There was a direct correlation between frustration, inconsistency, lack of behavior management skills, exhaustion, stress, and the onset of violence. This was true both with students and teachers, parents and children, and also holds true with parents in regards to each other.
In other words, violence in any setting is an indication that the people involved have:
- Exhausted other alternatives
- Elected not to consider other alternatives
- Uninformed about other alternatives
- Unequipped to utilize other alternatives
Violence in the home is never acceptable. It is always avoidable, and it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure a family does not go down that route.
This is a difficult subject, but it is important that we equip ourselves to deal creatively – and effectively – with the potential. Here are 7 Steps to End Family Violence:
- Make an agreement, as a family, to end violence at home: Come up with a family Bill of Rights at a family meeting. Expressing acceptable limits is one step toward practicing them.
- Cultivate attitudes and behaviors that are incompatible with violence: Develop and practice a vocabulary of grace using words of respect and encouragement. The Apostle Paul said the following advice: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
- If there is a history of violence in your home, initiate family counseling immediately: Violence is serious. It’s abusive, it’s a marriage killer, and it hurts children for life. [Tweet This] You need to understand the patterns that lead to violence, and this usually requires professional guidance.
- Identify factors that tend to escalate tense situations. Observe yourself, take notes, and pay attention. If you find that you are more prone to lose control when you are already angry, tired, paying bills, or watching football, walk away.
- Stop drinking too much: Alcohol abuse is the most common factor in domestic violence. Take a long hard look at your drinking habits.
- Never step into the personal space of a family member who is out of control emotionally: Posture, personal space, backing someone into a corner and not leaving them an exit, putting your index finger in your teenage son’s chest… All these behaviors are clinically proven to provoke a violent response.
- Only intervene physically to protect your child or yourself from injury. And then, only utilize safe techniques you have researched and feel comfortable using. Sometimes a parent has no choice but to hold an out of control child. If this is part of your pattern, make sure you know how to do it safely.
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Sound Off: What more can we do to move away from family violence?