What Children Learn
Here’s what children learn from abusive and controlling fathering:
- that it’s acceptable to use violence to deal with disagreements, and that it’s okay to hit someone if they don’t agree with what that person is saying or doing.
- that hitting is a good way to make someone stop doing something they don’t like, or to make someone do something s/he doesn’t want to do.
- that others have the control – especially bigger stronger others. They do not learn that they can make decisions themselves, that they are capable of doing so.
- that love and violence go together. This sets the stage to accept violence in other relationships.
- that when someone is under stress, tense or angry, violence is an acceptable way to cope.
- that they deserve to be hit if they have done something that the other person disapproves of.
- to deal with other authority figures, like teachers, in unhealthy ways.
- not to get caught.
- to avoid the person who has abused them, and they lose trust in that person. They learn that this person is not safe and cannot be relied upon to help them.
Reference: Caring Dads website (Toronto)