Nature vs. Nurturing our Children

BettyJean Kling

Phyllis Adler, LCSW-R has 13 years of clinical experience as a Senior Therapist at St. Anne Institute.  She has worked in the Community-Based Services Department for twelve years.  Her work has involved therapy with individuals and families where her authentic style lends a nurturing atmosphere for growth. Phyllis joins TMU BlogTalkRadio on January 6th  at 10 pm Eastern to share her first-hand experiences and take you calls for comments and quests. Please tune in. The show will be available for download on demand 15 minutes after the airing and this blog will be open before during and after the show for comments and further discussions. Contact

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Call-in Number:  ( 347 ) 838-8011

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are at high risk for suffering physical abuse themselves. Regardless of whether children are physically abused, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma of being a victim of child abuse.

  • Children in homes where domestic violence occurs may “indirectly” receive injuries. They may be hurt when household items are thrown or weapons are used. Infants may be injured if being held by the mother when the batterer strikes out.
  • Older children may be hurt while trying to protect their mother.
  • Children in homes where domestic violence occurs may experience cognitive or language problems, developmental delay, stress-related physical ailments (such as headaches, ulcers, and rashes), and hearing and speech problems.
  • Many children in homes where domestic violence occurs have difficulties in school, including problems with concentration, poor academic performance, difficulty with peer interactions, and more absences from school.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in nonviolent homes. There is no evidence, however, that girls who witness their mothers’ abuse have a higher risk of being battered as adults.
  • Taking responsibility for the abuse.
  • Constant anxiety (that another beating will occur) and stress-related disorders.
  • Guilt for not being able to stop the abuse or for loving the abuser.
  • Fear of abandonment.
  • Social isolation and difficulty interacting with peers and adults.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Younger children do not understand the meaning of the abuse they observe and tend to believe that they “must have done something wrong.” Self-blame can precipitate feelings of guilt, worry, and anxiety.
  • Children may become withdrawn, non-verbal, and exhibit regressed behaviors such as clinging and whining. Eating and sleeping difficulty, concentration problems, generalized anxiety, and physical complaints (such as headaches) are all common.
  • Unlike younger children, the pre-adolescent child typically has greater ability to externalize negative emotions. In addition to symptoms commonly seen with childhood anxiety (such as sleep problems, eating disturbance, nightmares), victims in this age group may show a loss of interest in social activities, low self-concept, withdrawal or avoidance of peer relations, rebelliousness and oppositional-defiant behavior in the school setting. It is also common to observe temper tantrums, irritability, frequent fighting at school or between siblings, lashing out at objects, treating pets cruelly or abusively, threatening of peers or siblings with violence, and attempts to gain attention through hitting, kicking, or choking peers and/or family members. Girls are more likely to exhibit withdrawal and run the risk of being “missed” as a child in need of support.
  • Adolescents are at risk of academic failure, school drop-out, delinquency, substance abuse, and difficulties in their own relationships.

For further Reading:


15 Responses

  1. This blog piece is dedicated to children everywhere who have been victims of abuse or violence!

  2. anyone here?

  3. Gee I wish we could have focused on the topic ….many got cheated out of an opportunity to ask questions on the topic.

    I am sorry for BJK the harassment is excessive!

    Maybe you should consider looking into a restraining order, or an appropriate action to block that guy from contining.

    • Where you trying to get through Anita?
      I think we can do it again in a few weeks – Phylis is quite the professional. Next time i will block them early – I should have done it earlier – they shocked me so many lines and in the chat room- it was a concerted effort.

      Please keep in mind – these are folks that were deeply hurt about 25 years ago – I am not sure why they have become obsessed with me except that they think I can help them – unfortunately they are going about it the wrong way.

      In any event – I am sorry- it could have and should have been a great benefit to them – God knows they needed the information most!

    • I’m sorry, too. I kept thinking of all the nerve. Disrupting the show and no letting a discusion get going. I;m sure Phyllis will be willing to come back. Sje is one in a million.

    • I’m sorry, too. I kept thinking..of all the nerve. I’m sure Pyllis will be willing to come back, she is one in a million.

      The people harassing BJ seem to NOT have developed health coping mechanisms..maybe Phyllis can help them to realize that stalking someone is NOT ok.

  4. Came late and was slow on the uptake.

    Tried my best but ya know, there is not getting around a nut.

    Truth be told, you can’t look forward if you are always looking back. Sad it happened but to let it define your life is as self destructive and gives the ultimate victory to the abuser.

  5. Thanks for bringing Phyllis on, maybe you could get her to come back. I would like to ask her to respond to this question: Why is that custody switchings to abusers, including convicted pedophiles, substances abusers, etc who’se goal is remove the mother from the childs lfe as DV ???

    It is definately a form of very calculated DV, intended to perpetuate abuse, and to maintain control….many find this gratifying because they get rewarded for it !!

    This is what Lundy Bancroft’s books detail and it is so very helpful to a traumatized mother to understand that she does not deserve to be treated like a criminal for takinf appropriate actions which is following correct parental instincts to protect her children.

    The PAS thing is so psycho its incomprehensible to me that so many un-witting buy into this fraudulent and junk theory ….and I am a mother who’se child has been conditioned, and brainwashed to believe that I need to be punished because I revealed that her dad is a 2nd generation alcoholic and substances abuser with a determination to beat the system ….as a result NYS taxpayers have spent well over 200,000. nurturing an addict, and rewarding him while punishing an innocent girl ! I do not buy into PAS because that would require me to support the creator of PAS Richard Gardner who was a pedophile, incest, deviant sex monster …his books are evidence ….and this is what the nations family courts rely upon to justify custody switchings to abusers, by labeling the mother and often the children liars ….

    It boggles the mind !!!

  6. It seems as though the guy is needing validation, there is a reason for his persistence. It’s very sad that he endured the trauma …but this isnt the way to deal with it. He needs to seek qualified professional help, meaning not just any therapist, but someone specialized in treatment for the kind of very intense traumas he suffered.

    BJ you are kind to recognize his pain, but I dont think you can help him, you’ve suffered great losses too, and since he can not get proper perspectives he is abusing you rather than seeking help. I think he is demanding that somehow you give him validation…but you can not.

  7. When I served on a sequestered jury in Bedford County, PA Jan ’08- I witnessed the heartbreaking face of Chastity Notestine as she recounted her reaction her brother’s excited reporting, “Tiny took Mommy! He hit her and pushed her into the car!” while she was in the bathtub. She told him to calm down and be quiet.

    Four years later, the skull and other remains of her kidnapped / murdered mother – 5 foot tall, 95 lbs – were found by a farmer “fixin’ to do some logging” on his neighboring farm. The 300+pound “Tiny” had stabbed her nearlly fourty times then flung her body into the woods enroute to his mother’s house across the tractor path, where he torched the evidence by burning up his car. The forensic photos showed the bones, tiny size 5 hiking boots and the polyester sweat shirt which survived the exposure to the elements, wrapped around a tree trunk where her body had dropped after being flung, like little more than a poached deer carcass by the pig.

    I will never forget the wide-eyed Chastity’s answer to the D.A. cross-examination: why didn’t you call for help?

    When asked by the DA why she stifled him, her six-year old mind reasoned – “I’m Next.”

  8. Hi Betty Jean and all!

    Caught the last 30 minutes last night but the chat room was definitely weird. Hope Phillis comes back. Looked that guy up, he seems to come highly recommended from a Structured Settlement Firm (for lawsuits) and is a very interesting Website designer? Don’t know the story, but, we all have our histories, BJ.

    Anyway, tried to send you the final update info on the TMU website and the agreement on the Woman to Woman song – it’s TMU’s to use – it’s just not for sale! Thanks for the offer, though, BJ! Getting back to doing some music was good for me and I think I’ll try to put it out there – who knows, you all have inspired me that it’s worth listening too – maybe at my age I can make a living at my firs love someday!

    Sorry I missed your voice mail about the site – thank you! It was wonderful and I’ve listened to it three times – glad you “love it, love it, love it!” and I hope I”ve been able to contribute at least a beginning for the TMU home-base site! I’m proud of it too!

    The site’s all yours! Let me know if there’s anything else you need until you find a webmaster (hint, hint readers, lurkers, volunteers). Wish I could, but I have to get back to the life of the living (not so much computing).

    BTW, BJ, I was really impressed at your own skills – you’re really good on this stuff too! Wore me out on that all night email project! (Whew! I’m not good at all-nighters!)

    Finally, rested up and ready to get back to my work! I’m an email away!

    P.S. Would you mind putting my name and copyright notice on the song on the radio show page! B.J. Thanks! Just trying to take your advice and start taking credit on my creative work for a change – thanks!

  9. P.S.S. If you would just get me back an email on agreeing not to reproduce and/or use my Woman to Woman song for anything other than I stated, I would appreciate it. I know you’re busy, B.J., but that’s the only thing I’ve asked for, for its continued use by TMU. Thanks! I appreciate it!

  10. I thank u for all the info u gave me please. send me more info.

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