Crime, trauma and Children @ Daily Telegraph

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed the details about an abandoned child, know by the media by “Punpkin”, whose father murdered her mother with reporters Michelle Cazzulino and Kate Sikora from the Daily Telegraph. You can find out more information about abandonment, violence and parental loss, by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full article is available on the Daily Telegraph website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.

2 Responses to “Crime, trauma and Children @ Daily Telegraph”

March 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm, Bianca Brown said:

My son was abandoned by his father at the age of 9mths. On a good year he may be lucky enough see him once.
His father is always enthusiastic when he sees him and tells him he really wants to see him again. But then the next time it always falls through. I never tell my son prior to his visits just in case his father cancels at the last minute. I always make it a surprise to avoid further disappointment. He is 8 years old now and is asking more often to see him. He has an amazing male role model but the pain of his own father abandoning him is still so deep. I have told him for years that his father works very hard and that is why he can’t see him not that he has addiction issues which is the real truth. Do you have any advice on helping my child manage the pain of abandonment, to help him grow into a resilient and happy young adult regardless of his circumstances?

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March 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm, Belinda JOnes said:

Children learn to define themselves by their relationships with family,with peers, and society as a whole and it is helpful when children can find their place in the world by seeing themselves in the context of an extended biological family.

For many different reasons this is not always the case, and it can leave children in a difficult position in trying to understand themselves, and their place in the world. It sounds like your son is experiencing a very real and deep loss which is very normal in relation to his circumstances.

As a single parent it is very tempting to try and play both roles, and to “super parent” in an attempt to plug the holes of the absent parent, however it is important to acknowledge and validate the loss, rather than try and smooth it over.

Talk openly with your son about his feelings of loss, or sadness and of anger and validate and normalise this position. Speak out loud his wishes “you wish your dad could spend more time with you, to show you things, and to take you places” and normalise his feelings “it’s ok to be angry with your dad that he can’t be here today”.

Try and help your son to manage his difficult feelings, by seeking comfort in hugs, by drawing or expressing himself, by getting active and rechanelling, by connecting with other important adults in his life.

Managing difficult emotions is a challenge for everyone and don’t be afraid to seek help from your local child and family psychologist for support for yourself or your son.

In terms of telling your son about why his father really can’t be there, honesty is usually the best way forward, however its important to share information that is developmentally appropriate.

Your son might not quite understand issues of addiction at this stage, however there are resources available to help children understand, such as “The Blue Polar Bear” which is a story about a little bear whose daddy struggles with mental health and addiction issues.

You may like to seek advice from your local child and family psychologist to plan for how you talk to your son about this issue. Drug and alcohol services may also offer programs for children to help them better understand and be supported with their feelings whilst providing fun activities and a chance to meet other children in a similar situation.

Resilience is about being able to tolerate and manage difficult emotions, to feel confident that you can manage the tricky bits as well as the easy bits that life throws your way.

By acknowledging and helping your son to manage his ongoing feelings of loss, you help him to come to terms with the issue, and over the long term to make peace within himself about it.

It sounds like your son has positive and stable relationships with many adults who care about him, and these relationships will help to support him on his difficult journey.

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