If my kids come back from their dad's and act like they are afraid they will get hit, should I be worried about him abusing them?

When they come home from their dad's and I fuss at them for anything, they move like they are dodging being hit. They say they’re sorry over and over really fast. I ask and they say no one has hit them, and I've seen no marks. Am I being paranoid or am I right to be?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

I agree w your theory about your kids behaving fearfully means they’ve been w someone who created this feeling in them.

It’s possible the father threatens and intimidates, and stops himself from following through w physically harming them.

Approach the father the way you feel has the greatest chance of you knowing more.

Sometimes indirect questions, like asking how the kids behave around him, how does he generally handle this, are better than “do you hit them?”

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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