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once the fight is done like the difference is uh we know as adults once a fight is over like hey I can still love you and I can still be like in this marriage with you but children don’t often always know that so if we as adults don’t then go back to the child and be really attuned to those emotions we’ve now stored trauma in that child permanently so any kind of yelling and screaming at home it’s abuse you’re living in a domestic violence relationship [Music] what’s up coronation welcome to another episode of coin for thought today we have Jackie Lebeau here and if you haven’t listened to any of our episodes you should really really check them out she’s an incredible registered psychotherapist and a clinical trauma specialist and she’s also the founder of evolve counseling so thank you Jackie for being on the show thank you for having me yeah and doing this podcast with me today you’re welcome okay so today what I really want to talk about is I want to talk about different kinds of toxic marriages and how those marriages really affect children in different ways because I find that a lot of times when you have children they I mean you’re having a fight with with your partner it’s got nothing to do with your your kids and your kids are often on the receiving end of whatever is happening in your relationship so I guess like very I mean this is very simple and it’s a very simple way to really define it but there’s to me there’s like three kinds of really toxic connections where it’s like you have two partners that are really going at each other they’re both aggressors um and there’s there might be a lot of fighting and screaming and all of that in the home then you might have people that often give each other the silent treatment so they they have communication as being like a main issue but there’s a lot of passive aggressive behavior whenever something goes wrong and not a lot of communication on feelings and emotions and all of that but there’s this this heavy weight of this energy in the home and then you might have a combination of the two so you might have somebody that is really really aggressive in the way that they communicate or the way that they argue and then somebody that’s a lot more docile and passive and they might not be as loud and as aggressive so so let’s start with the first one first right so there’s so many relationships where I hear where it’s like I was screaming at him he was screaming at me we were just going crazy just yelling at each other and you know what do you what do you think about relationships like that well I always talk to clients about yelling being an abusive form of communication right so when we’re yelling back and forth at somebody there’s you’re immediately creating a fear-based response in that other person especially when there’s a level of like male to female females being like in a more vulnerable position because of our size right so male to female is going to be a higher level of fear and then females even down to children children are your most vulnerable in the three so they’re going to feel that fear at a greater level but if it’s just between adult to adult and you have children watching or listening or part of that whole dynamic they’re also in a level of fear that mom and dad are in this aggressive state and that’s creating that level of abuse in the home as well for the children right so oftentimes kids are unsure of how to even handle that in their emotions and because children tend to feel mental health versus being able to say it they will go into one of the stress responses of flighting so they tend to run away and hide so we often hear about kids who they go to their rooms and hide in some area of their room and then we have to work on the child being able to come back out of that room right but once the fight is done like the difference is uh we know as adults once a fight is over like hey I can still love you and I can still be like in this marriage with you but children don’t often always know that so if we as adults don’t then go back to the child and be really attuned to those emotions we’ve now stored trauma in that child permanently right and most parents unfortunately don’t know how to go back to the child in a healthy way to do a reset on their nervous system and their body’s keeping score so they just like keep storing all of these traumas from the adults meanwhile the adults are able to grasp that this was a fight that happened and I’m able to move on from it but the child might not be so any kind of yelling and screaming at home it’s abuse you’re living in a domestic violence relationship you said something really that took me a back like a few weeks ago when we went away and you were telling me about how like the dominant parent is the same sex parent and that was really surprising for me because you know growing up I was always kind of told that like fathers are supposed to be more connected with their daughters and mothers are supposed to be more connected with their sons and when you said that to me it kind of like so it’s not it’s not dominant it’s the primary role model for a child right is the same sex parent right you still have your primary attachment figure so both of your parents are going to be an important role model for for the child however at a higher level the same sex parent is who that child is going to mimic so female children are going to learn how to be females how to be a mom how to be a wife from or partner from the mother right if you have sons the son is going to learn how to be male how to be a dad how to be a husband from their father right so when you have a a conflict right where maybe you have a mother that’s yelling and screaming and swearing and she’s being very aggressive how does it work when you know children like daughters really mimic their moms or say for example sons really mimic their dads say for example if if you have a father figure that’s very disrespectful to women right how does that really pass on in terms of mimicking behavior and how do we combat mimicking behavior so when it’s the mom who’s the more aggressive one so a lot of yelling and screaming any kind of physical abuse to dad yes you’re teaching your daughters that this is how I’m to be as a wife or even as a mom if she’s doing that to the children as well so you’re teaching them how to be essentially adults and they’re going to learn to have more aggressive behavior so when I work with children even if I’ve never met the parents I know exactly what’s going on in the home based on the child’s behavior so if the child has anger issues if the child has high levels of anxiety if there’s any forms of depression any of those behavioral issues I know that it’s likely mom that’s causing some of it because she’s probably similar in a sense to how those how the children are acting as well right if it’s dad who’s more aggressive in the relationship and mom is more quiet we’re teaching our daughters then how to accept abuse from a man and it’s okay to just be a silent female in the relationship which you don’t want to ever teach your daughters to tolerate that we want to teach that as soon as there’s any level of abuse it’s immediate to disengage and I have to move away from this relationship I know that I often get especially women who are like but I love him and he’ll change and all of that but as as a parent I’m the gatekeeper to my child’s health and well-being I can’t put my relationship ahead of my child who has no ability to really take care of themselves so the way that we combat this is first seek any kind of professional help of course but if it doesn’t work at some point you have to draw the line in the sand that if my marriage is impacting my child and my own mental health it’s probably time to really consider separating right children do better in two homes where there’s no adult conflict than in one home where mom and dad are just clashing so much there’s so many relationships like like women that I’m currently working with right now that are really thinking about going back to really abusive situations when they were the docile ones yeah because they can’t seem to deal with having that separate time with their children and they don’t really understand that separate means happy and that a child can really be happy in two different homes there’s also what is called it’s called neurological adaptation or what a lot of people call conditioning of the mind right so in the sense of I’ve spent let’s say 10 years in a marriage where he’s even physical emotional verbal abuse my brain is conditioned that this is what is healthy for me this is what is normal for my life right so in that condition if we now remove the partner even if he’s an extreme abuser that female has to undo the mental conditioning and essentially she’s going to be going through withdrawals no different than coming off of like alcohol say right so the only way to undo that is to have a new established pattern of behavior but that takes time which is often why people go back to their abusers because there’s a level of comfort there and something that’s familiar even when it’s awful to be in that space right so yes separating from a spouse does mean that there’s going to be less time with my children but as somebody who’s divorced myself I find that that time is now there’s a quality to it that’s different than when we were married right I have this amount of time with my kids so I focus in a almost better way on my children during that time so hopefully at some point you can work to co-parent that you can facetime and still connect with your children in other ways but it’s still better for you to have a little bit of like that less connection less time with your kids than to keep them in adult conflict and I have so many adults now who were who lived in that adult as you know in a in a home environment that’s toxic what is the impact on them now as adults is they’re not in healthy relationships because they don’t know how to they don’t know how to communicate in their jobs because their way of communicating is aggressive right it impacts every single area of their lives now so let’s go to now the passive aggressive like if both parties are really passive aggressive right so like you don’t have a lot of communication here right no one’s really talking about their feelings no one’s yelling or screaming but the room just feels so incredibly heavy yes right and you can walk into that space and you can cut that tension with a knife and I can’t even imagine because I grew up in a space it was very loud right it was almost that middle the number three where my mom was very quiet my father was very aggressive but you know at least I knew what was going on I knew what the fight was all about and I find that you know when I’ve had friends that have had parents that don’t speak to each other it’s kind of like you’re upset and you don’t even know why you don’t know what’s really happening and you can’t articulate why the air is so thick [Music] so I find I have a lot of clients who come to me and in like the intake session we talk about what what’s tell me what your marriage is like and specifically if they’re coming because there’s some issues between them um you know they’re like we never yell in front of the kids we never yell at each other and I’m like okay that’s perfect do you ever stonewall do you ever give like the silent treatment do you gaslight do you manipulate all of those other ways that are like the silent ways of abusing somebody they’re like yeah we do that but that doesn’t impact the kids because they don’t hear it I’m like yes but again children feel mental health at a different level even than adults they’re more in tune to their basic instincts right so when you sit in silence with your partner the child is sitting in that tension and it’s more at like a permanent level you know fighters tend to have the big blow up and then they move on people who stonewall and give the silent treatment that tends to last for days right so for that two weeks or weeks four months yes so that child is essentially sitting in that tension in the awkwardness of it for days and days and days at a time children are very aware of their surroundings I know people tend to think children don’t know anything but they’re very smart and they’re very emotionally connected to both mom and dad remember they’re the they’re their person right so they know when mom’s not okay they know when dad’s living in a different room than mom is they know when okay dad’s going to bed and doesn’t say goodnight to mom or like mom is like never around dad they they see that they’re feeling it too so while it’s not as loud as like somebody being aggressive in the conflict the silence is also doing the same amount of damage as though it was verbal abuse it’s just known as mental abuse now right so that child is still sitting in the trauma of it and the emotional neglect that tends to happen in those relationships is really impacted on that child not again not knowing how to create healthy relationships when they become adults you were saying something really interesting to me before where you were saying that you know in in not like maybe every family but a lot of families you may have a lot of maybe physical abuse or verbal abuse and then the parents might go back to being loving or kind or normal and and the situation might flip and you you see these situations as very solitary individual situations but in a situation with neglect it’s oftentimes the the children are neglected as a whole so they’re they’re neglected inside of conflict and outside of conflict yes yeah I find and this is just in the work that I’m seeing in the clinic is and I’m not saying one’s better or not as bad as the other but physical abuse tends to be quick it’s like right away it’s done it’s over the fight’s done we tend to move on and there’s still some level of connection from a parent to a child or parent to parent outside of that physical abuse it’s more like you made me mad in this moment my way of dealing with it is to use physical abuse once the moment’s done we’re moving on what I tend to see though with emotional abuse is that neglect is more permanent and a constant so it’s every day all day children are neglected and they tend to have to go into that survival motive I have to be able to take care of myself I don’t have a parent to talk to if I’m being bullied at school right so if there’s no connection at home at all those are the children that go to school and find ways to connect with anyone and the fastest group to connect with is usually the ones who are into drugs and like drinking and skipping school because they will essentially take anybody who will do those behaviors there’s a sense of community I feel with drug users right there they’re actually as as a group of people very welcoming very sharing very like there’s a lot of skills there where I feel like it’s weird to say it’s the misery loves company though yeah they want to pull somebody else in because if you’re doing it it makes me there’s shame attached to it I’ve never worked with anybody with addiction whether they’re no matter what stage they’re in if they’re like I’m still in it or I’m starting to come out of it and need your help or I’ve been out of it for five years there’s some level of shame attached to it right it’s easier to deal with that shame if you’re doing the same thing as me and we’re in this together now so yeah it’s a co-dependence too there’s always co-dependence with addiction right I think that um you know what you said about comparing that’s really powerful because you know I have that say for example in my relationship with my husband and I remember you know it was really hard for me to kind of really get over a lot of what happened in my childhood because there was so much physical violence there was so much anger it was always very very loud in my home and I find that you know with him he had a lot of neglect there was a lot of silence yeah there was a lot of um you know issues weren’t really addressed right off the bat there was weeks or and even months so we’re not even talking about days but there was almost months and even years of anger that was held for a particular incident that no one has addressed so there’s a lot of question marks as to what made you upset right I know that you’re upset with me but I’ve no idea why and now I’m I’m acting really strangely around you I feel like I have to tiptoe around you but I don’t really understand what’s making you upset and you won’t tell me yeah so I feel like in that situation there’s been so many times where my husband jeff like turned to me and he went wow your situation is so loud you have all these things that you’ve been going through every single day your situation is very overwhelming it was overwhelming for him you absolutely need therapy your situation is more important than mine [Music] and that made me it made me feel sad for him because I and I see this with a lot of people where you know they they look at the situation that caused them trauma versus looking at themselves and how they’re reacting to the situation that caused them trauma and like in that situation when someone says that to me it means that they’re undermining what happened to them right and in this situation I felt like you know he was essentially telling me that you know his his trauma or like the neglect that happened in his world wasn’t really important enough as the physical abuse that happened in my world and I was more deserving of mental health support and love and whatever the case is emotional support in the home to be able to get over a lot of the physical abuse that happened to me versus the neglect that happened to him so I feel like that’s interesting you know as we grow up and we go through life as adults and we’re we’re trying to deal with all of these things you do compare as people you compare you always compare yourself to other people but what’s the root of the comparison because and I’m not saying this but jeff but sometimes we say yours is much more worse to deflect from ours that if we focus on you and shine the spotlight on you then I don’t ever have to look at what’s happened to me if I’m not ready to deal with what has happened to me right or again going back to physical abuse is louder it gets more awareness it gets more attention right than the emotional neglect and at the end of the day though it’s it’s trauma no matter what it’s still happening to both of you and it’s imprinted on you as trauma whether it’s physical or emotional it’s still stored in you as trauma so that trauma then has to be dealt with at some point to be able to undo it or it’s just stored within you at that permanent level it’s weird it’s a weird question to ask but like is there is it easier to deal with somebody who has gone through physical abuse than it is with somebody who’s gone through like massive amounts of neglect and you hear this with like weirdly with like I was watching this strange video on youtube about babies who really suffered neglect and you hear this about even like the foster care system where you know there’s kids that end up being like psychopaths because because of that neglect right um versus kids that say have been beaten black and blue um so what are your what are your thoughts on like the healing the detox the work that you have to do with the child it’s just it’s it’s kind of like apples to oranges though with it because physical abuse tends to be you’re working with fear now you’re working with a fear-based response of how do I get this child to not be fearful that somebody else is going to hurt me physically right with the emotional neglect it’s a different style of work it’s more about helping them to come outwards right and the child who has that emotional neglect it’s about learning to teach them how to connect again so I go back to the foundation of what you were supposed to learn as a child I have to teach them as adults how to do that connection with other adults now with physical abuse they might be people who know how to connect because there was emotional connection in the home still so they know how to do that it’s just about undoing those assumptions that this person might physically hit me so it’s not about helping them to come outwards it’s more about teaching them how to undo those assumptions instead that’s creating the anxiety right so it’s different types of work but at the end of the day that child is still impacted in a negative way because it’s like I said it’s still going back to dealing with trauma and every single person I could have been physically hit by a parent you could have been physically hit by a parent how your body chooses to deal with it might be very different from mine right so I don’t ever ask people what’s wrong with you I ask them what has happened to you and how is it impacting you today so for you it might have manifested into I have really bad anxiety all the time for me it might have manifested into depression so I’m working on depression stuff with me and anxiety with you so it’s all a case-by-case situation based on the child’s personality and some kids can go through any kind of abuse and it might seem like they’re okay still because they’re not showing anything but later when they’re adults and now they’re in a relationship like I don’t know how to do this so that’s where we work with them at the point of impact for them that’s really that’s a really important like point that you make and you see it with sexual abuse where you know like someone could have a sexually abusive relationship with somebody and then grow up as an adult and become like a prostitute or you know extremely promiscuous someone could be very successful and just and have had that dark secret happen in their past yeah someone may turn around and become an abuser right and it may come full circle and it is really about how you’re affected personally by such a trauma I find if you have that trauma you often the mind will can go into the victimizing I’m the victim and then I blame you so if you or my dad who let’s say was an alcoholic who physically hit me I might get stuck in my life isn’t working out now in my career because of my dad and my relationships don’t work because of my dad right and they’re stuck in that the poor me or the victimizing right and that person needs to work on how to take back accountability for my happiness it’s not in a relationship it’s not in your kids it’s not in our parents it’s in myself to make myself happy first and then I can be healthy in all the areas of my life right then you have the other people who don’t victimize themselves they turn into like the warrior right and that person is this happened to me and I want to make sure that I stop this from happening to anybody else before them that’s who you were right that this has happened to me but I’m not going to get stuck in the victim I’m going to go to the warrior and help and support other women to make sure that they’re not going through the same thing so that tends to be the two the victim or the warrior tends to be how the mind deals with the trauma of it all [Music] there’s a lot of people now that are recognizing abuse in different ways back in the day you would never ever turn around and you know get yelled at by your mom and say well that was a really abusive way for you to parent me yes and we are kind of sitting on that line where parents are becoming a lot more soft yes and they’re regardless of what’s happening in their relationship you know there is this uh there’s this this idea where people are lost on what discipline actually means right yeah um and I think that that’s really a struggle yeah I think if you go back to like the traditional like way of being raised there was always that corporal punishment still right we still have people around our ages where we were spanked as kids right and then there was this weird swing that happened where discipline became abuse and I’m just like that to me there’s three things that children need for healthy development routine structure and discipline if you are not able to discipline your child what happens is the child runs the home because they children are as much as I love children children are highly manipulative they learn very quickly how to get the things that they want if I know my parent isn’t ever going to discipline me or there’s no negative consequences to anything that I’m doing it tends to be I’m gonna have a temper tantrum and you’re gonna give me what I want and now you have children that are running and dictating the home and running the parents right so if you now have a parent who wants to discipline a parent who doesn’t discipline now you have clashing within the relationship where the parents aren’t aligned and the children are seeing I can play mom or dad or the other parent because I know my parents are no longer aligned once the parents are not aligned that marriage is not it’s not likely to last it’s no longer sustainable relationship if I align more with my children than my spouse so I think that when it comes to discipline I’m not talking about it having to be physical I’m just saying there needs to be some sort of expectations in the home that the children know if I do this there’s going to be consequences so I when I do parenting work with with um adults that come to me and say I don’t really know how to parent my children properly can you help us then I always go to the three r’s right one of the final one of the r’s is reason reason is where we talk about consequences or solutions so if your child comes to you and let’s say he was at school and somebody hit him instead of consequences we’re going to go to solutions of how do we deal with this problem right if you have a child who you want to teach new behaviors so I want you to make your bed every day they’re not necessarily doing anything wrong you’re going to use positive reinforcement for that child to be able to get them to say if I make my bed seven days in a row each day I get a sticker and on day seven maybe mom takes us out for ice cream right that’s going to give them the incentive to want to do the work if you have a child who’s doing negative behaviors that’s where we we talk about negative reinforcing them so if your son hits your daughter let’s say we’re gonna take things away or instill a timeout or you know establish and I work with them on setting up proper and healthy consequences but I always make the children part of the conversation so we create a chart together on these are the behaviors we’re not going to do these are the healthy alternative behaviors we can do like talking to a parent or walking away these are the consequences to the bad behaviors and here are their rewards for the good behaviors and I find when you set up a chart that involves the children in the conversation they’ve created it they now know and have full understanding of what the rules are in this home this may be a redundant question but how can you as a parent in a high conflict marriage really identify like if I were to now observe my children if I were to say I might be thinking of leaving my marriage because this is awful whether it’s extreme silence or very very loud whatever the case is or a mixture of both how can I now observe my children to see if my children are behaving in a way that’s mimicking me or that’s just who they are or how do I what kind of lens do I have to look at my children through um I feel like that’s going to be based on age ranges of the kids too right if you’re talking about teenagers yes there tends to be a lot of like challenging and like you know teenagers want to push the limits to know where can I get what can I get away with and where can I push mom or dad right but when you’re looking at younger children typically younger children if they’re in a home with conflict they’re going to show a lot more aggressive behaviors that’s one of the key indicators that I know as a therapist that there’s aggression in the home if I’m seeing a lot of anger from any of the children that are coming to see me right so lots of tantrums a lot of tantrums talking back yelling and screaming any kind of violence like physical physically beating up the their other siblings right um but you also might have a child who has really high anxiety right it’s not it’s not typical for kids to have high levels of anxiety right yes kids can have anxiety but it’s more at a minimal level what is that what does a high anxiety look like in a child it’s any kind of like body movement so eating hair biting nails like picking at the skin any kind of like like if you’re watching them in a like a breakdown if they’re crying are they turning into like more like going inwards with their physical body but is the child fearful of doing anything without having somebody there to like help them through it right like that clutch for their parent or somebody has to be there to support them right a lot of tearful moments right so yes you might have a child with mild anxiety who’s like oh doing that they might be more cautious or like that makes me a little nervous but they’re easily talked through that moment right if there’s a bigger production happening then I know that this child has anxiety at a level that’s extreme I’m not just working with the child I’m gonna pull the parents in and say what’s happening in the home because I think that there’s there’s gotta be some level of conflict between the parents if what I’m seeing is at such an extreme level well this is such great insight especially if I think that if the three r’s like especially if somebody’s looking to get a divorce keeping those three r’s and r really learning what they are practicing them at home and learning how to co-parent separately yeah is is really extremely extremely important how does it work now going to the last one and you know wrapping up but how does it work when you have a parent that’s extremely aggressive and one that’s very very docile so I find with kids they tend to gravitate towards the parent that’s more docile they tend to be more connected but what I also tend to see is the children defending that parent instead so don’t do that to my mom or don’t do that to my dad right so they kind of come can step in and want to protect that parent but now you’re making your child the adult in a like a high conflict situation they might also learn that behavior from let’s say it’s dad who’s the aggressor right they’re gonna learn that behavior as well and they might also lash out on mom and start treating her poorly well dad can do it why can’t I right so again if the parents are not aligned in how they’re acting how they’re communicating the children are going to learn how to play both sides pretty quickly and very easily right so if your child is more of an aggressive personality they might then become aggressive to the docile parent too right and but I find younger kids tend to want to protect mom and then they might be fearful of the more aggressive parent I feel like a lot of times in that kind of the situation the docile parent their parenting style very much changes when they have their aggressor around when they have a partner that’s aggressive so when they are and I experienced this firsthand when my dad used to go on business trips yeah and when it was me and my mom everything was okay she was a different parent and I always used to say you know there’s there’s my mother and then there’s my father’s wife yeah right because when he was home she was a very very different parent they almost become childlike in the sense that yes when that aggressive parent is there I can be who I am at my core right but if you have somebody come in who’s aggressive to me you’re almost creating a parent-child relationship so they come down to the level of the children and they stay quiet they don’t let out who they are at their core because why would they when they’re going to be in trouble too so it becomes a very like parent-child dynamic that happens in those relationships where the more dos-op parent stays more quiet and then they’re just always fearful too of being in trouble so what’s the point of attempting to go against this other person what does that do to kids though you know when you see your mom or your dad all of a sudden you have a certain kind of mom and then they change and you know now they’re not the mom that you thought they were and then they go back and then they change there’s there’s this level of instability in that kind of parenting style even though there’s a there’s more of a comfort of being with that parent because they’re not the aggressor there is a feeling of safety there but can you really have safety and stability like lack of stability in in one person it’s this weird dynamic to be able to it’s like these two things that are so conflicting um coexisting yeah in one person in my relationship I find that for those children it’s very confusing so they might be in and out of like do I protect mom or do I go against mom because like which person should I be mimicking now and then I find that those children tend to step away from both parents as they get older and they they tend to turn to more controlling behaviors of I didn’t have somebody who’s controlling my home environment and I was in and out of even knowing what to do so they turned to more controlling behaviors as adults that I have to control everything to be able to undo that confusion now of how do I even parent how do I like be in relationships how do I do anything they have to find a way to control the situation to make sure that that confusion kind of fades away for them and they learn their own ways through like friend groups and whoever else instead um do you find that a lot of kids who lose control because control is a huge thing because this conflict has got nothing to do with you yeah so when you stay especially for neglect you’re staying in a situation where you have zero control over your environment over the energy of the room over the way that people are treating you and you can’t voice your opinion it’s not a free space um do you find that you know kids like that grow up to become addicted to substances or behaviors like ocd or whatever the case says um I find that in a lot of cases those are the kids that tend to develop more of the personality disorder traits so you know narcissism borderline personality tend to happen when there’s trauma before the age of five so if you have if you’re living in constant trauma remember like if you have a bad car accident once the car accident is done the trauma is done so your body might not store that permanently but you can’t undo trauma while you’re living in trauma so if you’re in a home with yelling and screaming or stonewalling in the silent treatment you’re leaving your children in a permanent level of trauma which means they’re permanently in that stress response right so I find that those children tend to go into a lot of the personality disorder traits or they tend to go into like extreme control or unfortunately they mimic exactly what their parents are doing and have no ability to communicate well and no ability to be in any healthy relationship without becoming the aggressor or becoming like a pushover that they will connect if I’m a docile person because of my mom I might pair myself with somebody who’s an aggressor and I’m gonna mimic what I grew up in because it’s familiar to them but yes on the other side of that a lot of times these kids tend to connect to the groups that are you know they’re into drugs or into substance use because it’s the fastest way for your brain to kind of numb all of that out right even with therapy it takes time to let some of the tools we do together work the fastest way to undo anything is to drink or do drugs which is why it’s addiction is one of the harder fields to work in because nothing I do in therapy is gonna positively reinforce you as fast as the feeling of I’m drunk after two drinks right so you know we have to first work with that child to undo the trauma and then see how is it impacting them today do you find working with children to be a faster process than working with adults yes children are resilient they’re very quick they do they’re they’re not hesitant they they come in they listen it’s more of like a play-based style therapy that I do with them but they have no connection at home so these children are longing for somebody to connect to who’s safe and as soon as it’s usually by the second session they attach themselves to me so I have a lot of my child clients who are like I want to go home with you can you drive me home well can I stay with you and they’re asking for me because they’re just looking for that connection so they’ve built that trust with me right away and I find then your work gets like it gets into them in a quicker manner than adults who are like uh they’re skeptical if it works so they don’t necessarily believe in it or my spouse made me come right but for me to do work with a child I can’t send them home to a house where the home environment is toxic so I have to always assess what are the parents doing what’s her style of parenting is there any aggression is there abuse remember any kind of yelling and screaming or anybody hitting another person home whether it’s wife to husband husband to wife you know kid to parent now you’re in like a domestic violence relationship so I have to fix that environment before I can really help the child what are your last tips for people who have been or are currently in abusive relationships whether it’s neglect whether it’s verbal abuse whether it’s physical abuse whether it’s any kind of abuse well I always ask them to first assess and reflect on why are you staying what’s the benefit of this relationship for you and does that benefit really outweigh your children and your children’s mental health and their well-being right and their ability to be more productive adults are is you being in this relationship that’s so toxic that you’re avoiding it I want my kids to stay in it though but they’re learning then how to be in toxic relationships as adults you call it a gut check I do a gut check yeah what’s a gut check so a gut check is to me like looking at why am I staying in this relationship and what is this relationship doing to my children first because I’m the gateway to my children’s mental health right so for me it’s about the gut check of I have to put my children before my wife before my husband because they don’t have the ability to know right from wrong without me teaching it they don’t have the ability to grasp what’s really happening I have to put them first before the relationship if that relationship is toxic thank you so much for coming on the show and thank you guys so much for watching this was such an incredible episode because we talked about so many things that are so prevalent in today’s society especially with what’s happening with covet people are just trying to maneuver through things and a lot of healthy relationships are also getting very toxic yeah so I think that you know I hope that this episode will really cause people to really reflect on their own behaviors and sometimes you know it’s weird because we’re trying to define abuse in a very very different way and I hope you took something from this episode and can reflect on this episode and I hope you like subscribe and hit that notification bell for more videos to come check out Jackie’s videos I will link them down below and I’ll see you in the next episode bye you