Director of APA’s Violence Prevention Office Julia da Silva responds to a story of abusive parenting with advice for the daughter who doesn’t want to harm her own children:

“This is a very sad story of abusive parenting that could have been prevented if it was dealt with early on. This abusive mother used verbal and physical violence to express her anger and frustration. Those are emotions probably associated with situations that unfortunately had nothing to do with the daughter’s behaviors. This mother also failed her daughter when she neglected to pursue behavioral health treatment to help the girl deal with the abuse and heal from the trauma. Because no help was provided early on to address the emotional and behavioral issues that the unhealthy relationship with the mother was causing to the girl, the consequences only got worse, which she alleviated with drugs and alcohol.

As an adult, this daughter wants to do better, and she doesn’t want to cause harm to her own children. She recognizes her flaws and difficult upbringing and is struggling not to repeat the cycle of abuse in her family. How can we help her now as a mother?” Read more: