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  • Writer's pictureJulia Koroleva

New Horizons Therapy NY Blog: How Parents Can Talk to Their Adult Children About Concern Over an Abusive Relationship


As a parent, witnessing your adult child in a potentially abusive relationship can be incredibly distressing. However, approaching the situation with sensitivity and understanding is crucial to maintaining their trust and offering support. Here are some tips on how to navigate this difficult conversation:

  1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a private and safe space where you can talk openly without interruptions or distractions. Avoid bringing up the topic during heated arguments or family gatherings.

  2. Express Your Concern with Love and Support: Begin by expressing your love and care for your child. Let them know that you've noticed changes in their behavior or relationship dynamics that have raised concerns for their safety and well-being.

  3. Avoid Judgment and Blame: Refrain from criticizing your child's partner or making accusatory statements. This can lead to defensiveness and further isolate your child. Instead, focus on your observations and concerns about their safety and happiness.

  4. Listen Actively and Validate Their Feelings: Give your child space to share their perspective and feelings without interruption. Validate their emotions, even if you disagree with their choices or decisions. Let them know that you're there to listen and support them, regardless of their choices.

  5. Offer Resources and Support: Provide your child with information about resources available to victims of domestic violence, such as hotlines, shelters, and support groups. Offer to accompany them to appointments or help them create a safety plan if needed.

  6. Respect Their Autonomy: Remember that your adult child has the right to make their own decisions, even if you disagree with them. Avoid ultimatums or threats, as this can damage your relationship and push them further away.

  7. Be Patient and Persistent: Leaving an abusive relationship can be a complex and lengthy process. Be patient with your child and continue to offer support and encouragement throughout their journey.

  8. Take Care of Yourself: Supporting a loved one through an abusive relationship can be emotionally draining. Make sure to prioritize your own well-being by seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist.


At New Horizons Therapy NY, we offer individual and family therapy for victims of domestic violence, as well as support for their loved ones. Our therapists can provide a safe and supportive space for individuals to process their experiences, develop coping skills, and make informed decisions about their relationships. If you or your adult child needs help, don't hesitate to reach out to us.


Remember: You are not alone. There are resources available to help you and your loved one navigate this difficult situation. Reach out for support and remember that your love and understanding can make a significant difference in their journey towards safety and healing. If you or your loved one are in danger don’t hesitate to contact emergency services for help. CALL 911 in the US. 

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