Pat Robertson Tells Kids Not to 'Bust' Dad for Abusing Mom

punchingWell, in case you haven't already, it's time to strike Pat Robertson off the list of people your kid should look up to. The televangelist has really stepped in it this time with his tips for kids on what to do if they witness domestic violence in the home.

Conventional wisdom tells us we're supposed to teach our kids that when they see something wrong, they need to find an adult they trust to confide in to get help, right? Not according to ol' Pat.


When a viewer asked him what to do when his dad threatens his mom with a gun, The 700 Club host answered:

You don’t want to get your father busted.

Robertson instead suggested the child go to his mother and ask her to get Dad some help. Although he later acknowledged Dad's rage will likely end in a death, he told the child he shouldn't really do anything because:

But you’re a kid, what do you do? You know? Your mother ought to take care of that.

Er. What?

Did this man just tell children that they can't be snitching on their Dads ... even if Dad is a psycho maniac who is threatening to kill Mom? Whatever happened to telling a teacher or a policeman? To teaching kids that adults in their lives CAN be wrong and should not be protected simply because they're relatives?

While we certainly do need to raise our kids to understand that some things are private and should only be spoken about inside the home or with close family members, they also need to know that it's OK to speak up when there's something wrong or dangerous going on. That applies to a domestic violence situation, but also to other scary things that adults do to kids at home -- be in sexual assault or drug use.

Sometimes adults, even adults we thought we could trust with our kids and who we have taught our kids to love and respect, do stupid and/or dangerous things. The last thing we want to do is make our kids feel trapped in a dangerous situation because they're "just kids" and they shouldn't "bust" or snitch on someone they love. Kids should be taught to seek help, and who to seek it from.

What's more, they need to know that they won't be loved less for speaking out and that they won't be in "trouble."

What do you tell your kids about "telling" on adults they love?


Image via Walt Stoneburner/Flickr


If you -- or your child -- is aware of anyone being threatened in the home, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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