Educational Debates with Fathers About Domestic Happiness: A Successful Method in the Prevention of Domestic Violence in the Netherlands

Session : Workshop 3-2: Interventions I

  • Time : 9:15 am PDT To 10:50 am PDT on
  • Venue : Educational Debates with Fathers about Domestic Happiness: A Successful Method in the Prevention of Domestic Violence in the Netherlands

Full Abstract

Trias Pedagogica is specialized in breaking taboo and increasing the educational skills of fathers, e.g. to prevent domestic violence. Trias Pedagogica focuses on a target group that is difficult to reach: fathers. Many regular parent trainings mainly reach mothers and are often not sufficiently accessible for fathers. However, in many families the father plays a very important role in the decisions about upbringing. At the same time, fathers have many questions about their role and how to fulfil it. In prevention programmes it is therefore essential to involve these fathers. The last couple of year Trias Pedagogica has successfully reached thousands of fathers, mainly through parenting training in the form of educational debates. During this series of educational debates, we focus on fathers' own strengths: How can they, together with their partners and in their own environment, ensure that their children develop healthily and safely? Many prevention programs related to domestic violence focus on the negative: you should not hit your child, because this is child abuse and punishable! This patronising attitude deters parents rather than making them aware of the consequences of their actions. Nor does it take into account the fact that many parents do not have suitable alternatives at their disposal to keep their child on the right path. The method of educational debates with migrant fathers of Trias Pedagogica (Distelbrink, Halane, Mehraz, Naber & Pels, 2015) focuses on the positive: Domestic Happiness! "Every parent wants the best for their child. The intention is good, but the action may turn out to be a mistake". How can we ensure that the right intention is also linked to the right actions? In the educational debates, fathers talk to each other about parenting and domestic happiness. What factors promote domestic happiness? And which factors hinder domestic happiness? The board game 'Domestic Happiness', which was developed in-house, is used as a tool. The aim of this game is to make the subject of domestic violence easier to discuss. By means of different cards, players are challenged to think about how they would react in certain daily situations, they become aware of the importance of paying attention to the family and enter into a conversation about domestic happiness. The player who chooses the best solution in certain situations and pays attention to his/her family, will eventually reach domestic happiness (the finish line)! In order to make it as accessible as possible, the educational debates have a low threshold: they are organised at a location of choice, at adjusted times (evenings/weekends), and the trainers match the group, if necessary, in terms of gender and cultural background. The educational debates can also be offered in several languages. Distelbrink, M., Halane, S., Mehraz, A., Naber, P., & Pels, T. (2015). Opvoeddebatten met migrantenvaders: Een methodiekbeschrijving en -onderbouwing. Geraadpleegd van: