How can you tell if your new boyfriend is capable of abusing your children from another relationship or your future children with him?

Are you sick and tired of reading about a toddler or baby dying at the hands of the boyfriend, whom the mother left in charge of the victim while she was at work?

Do you wonder: How could she not have known that he was capable of murdering a two-year-old?

Heaven forbid if she DID know he was capable of harming a baby, but decided to leave the child in his care anyways… but that’s a whole new topic.

The topic here is how a woman can tell if her new boyfriend is capable of child abuse, even if she has no kids.

How a Woman Can Screen a Boyfriend for Child Abuse

“A woman can screen out boyfriends who are potential child abusers by getting to know them well, and not jumping into marriage out of desperation or because she is prioritizing superficial traits, such as wealth or attractiveness,” says Carole Lieberman, MD, a forensic psychiatrist and author of Lions and Tigers and Terrorists, Oh My! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror.

A woman also shouldn’t jump into arranging for the new boyfriend to babysit the toddler or baby while she’s at work until after she’s really gotten to know him over a period of time … though time passage alone may not be good enough.

  • Who’d be babysitting if she had never met the boyfriend?
  • Who WAS babysitting before she met the boyfriend?
  • Maybe she thought the previous babysitter — perhaps her sister or her own mother — was being mean to the child and decided to hand the child over to the new man in her life?
  • And then he ends up killing the child or causing brain damage via “shaken baby syndrome.” How could she have missed the warning signs?

Additional Ways to Screen the Boyfriend for Child Abuse

Dr. Lieberman adds, “Women should look for red flags such as his having been severely punished or abused as a child, having a dysfunctional relationship with his parents or siblings, or his abusing alcohol or drugs.”

Wow, can’t get bigger, redder flags than these! Let’s also not forget how he treats her.

If a man lays a hand on you out of anger, you can count on him beating your child., cookie_studio

“A woman should also carefully observe how her boyfriend interacts with her children. Is he cold, neglectful and easily annoyed, or is he sensitive, empathic and truly interested in doing fun things together?” adds Dr. Lieberman.

She can even straight-out ask him how he’d respond in a certain situation involving a crying toddler, or preschooler who won’t put away a toy or eat their lunch.

Don’t ask a close-ended question such as, “Would you ever shake my baby?” Otherwise he may end up telling you what you want to hear: “Of course not, never!”

Instead, set a trap for him with an open-ended question: “By the way, how would you manage a baby who won’t stop crying?”

This unique wording is stealthy and more apt to draw an honest response out of him: “I’d go f—cking bananas and do everything possible to shut him up.” Hmmm…a very unsettling response to hear.

Another effective way to screen a boyfriend for potential child abuse is to nonchalantly ask his parents “how was he disciplined” (though if you sense they’re lying, they probably are), as well as to flat-out ask him how his parents “showed their anger towards you.”

He may respond, “Oh, I got lectures and groundings.” Or, he may say, “I got my ass whooped.” Buyer beware.

Dr. Lieberman analyzes the psychological impact of world events, as a guest and/or host on all major media outlets. Her appearances include “Larry King Live,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Entertainment Tonight,” CNN and Fox News.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.