Child Abuse – a cycle begging to be broken
I strive to see more cycles broken and more family hero/ines stepping up to the plate. I do not accept the excuse that ‘abusers abuse because they were abused’. If anything, when one is abused, they want to desperately stop it so children never have to experience it. They are the healers of:
1. Physical: causing bodily harm with hand or object
2. Verbal: causing emotional harm with words and/or tone of voice directed at child
3. Psychological: manipulating a child’s emotions to make them feel bad
- Bad-mouth an estranged or deadbeat parent
- A child knows when someone is missing in their life and the door should always remain open to a healing opportunity
- Tell a child lies about things that happened in their childhood
- What is said and what they know to be true will cause a state mixed feelings
- Turn a child against a parent, especially one who loves them
- A child knows a parent’s love and will suffer extreme emotional confusion if told lies
- Use children as weapons in relationships
- A child is not a possession to be held for ransom
4. Slave labour
Children doing chores is one thing, but they are not little machines that you can order around to do work that adults should be doing. Respect their growing bodies, especially the back and teach them how to use it and take care of it.
It is no joke that there seems to be one of “those uncles” somewhere in every family. If there is someone who gives you the creeps you can be sure that your child is getting those vibes, too, only they won’t know what they are or what to do with them.
Remember that most children will not even know how to explain the feelings as they are very strange and may give them a dirty, sickly sensation that will make them feel that they are bad just because they had them. On the other hand, it might be enacted in a way to make the child feel good when it happens or it may be construed by the child as a form of attention. Each child has different concepts of good and bad, so be observant and open.
6. Sexual abuse
The ultimate in abuse has yet to be remedied to much degree. Children have no concept of what it is when it happens and only experience it somehow and some way all alone. Sadly, it might be enacted in a fun way and may even be made to feel good. Sadder though, it is still a monster for a child who has no protection from it and will wear it like an invisible wet woolen overcoat into adult life. Many parents are afraid to face it, but we must overcome the repulsiveness that we feel and approach it objectively in order to protect our children from it.
7. The other sexual abuse
One fact that many people don’t realize is that physical abuse from a parental figure of the opposite sex is a form of sexual abuse and also prelude to abusive relationships.
8. Caregiver Abuse
More and more children have working parent(s), which requires that someone else influence the child(ren) for the major part of the day, perhaps in opposition to you. There is no excuse for interfering with the love between a child and a parent, but many caregivers do it out of malicious contempt and their own parental failures. Communicate with your children about how relatives, ex-partners, and babysitters talk about you to them. If they tell you something like, “So-and-so said you are a bad mother/father and a mean mother/father”, get them as far away from that person as possible.
Also, watch for the signs:
- This person acts more like the child’s playmate than an adult
- This person acts like a servant and does everything your child demands from them
- This person ignores your requests to stop allowing your child to whine when asking for things
- This person takes your child out of town without asking your permission
- When your child doesn’t get their own way, they say, “I’m gonna tell so-and-so (the caregiver) on you.”
- When your child goes shopping with this person, the child pulls toys into the cart and this person buys them without hesitation
- Your child often has tantrums when you insist they eat their dinner first before dessert, because this person does not enforce that rule and gives them sweets all the time
- Your child cries and clings to this person when it’s time for you to take him or her home
The problem is that by 3-4 years old the child has been programmed with some real nastiness that is aimed directly at you. The best thing to do is get yourself and the child away from that person and never look back. They only want your child for themselves and the only way to do that is to turn your child against you.
You will see how quickly the maternal/paternal instinct kicks in to protect your family from evil-doers. Since these are the years where what they learn is most impressed upon their psyche, you will likely need therapy along with a lot of affirmative action in reprogramming your child to recognize you as their loving parent.