Sunday, July 12, 2009

Child Abuse

What is not fully understood by parents that beat their children, some of the physical scars will disappear but the mental scars will linger on. A lot of parents believe in child discipline; especially when it is done properly and with the best intentions. A lot of parents do not believe in physically hitting someone who does not have the ability to defend themselves against someone that is approaching them with an object that can do physical damage.

When disciplining children, please note that there are other methods used today that does not require physical contact and are just as effective if used properly:

Time Outs (only in certain situations)
Children contracts with parents
Taking away something that the child is very fond of for a period of time
Limiting the child’s play time with friends
Taking their television time away
Giving the child an earlier bedtime than normal
Having the child to do extra chores around the house
Having a teen to do volunteer work for a center
Having a teen to assist a neighbor that needs assistance
Talk the problem through with the child
Parents understand that talking does not always help, but it’s a start. One point to remember; follow through on whatever consequence the child is to receive. If you don’t follow through, the child will learn to ignore the threat of being disciplined and continue to test the waters.

The four major types of abuse to children are:

Emotional is behavior that weakens a child’s emotional development or a sense of self-worth such as calling the child a bad name (stupid, dumb, idiot), rejecting the child, not loving the child or not giving the child proper support.

Neglect is failure to provide the basic needs for children suchas food, medical, a place to sleep, education, exposure to domesticviolence, and not responding to a child’s emotional needs. These factors do not necessarily mean that a child has been neglected. They could come from a home environment where poverty and community care is an issue and proper information and resources are needed.

Physical injury such as beating, shaking, choking, hitting the child with an object, or kicking are forms of physical abuse whether the person intended to harm the child or not.

Sexual consists of incest, indecent exposure, rape, fondling of the child’s genitals, sodomy and exposing a child to pornography.

Parents and caregivers must remember that abuse to a child has short and long term affects such as aggressive behavior, learning disorders, the child becoming anti-social, depression, and brain

damage if a child is hit upside the head. As the child gets older they may experiment with drugs or become an abuser of drugs and alcohol, have criminal behavior, and of course there’s teen pregnancy.

For more information about where and how to file a report, call Childhelp USA®, National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD®).

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