Child Neglect And Abuse - The Shame and The Guilt
I Am Unlovable - It's My Fault
When children are restricted from love, they think it is their fault. They perceive themselves to be un-lovable. Then they learn to live with shame. Children carry guilt because they think they are "bad." After-all, if they were good then the parents would love them. It makes perfect sense to a young child.
When you further add harshness and criticism to the situation, the child is learning that he is a disappointment as well.Combining all this to additional drama and possible violence. Then, more self blame burns deeper and deeper. The self image is formed. This becomes the child's belief system.
Even when a much needed compliment comes, the child quickly and adamantely defends his position.Instead of replying "thank you" he questions his own worth by asking "do you really think so?" Or worse yet, he will assure the giver of the compliment that he's not worthy with remarks such as "no, I'm not or no, it's not true."
This behavior is very sad. Children learn from a very tender age that they are loved. Much of that comes from trust. You will never gain trust from a child when you confuse them with your own emotions. It makes no sense to tell a child you love them followed by a severe slap on the face. That - is confusing and abusive as well.
So where is love? It is found in the nurturing, it is found in the warmth of loving arms, it is found in the power of words, it is found in the trust and joy of being a child.
Most of all love is found by giving unconditional love.
My Own Story
As a child she gave her all,
trying to please her mother~
though she stood but 3 feet tall
she takes care of her sister and brother~
Living in fear of the screaming voice
that greeted her each day~
She grew to realize, she had no choice
No love would be coming her way~
She started school at the age of five
trembling from head to toe~
wanting to run away and hide
as fast as she could go~
But her beautiful teacher, Miss Butterfield
Held her close to her soft warm breast~
Drying the tears that began to build
And soothing the pain in her chest~
“I don’t want to go home, Miss Butterfield
Can I go home with you?”~
Knowing that she could not yield
she did what she had to do~
At home, the dishes were waiting
and ironing piled up high~
no cookies for the taking
only little shoes to tie~
Tip-toeing to her mother,
She said, “I love you, so.”~
“and I love you like no other
I just wanted you to know.”~
Advocate for neglected and abused children
- National CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate Association - CASA for Children: Advocating for Abu
A nonprofit network supporting and promoting court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. Give a child a voice.
Bedtime comes and with it dreams
A journey to forever-land~
Where no one yells and no one screams
And no one ever raises a hand~
The little child is sent a friend
A piano is the name~
She sings and plays day after day
Music and joy become her game~
Melodies come easily as she starts to play
Making music to fill her heart~
at last she knows she has found her way
Her “friend” and she will never part~
Today she gives thanks for her childhood
“Miss Butterfield” and music too~
And now when she looks in the mirror
It all becomes so clear~
It took a challenging childhood
and a desperate need for love~
It took some prayers and a child's voice
speaking to God above~
She learned to give to others
with kindness and with song~
The gift of unconditional love
to give her whole lifelong~
Where is Love?
How to prevent Child Abuse
Not all child abuse is intentional. And I'm not excusing the actions used that are abusive or the person inflicting the abuse. Not at all. However there are many people who just don't realize that they are being abusive. They truly think that their behavior is justified. They mimic what they have learned from their own parents.
For these people as well as others who may be "in the dark" about preventing abuse on a child, here is a good tip to practice:
Never discipline a child when you are angry or upset. This rule is crucial to the prevention of abuse on a child. Use every bit of self-control you have and wait until you are in a calm state before issuing discipline.
Take a minute to think of what the word "disciple" means. A disciple is a follower of good. A disciple is also a teacher. A teacher evokes patience and understanding. I don't know about you, but I never learned a history lesson by being slapped in the face or hit on my back-side.
So what is the better alternative? Try using privileges to encourage good behavior. Reduce or omit television time, games, cell phones, desserts, sleep-overs and such. You know your child. And time-outs can help your child regain control and give them time to think about their behavior.
Child Abuse Perpetrator Statistics 2012
Table 3–13 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2012
- Duplicate Victims
- Father - 127,654
- Father and Other
- Mother and Other
- Mother and Father
- Child Daycare Provider
- Foster Parent (Female Relative)
- Foster Parent (Male Relative)
- Foster Parent (Nonrelative)
- Foster Parent (Unknown Relationship)
- Friend and Neighbor
- Group Home and Residential Facility Staff
- Legal Guardian (Female)
- Legal Guardian (Male)
- More than One Nonparental Perpetrator
- Other Professional
- Partner of Parent (Female)
- Partner of Parent (Male)
- Relative (Female)
- Relative (Male)
Signs of child abuse and neglect
The following signs may signal that abuse or neglect is present in a child. It is your duty to report any of these signs:
- No adult supervision.
- Shows sudden changes in behavior and in school performance.
- Shows up early for school and stays late not wanting to go home.
- Has trouble concentrating or other signs of learning problems that are not connect to a physical or psychological cause.
- Always being watchful as if something bad is about to happen.
- Hasn't received help for physical or medical problems that have been brought to the attention of the parent.
- Comes to school with no lunch or money, ticket for lunch day after day.
- Wets their pants.
- Isolates themselves at play time.
- Cries for seemingly no reason.
- Stutters, excessive fidgeting, falling asleep in class are other signs of abuse and neglect.
Have a tissue ready -
Each one of us are responsible for the safety and protection of children. Recognizing child abuse is a place to start. Child abuse includes physical, emotional, sexual and pure neglect inflicted by a parent or care-taker.
My own abuse was mostly emotional with a little physical thrown in. If I had a choice I would prefer the physical. When a parent verbally terrorizes the child, continually and severely criticizes the child, or fails to express any affection or nurturing, they are abusing the child.
Pay attention and be involved in a child's life. My own kindergarten teacher, Miss Butterfield, taught me that I am lovable. She is responsible for my level of self-confidence. Bless all the teachers who take the time to stand up for the rights of children.
Children are our legacy and hope for the future.
Statistics of Child Abuse Fatalities For 2012
Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”
© 2011 Audrey Hunt
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