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Our Kids Have Feelings Too

Updated on May 27, 2016

It's easy to mistreat the children, even our own. Unknowingly, we may form a habit of dismissing them, belittling them and their needs, ignoring their needs and contributions to the family unit. We fail to keep their emotions and rights in mind at times. We forget that though they are smaller than us or younger than us in years and experience, they are no different from us. They feel like we do and need the same treatment we do.

Yes, children would be one member of society that almost always suffer neglect. Neglect comes in many ways and at different stages of their lives. As parents, we ought to remember that parenting doesn't stop at any time. It is lifelong. The legal definition of child abuse/neglect is as follows:

Any act or failure to act on the part of

a parent or caretaker, which results in death,

serious physical or emotional harm, sexual

abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to

act which presents an imminent risk of serious


— Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA

Do you deal with a child on a regular basis? Here are some helpful reminders for you.

  1. Answer their questions. Don't you just hate it when you're ignored, and your own questions go unanswered? When you are in the middle of something that shouldn't be interrupted, briefly request your child to wait. But be sure to get back to him later. Refrain from always saying,"I don't know, honey.", just to ward off your child. He might just grow up thinking that you don't know anything at all!
  2. Respond to their needs. When you are in the middle of something important and you feel that the child can wait, think; the child might feel that what he's requesting is important too. It's tempting to just shun a child away, especially if he just wants to look for a lost toy or a story book. But that's what's important for him. It's valuable to him. Show your love by valuing what he values as well.
  3. Respect their TIME. Sometimes, we fall guilty into squeezing our children into our own schedule. We fail to remember that they have their own schedule too. Refrain from postponing activities your child has requested for you to do. And when spending a day in the mall, or unwinding somewhere, be sure to give them time to look at things they also want to look at and go to places they also want to go to.
  4. Don't be a meddler, be a guide. Our children start out depending on us for most of the decisions and actions they need to do for right and prosperous living. The parents responsibility is to be the primary authority and guide at a time when children are unable to righteously self-govern. The legal system affords 18 to be the age of independence. From then, a child now "officially" conscious, begins to exercise absolute freedom in his choices and preferences. However, the parent is to remain as a guide, mentor, example, and source of support ;easily accessible when the child needs such. The need for right mentoring, coaching, and leading by example is important at all stages of a child's life, and most specially, even when the child has started a life of partial or complete independence.
  5. Exercise right and fair judgment. At a young age when understanding about life, relationships, and values start to form, children need parents for clear guidance as to what is right and wrong. The video (found at the end of the text) below gives a good, short insight into the need for discipline. Here are some highlights from Dr. James Dobson's short segment:

Childish Irresponsibility vs. Willful Defiance

How do you deal when there is a clash of wills?

First, A parent must distinguish between two classes of behavior:

I. Acts of childish irresponsibility

  • These are inevitable during the early years. Children forget things, lose things, fall off things, break things, spill things.
  • These are part of childhood limitations and immaturity.
  • These shouldn't be punished.
  • There should be understanding and training, patience and re-training.

II. Acts of willful defiance, disrespect, and disobedience

  • Here, a child knows what parents want but resists.
  • Here, a child refuses to accept parental leadership.
  • Here, an issue must be clarified: "Who's in charge?" If left un-clarified, this will precipitate other battles designed to question and challenge that again and again.
  • Here, a firm response is in order.

How do you respond to the challenge?

  1. Warn. Call the play. Be clear about the offense.
  2. Follow the game plan. Don't give in to the pitch. Don't slacken, be firm.
  3. Make the call. If it's willful defiance, call it. Don't make allowances. Don't blur the line.
  4. Afford the penalty. The behavior represented direct confrontation, mete out the consequence.

ACID TEST: How would I feel if my child was me?

Have you suffered neglect as a child?

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Have you ever neglected your child?

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