April is child abuse prevention month
Children's healthy development is the foundation for community and economic development. Research states that children's experiences literally build the developing architecture of their maturing brains. Children's brains are built in a sequence of phases, with every phase forming the foundation for the one that follows. Similarily, like a house needs a strong foundation. The quality of a child's brain affects all the development that follows. Children thrive when they have nurturing, supportive relationships and interactions with the adults in their lives.
it shouldn't hurt to be a child...
When children are abused or neglected they are in a constant state of stress. The absence of supportive relationships can cause damage to the developing brain architecture, disrupting normal child development. This can leave the child vulnerable, causing them to turn to more "risky" social and health behaviors. Examples of these behaviors may include, smoking, sexual promiscuity at an early age, illegal drug and alcohol use, among other. The using of these behaviors can lead to poor physical, emotional, and mental health.
types of abuse
There are several types of child abuse, but the core element that ties them together is the emotional effect it has on the child. Children need structure, stability and clear boundaries. Abused children are unable to predict how their parents will react. Their world is an unpredictable, frightening place with no rules. Below are types of abuse followed by examples.
EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE
- constant belittling, shaming, humiliating
- calling names and making negative comparissions
- frequent yelling, threatening or bullying
- ignorning or rejecting a child as punishment
- limited physical contact
- exposing the child to the abuse of others
PHYSICAL CHILD ABUSE
- physical harm or injury to the child
- physical punishment that is inappropriate
- can be a result of severe descipline, such as using a belt on a child
- point of discipline is to teach them right from wrong NOT to make them live in fear!
- failing to provide for a child's basic needs
- no adequate clothing, food, hygiene or supervision
- very common type of child abuse that is harder to spot
- children are not getting their physical or emotional needs met
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
- Complicated form of abuse because of it's layers of guilt and shame
- important to recognize that it does not always involve body contact
- exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive
- usually occurs at the hands of someone the child knows and is supposed to be able to trust-most often close relatives
- boys and girls are both victims
BREAKING THE CYCLE
Most parents want the trust and respect of their children. Yet, that is something that can only be earned when the parent(s) act with integrity and maturity and respect the children as the seperate people they are. Violence will only breed violence and can never be justified in the name of teaching a child to behave. This is not about telling a parent how to raise and parent their own children. This is about stopping a cycle of destruction, that if left untreated, has the potential to leave lasting scars on generations to come.
PINWHEELS FOR PREVENTION
Pinwheels for prevention is more just a symbol. It is a social movement where people and the nations are trying to change the way they think about child abuse prevention. They symbol of the pinwheel helps bring awareness to the community about child abuse and neglect.