Parenting

Top watchouts to prevent child abuse

Bhavna
1 to 3 years

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Top watchouts to prevent child abuse

Child abuse is a worry that is growing on an alarming rate. It can be defined as any exposure to acts of sexual connotation which cannot be understood or related by the child due to lack of physical and emotional development to understand or consent to the act.


Child abuse can be defined under categories such as Physical Child Abuse, Neglect (is also a form of child abuse) and Sexual abuse. We need to make sure that our children are safe from such evils and we can do so by carefully monitoring our children and being there for them. We need to be on a lookout for the signs, as they tend to appear in children who are being sexually abused.

 

What can we do as Parents to keep our child safe from child abuse?

1.Child abuse is not defined by age, hence at a very early age we need to explain the concept of good and bad touch. They need to be told the difference between normal sexual behavior and inappropriate and offensive sexual behavior. Understanding this helps a child to cope with their feeling and peer pressure. They are more likely to take charge of their lives and close relationships in the years to come.

2.We need to instill in them the importance of the right to their privacy. We need to encourage the confidence in them so if they feel that their privacy is being invaded they object and tell an adult about it.

3.Child abuse can be stopped from reoccurrence if the parents pass on the information about an abuser to the other members of the family, extended family and the society.

4.Developing and nurturing a strong bond within the family so the child has a well-developed self-esteem and is full of confidence. Home should be the safest place for a child and the child should feel comfortable discussing and opening up to the adults.

5.We need to foster the decision-making ability and assertiveness among children to avoid child abuse.

 

What are the classic signs of child abuse?

Child abuse will manifest into a lot of signs and symptoms that we can keep a look out for and take appropriate action if need be. 

1.Depression, Anxiety, Jumpy behavior and Aversion to touch.

2.Extreme reactions like self-mutilation and staying hungry.

3.Isolating oneself from people, withdrawn and lack of concentration resulting in poor school performance.

4.Personality changes are also very common like a happy child might turn into an insecure and clingy child.

5.Most often the abuser is part of the extended family or friends of the family. We need to keep a look out for any individual or grown up who is part of the family or extended family exhibiting exploitive and manipulative behavior towards a child. The abuser usually spends or wants to spend time alone with the child and becomes very protective about the child.

6.Incase the child displays secretive behavior towards a particular individual then it is a sign of child abuse.

 

How should a parent react to the knowledge of Child Abuse?

1.Children pick the vibe from the parents and it is advisable that when a child comes forward with the information of abuse that we as parents are calm and collected. We should understand that it has taken a lot of courage from the child’s part to come forward with this information hence we need to be reassuring the child that things will get better and coming forward was the right thing to do.

2.In most cases of child abuse, the parents do not believe the child since the family knows the abuser but we need to make sure that we trust and believe all that our child has to tell us.

3.Most of all we need to listen patiently; we should not push the child for information or details of information. We need to be sensitive and wait for the child to divulge the information in good time.

4.We need to make sure that the child knows that the abuse was not his/ her fault and there the problem lies with the abuser.

5.Seek professional help, at least a child counselor and make sure that your child talks to a sexual abuse counselor so as to not have lasting psychological damage.

In most cases of Child abuse, with proper professional intervention, family support and love, the child is able to get over the trauma and is able to have a healthy and happy life ahead.


 

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| Dec 13, 2012

I have always been somewhat over-observant about any signs that show my child may have been subjected to inappropriate behavior. It always helps to let the child know that they can come and tell us about it, even if someone warns them not to - and repeat this conversation every once in a while.

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