April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
While many times parents become defensive and argumentive about what constitutes child abuse the facts remain the same. Child abuse has long term consequences continuing along the life span. These include the generational transmission of abuse, the long term consequences of impact of quality of health and chronic illnesses, child abuse affects us all.
All children are vulnerable to child abuse and it's impact. Children with developmental disabilities, children who are gifted, children wih special needs are vulnerable. The reason children are so vulnerable is because child abuse is not about the child. It is about the level of understanding of how children develop, reasonable expectations of a child's capacities to respond to life, and the maturity level of the adult. It is not a reflection on the child although children will internalize and assume shame that does not belong to them.
Many people are very uncomfortable with child abuse or discussions about child abuse. Over the years I have decided there are two reasons adults are uncomfortable with these discussions. The most obvious are the unresolved issues from our own childhoods and what pain maybe resurrected that we thought we had shut away or left behind years ago. It maybe painful to talk about child abuse or the impact of child abuse.
Another reason is that it leaves us feeling powerless or incapacitated to take action because we don't know what to do for all those children out there experiencing child abuse.
Even professionals in the field sustain burn out because of the overwhelming need to protect children who suffer from abuse.
However, putting our heads in the sand is not the answer. Let's discuss it here. Please feel free to send your questions and let's have an online discussion of what actions we can take.
Let's start by reviewing what Child Abuse is and the many forms of Child Abuse. The Center for Disease Control has an excellent website which contains many facts and suggestions.
Be the change, in just 1 child's life and you can change the future for all children!
M Kay Keller