Stress is one of the most important causes of child abuse and neglect. Unrealistic expectations on the part of parents and the pressure they put on kids leads to abuse. Abuse need not be beating up or physically assaulting children or partners. Putting pressure mentally and manipulating them to behave in a particular way that is against their natural tendencies is also abuse.
A nurturing parent who assures their children about how special and loved they are helps kids blossom. It is important to be a parent who can build up the confidence of a child and make them feel that they are capable of following their dreams. When a parent pushes a child to make their own dreams come true is indulging in a kind of abuse. I see this especially in music circles, in reality shows on TV. Children are prodded and pushed to behave like trained animals in a circus. I also see kids who thoroughly enjoy their music and that comes through.
It is important to respect kids. When you treat them the same way you want to be treated, children will accept your point of view. Take time to have a dialogue. Most often we tend to talk down to kids or issue them orders. In fact I see parents’ interaction with kids being just a long list of do this and do that, especially in the morning when everybody is racing against time.
When chores and regular routines need to be established consensus and mutual agreement about how things need to be done helps a great deal. Kids do tend to lie about small things because mainly they are afraid of a parent’s reaction. This tends to be built up into a big issue and in frustration can result in physical punishments. Beating, spanking, thrashing and assault only builds up greater resistance in a child and also leaves deep scars that last a lifetime.
It is extremely important to monitor a child’s television and video viewing. Watching violent films and TV programs harms young children. It scares them and falsely demonstrates that aggression is a good way to handle frustration and solve problems. Bullying and regressive behaviour, delinquency get validated by many TV programs.
Child abuse is a vast area that includes neglect, sexual, physical, psychological or emotional abuse. A great deal is being written about this and awareness is being created. Just as parents, teachers and neighbours tend to tread warily in identifying and interfering in cases where they suspect abuse, authorities tend to be over zealous in suspecting parents and taking away kids from them and involving social security measures. This is not yet a problem in the East, but we keep hearing about children being fostered in the West. A balanced viewpoint is very important especially when cross-cultural upbringing is the case.
Child abuse is a crime and finally the interest of the child must be paramount in any situation.
The A38 Foundation of International Law and A CONTRARIO will be hosting a joint online legal symposium in April 2015, titled, “The Rule of Law in addressing Violence against Children: Success or Failure?” Do take a look at
http://www.athirtyeight.com/p/events.html about how you can participate!