What a person becomes in his/her life depends greatly on how he/she has been treated during childhood. In today’s modern world, it is very rare that people behave as ideal parents and is not even practically possible. Many times due to work pressure or some other frustrations parents neglect their children. But some people go way beyond what is expected and what is acceptable. Many times we keep hearing about children being abused by their very own parents. Such dreadful things lead us to think, “Why do parents abuse their children?” We have compiled some research and some data to throw light on this sensitive subject and make this world a beautiful place for children.
What Is Child Abuse?
Some abuses are visible while other types of abuses cannot be seen. Physical abuse, ill-treatment, emotional abuse, verbal abuse and sexual abuse are the basic types of abuse that some children go through. Some unfortunate kids have to go through even multiple cases of abuse at same times.
Most of the times, it is the parents or family members who subject the children to abuse. It happens when parents are not able to balance their life in the proper way and are frustrated. The cases of child abuse are increasing year by year. If such things are not stopped, it will lead to an unhealthy society.
Why Do Parents Abuse Their Children?
The parents who abuse their children do so because of various reasons. The main causes may be as follows:
Alcohol And Drug Abuse
Alcohol and drug abuse are responsible for a loss of self-control in people. As a result, they abuse their children. Such people are likely to abuse three times more than the normal parents. The children who are more at the risk are the ones who are being brought up by single parents, as there is no other parent to pacify the situations.
Some parents cannot cope up with the challenges and the responsibilities of parenthood. In the beginning, they have high expectations which are not met in real life. Such things are very common with the people who are immature or become parents in their teenage. Sometimes it may also happen that a child is handicapped or mentally challenged. So parents resent it and take out their frustration on the children by abusing them. Such parents should be taken for therapy or counseling.
Childhood Of Parents
Many parents who have undergone abuse or any ill-treatment in their childhood do not know how to treat their children ideally. The parents who faced intense discipline and suppression in their childhood are more prone to abuse their children.
Lack Of Support
Well, parenting is not an easy job. At times, you need support from friends and family for several issues related to children. People who do not have anyone to support them end up abusing their children, in one way or the other. There are many organizations working in this direction, which help the parents get proper therapy and support. The parents can leave their children in special shelters while they are being treated.
Parents who have bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, depression or any other mental condition cannot cope up with parenting easily. Hence, they are more likely to abuse their children. Such people cannot care even for themselves. So such people should be treated, as early as possible.
What Are The Signs Of Abuse In Children?
The earlier you can identify the signs of abuse in a child, the earlier a child can be saved and treated from the trauma. Sometimes the signs of child abuse are not clearly visible if they are not in physical forms. You need to learn and analyze them. Also, do not mistake a single sign to be a sure sign of abuse. Try to get deep into the matters. Watch out for the following symptoms in a child:
- The child gets injuries, cuts or bruises very often.
- The child always appears as if waiting for something bad to happen or gets “unusually alert”.
- Hesitates from being touched gets restless at certain movements or acts fearful when going home.
- The injuries have patterns of the things through which the child was beaten like belt or hands.
- Gets improperly dressed to cover up the injuries.
- The child behaves very withdrawn even when he/she is with other children.
- He/she always behaves fearful as if he is doing something incorrect.
- Doesn’t appear normally attached to the parents.
- Shows any emotion to extreme levels – whether anger or aggression or demands.
- Acts either overly more mature than his/her age or overly childish as compared to his/her age.
- The dressing is not by the season, most of the times. Moreover, even hygiene of the child is not maintained.
- The injuries and illness are not treated for a longer time.
- The safety of the child is neglected.
- Often misses or gets late at school.
- Finds trouble in sitting, walking or some other physical activities.
- Runs away from or shows strong dislike towards certain people.
- Shows interest or knowledge in sexual matters. Sometimes even displays a behavior of seduction.
- Gets infected by STDs or becomes pregnant.
- Does not change clothes in the presence of others.
- Strongly refuses to go home.
How To Prevent Child Abuse?
- Try being friends with the parent who abuse because sometimes they only need someone to hear their problems and make them feel at ease. This prevents children from being abused out of parental frustration.
- Be a good example to your children. Teach your children what is right and what is wrong, instead of hitting them. Give rewards to your children for their good deeds.
- Babysit the abused children to give the parents some break.
- Praise the abused children and encourage them to do things that they love.
- Give guidance to teenage parents on healthy parenting.
- Become a foster parent for a child who has been abused.
- Keep an eye on the children whose parents don’t seem mentally balanced or fit.
- Learn to identify the signs of abuse in children.