August 21, 2007

Don’t blame the child, it’s not their fault!

Being a single parent is very challenging, to say the least. I’m not sure if there is a particular age that is harder than another, it all seems like an up hill battle at times. I work in a hospital and I have noticed quite a few child abuse cases that come in to single mothers and the abuser tends to be the boyfriend, new husband, or sometimes, the babysitter. When we give birth to our children, they depend on us for safety and guidance. A father plays an important roll, but over all, it’s the mother that is the protector and nurturer. However, its not always a significant other that lays hands on the children, it’s the parents. I know that kids can try your patience….LORD how I know, but you need to walk away. If you have a stubborn 2 year old that refuses to obey or a baby that is crying and you cant seem to find the cure, walk away. Take a breath….count to 10….walk outside…call a friend, but don’t take it out on the child. I came from a household (which I am sure many did that are from my generation) that believed in spankings. “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, I think was the justification for the abuse. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. My Mom was a single mother that had a short fuse and my sister and I paid the price. I am not saying that my mother was bad, she did the best with what she had, but what she lacked was patience. I swore that when I had children of my own, I would never hit them…and I didn’t. Hitting isn’t the answer. You have to remember, your child did not ask to be born. When you bring a child into this world, you make the decision at that point for a life long commitment. Children are 24/7 and they are forever. I know doing it on your own isn’t easy, especially when you have a baby that doesn’t sleep at night, but this too shall pass. They grow up, they go thru stages and some are easier than others. If you hit a child out of anger or when you’re not in control, you have no idea of the damage you can do until it’s too late. Here are a couple of resources to help you or if you know about a child that is being abused please call the number below:

Child Help USA Hotline - This is general information on child abuse and related issues. Referrals to local agencies for child abuse reporting. Crisis counseling. CALL: 1-800-422-4453 (24 hr)

Prevent Child Abuse - They provide workshops, literature, and child abuse prevention information. The aim is to prevent child abuse (not for reports of active abuse situations!)

CALL: 1-800-244-5373


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

This is an important post, Lori. Thanks.

I've often told my new mom friends that if the baby won't stop crying (for no apparent reason) and they're going to lose it, to put the baby somewhere safe -- like their crib -- and go to another room until they can deal.

Heck, I STILL do that, even though it's harder to keep the kids from following...

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