Child Abuse: Do parents Realise What it Really Means? | By: Sherry Eldessouki

Monday September 7, 2020
By: Sherry Eldessouky

Photo credit: Luis Louro

Parenting behavior is an issue that has generated a great deal of heated debate. At this day and age the typical Egyptian household has changed tremendously in terms of upper middle class sectors. Parents are well educated and have top notch jobs with a high income that generates a good portion of disposable income. As a result, caregivers and nannies have been employed to take the burden off the parents. It is important to note that each culture has different expectations for the behavior of parents and what is and is not accepted as form of child abuse.

Let’s define child abuse in a clear coherent manner so that we are all on the same page. Basically, child abuse is maltreatment of children both physically and emotionally. The result of this is clear harm to the child’s health and survival. Emotional abuse revolves around the parent or guardian unable to provide a supportive environment for the child. This includes rejection, discrimination, ridicule, threats and intimidation. In addition, physical forms of hostile treatment. Did you ever think twice about the language you use with your children? Have you ever considered the fact that there may be an element of neglect in your relationship with your child?

Neglect is a form of abuse that many do not define as abuse. It is the failure of the parent or guardian to emotionally fulfill the child’s needs. This refers to examples such as not listening to the child’s feelings, stories or day to day activities. Neglect can even take the form of not providing an adequate nutrition for the child as well as education and shelter. The children we bring to this world are our responsibility, there may be the odd day where fast-food is ordered for fun, but overall have you administered the amount of nutrients and vitamins as an intake?

A lot of people do not realize that they may be abusing their child one way or the other. It may not be intended as abuse but ignorance and lack of responsibility can certainly lead parents into that direction. Young mothers and fathers with lack of adequate experience can also be in the same boat.

Parents need to spend more time conducting research on tried and tested methods of bringing up children. Children who are abused suffer mental health issues not just physical issues. This will need certain tools to help them cope with stress as well as learning how to be resilient and strong in everyday life. Some children react in other ways by resorting to drugs or alcohol. Other children run away from home and even have some suicidal tendencies.

As parents we need to observe our children carefully as well as observe ourselves in the way we treat children on a daily basis. Sometimes, actions we may think are normal reactions or behavoiur from a parent might in fact lead to depression and suicide.

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