SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 28

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Children are among the most vulnerable groups in the country and around the world. A survey conducted by a humanitarian aid organization, World Vision India revealed in May this year that one in every two children is a victim of sexual abuse.

The survey was conducted across 26 states of the country and covered 12-18 years age-group. It is estimated that children below 12 may have a higher abuse rate. They are more vulnerable age group.

More than 48 percent of girls wished they were boys so that they could escape abuse. But, the study also found that boys (over 54 percent) were at equal risk of abuse as girls. And puzzlingly, persons in trust and authority, including parents, were identified as major child abusers.

Parents’ awareness is a necessary protective arm. The method is they should encourage the children to discuss any matter unusual that happens in the school or the neighborhood.

Parents can help protect their child from sexual abuse by teaching them the important facts and telltale gestures. This coaching must start as soon as they are admitted to the school.

The children should be aware of the following acts:

  1. They should know what parts are called as private parts and why. They should be aware that genital and buttocks are their private parts. No adult should touch them. If any adult ever touches them in these private places, you advise the children, to report to mummy and daddy immediately. Identify and label male/female private parts. Explain how private parts are different from public parts of the body and why.
  2. Explain to them that adults or older boys should never ask you to touch these private parts on them. They should know it is a very wrong thing. If an adult asks you to do like that, you should tell mummy and daddy right away.
  3. Tell them they should tell mommy and daddy immediately if an adult or an older child ever shows his or her private parts or asks to see yours.
  4. Make them clear that if someone is kissing you or hugging you in a way that feels uncomfortable or funny, or frightening, get away from that person, ask for help and tell mommy or daddy.

Please take your children’s comments about who touches them or makes them feel not so comfortable, very seriously.  The sad part is that a great many cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by friends, closely known relatives or family members.

Please stay on guard and listen to what your children have to say.

Children who disclose their abuse within one month are at a reduced risk for depression.

If your child can talk about the abuse with you, then they are less likely to suffer from depression later in life-related to the abuse. Believe them when they talk to you and LISTEN.

Sexual abuse can be hard to think about and harder to discuss, but it’s important to address these issues and educate yourself so you can teach your child what to watch out.  Every step you take, every talk you have, every time you listen – you are protecting your child from sexual abuse.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 27

PARENT – TEACHER MEETINGS

I knew a parent who had never taken the time to speak to the administrators or teachers in the twelve years span of his two children in the school. He never bothered to attend any parents meetings at school.

Today after twenty years, his children grew as responsible adults; but I hear a complaint from that parent, “My children never listen to me, I see they don’t respect me or my words, and at home, I’m as an outsider.”

Naturally, the parent is now reaping what he had sown twenty years ago. He showed negligence and total disregard for his children’s learning progress. He is reaping the bad consequences of his attitude. He sees it as ‘rejection’ in the family.

I believe parents are the chief partners in their children’s learning. Children learn more; work harder when they see their parent’s participation in their regular academic activities – both at home and in the classroom.

In a classroom situation, the accepting relation between a teacher and parent is not well defined. It would never grow as encouragingly trustful as to help both the child and the teacher.

On any given day in a classroom, we can see a continuous flow of communication between the children and the teacher. They both listen to one other all the time based on which they form a certain impression thereupon.

The same process of dialogue occurs between the parents and children in the evenings and weekends. During which parents have a good scope of inferring how his child is coming about.

We can see in the whole circle of communication the weakest link is between the parent and the teacher. In an academic year, the parent meeting the teacher may barely happen once a quarter. Or it may occur through newsletters or a few phone calls or emails or phone messages.

But the real dynamic of whatever is operating in the classrooms – the knowledge of it is never shared effectively to a parent.

It would be academically apt if parents’realize the importance of parent-teacher conferences.  We observe one significant unconscious aspect of teaching and learning in every child and every classroom situation. That every teacher is animate and active and is prone to ups and downs in their moods. And accordingly, the children tend to behave, learn and mature. This angle of interplay playing within the four walls is completely not visible to parents’.

For children learning in the classroom is a team effort. The three participants – the teachers and the children and the parents work for the same purpose. To provide them the best teaching experience for the child. Set to teach to help them to achieve.

Each member of the team has unique knowledge and understanding of what another member may not have. Each equipped with a distinct way of attitude with which he or she behaves in his surroundings.  Like the teacher in his class, the parent at home and children everywhere else. And no one individual can call shots in any one situation. The significance of this sort of good functional understanding of the three patterns of practices, if taken by the parents earnestly; it would certainly favor the emotional health of the child.

THE QUESTIONS PARENTS CAN ASK THE TEACHERS:

How is my child’s behavior in the class?

How does my child interact with you and his other classmates?

What is his behavior in the playground?

How often does he stand and ask to clarify a point?

What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?

What areas need improvement?

What are other areas of interests of my child?

Is he prompt, disciplined, organized in all his workings?

Children always need safe and nourishing places to improve and enlighten themselves. This can only be possible when there is a dialogue and exchange of information between the teachers, school administrators and the parents.

This collective can help the child in providing the comfort and security for a child to find his true energy and foster his inbuilt abilities.