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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Don't hurt the children

Don't hurt the children


I was deeply engrossed in my work at the office, when a colleague of mine pulled me over for a brief moment and showed me a photo that she was smiling at. I could see the pride and joy in her eyes, as she pointed to two very healthy looking, handsome baby boys and said, "these are my boys". I shared in her joy, for it was obvious that she was very proud of her little bundles of joy.
That very evening, while watching the 7:00 news, can you image the pain I felt as I listened to how a couple out of Canada was being arrested for allegedly abusing their 10-year-old son, to the point where his fragile body gave up the ghost. What demons could possess a woman, a mother, a man, or a father for that matter, to abuse an innocent little child? I shudder at the thought of such cruelty, such sick behaviour, for indeed, some are sick and know it not.
Model: Bryanna Wright (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
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Let us pledge for God's sake, never to hurt the children. The list below highlights some don'ts with regards to children.
*Don't beat children in anger. Regardless of what the child has done, you do more harm than good to discipline the child in anger. Try to keep your cool and talk with the child when you are not angry. Make sure that the punishment is proportionate to the offence — that you give to the child punishment that matches the act that the child has committed.
*Don't use sharp instruments or inappropriate tools as rods of discipline. Learn what the best method of discipline is for your child. You are not too big to seek guidance. Every child is different, what works for your friend's child might not work for your child. If you have to administer disciple, make sure to do so with love.
*Don't be cruel. Never let the child go unkempt, hungry, cold, sick, uneducated, without immunisation, or without the basic necessities of life -- this is abuse. Before you do anything, ask yourself or even those around you if you are being just, or just cruel.
*Don't take out your frustrations on the children. If you are unhappy with what life has dealt you, do not let this push you to take out your frustrations on the children. If you feel stressed, unhappy, or unable to cope with life and the children, seek professional help, and ask for help with the children. This will be much easier than beating them to a pulp or taking your frustrations out on them.
*Don't shout: Shouting constitutes verbal abuse, keep your voice down. Children can hear and understand you if you use your normal tone to communicate.
In case you are asking why one woman could shower her child with so much love while another one beat hers to death, let me quickly remind you that people live what they learn. Spread the love around, treat the children well and please, don't hurt them.
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.