Tuesday, April 9, 2013

HAWMC Day 9 - Caregiving

Today's prompt is to give advice or tips for caregivers. Here's my take on that.

April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you've been around for any amount of time, you probably know this is an issue I'm also passionate about. Here are a few of the posts I've written previously that address the topic: Breaking Point (a post about when the light went on for me about how "those people" can hurt their babies), 1 in 3 (my rant about the rape culture we live in), Explain it to me (discussing corporal punishment), and Senseless Violence Daily (a post just after the Newtown shooting, expressing the violence I see daily). These posts all, in addition to being a bit ranty on my part, also offer ideas of what you can do to prevent abuse and violence.

Also, here's another great resource that lists tons of things we can all do (as parents, as professionals who interact with children and families, and as agencies who provide services to children and families). Actually, they've got at least 90 different things we can do. I'm pretty sure that we can all find at least a few things to do this month (um, and onward) to support and protect children and families.

And that's my challenge to you this week - do something you don't normally do, something that perhaps is a bit out of your comfort zone, or just something you've been thinking about doing, but haven't for whatever reason, that will better the lives of children and families. That can be your children, children of someone you know, or unknown children. And I'll share with you later this month what I've decided to do (and hopefully been doing!!) to work to end child abuse on my end.

Today's Lesson: Child abuse is rampant in our society. It happens at all income levels, all educational levels, all parts of the country, all cultural subsections, all ages of children, all ages of caregivers, perpetrated by parents, by grandparents, by other relatives, and by non-related caregivers, at home, in public, in childcare centers. It manifests *as bruises, as bone fractures, as burns, as broken hearts, as broken spirits, as learning disabilities, as failure to gain weight appropriately, as failure to meet developmental milestones, and anger, as lashing out, as withdrawal into oneself, as eating disorders, as substance use.

Every time we turn a blind eye because it is uncomfortable to intervene in some way, we, too, have participated in the abuse of a child. Perhaps, in some ways, we are even more responsible, because we knew it was unacceptable, yet we chose to allow it to continue.

I believe with my whole heart that we are all responsible for ending abuse. And that we have the power and resources to do our part. The beauty of it is that none of us has to do it all. But we each have to do something. Tell me, what is your something?

*Please note, of course I'm not saying that abuse and neglect are always responsible for these things!

1 comment:

Em said...

Such an important post. Working in human services, I see these issues come up way too often. It's tough because while a lot of it is very black and white, there are also gray areas and times when it's hard (impossible) to know what's really going on because we aren't always in people's homes. Prevention really is key. Good for you for being a voice for kids...and parents too.