Did you know that almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse? Did you know that child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education? Did you know that children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime?

I shared these statistics with you because I wanted to stress the fact that such environments produce stressed children. These types of children react to their environment in different ways, and reactions can vary depending on the child’s gender and age. Children exposed to family violence of any sort are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and or behavioral problems than those who are not. Recent research indicates that children who witness domestic violence show more anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than children who do not witness violence in the home. The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that effect their development and can continue into adulthood. 

Sadly many children find themselves being abused, living in an abusive home, and or neglected. You may know someone or this person may have been you. Our children face these children every day in school and most of the time they look like one another. They play rope, kickball, and hide and go seek together. There is no physical difference between them. However, emotionally they are very different. Being abused, neglected or living in a violent home are some of the things children face every day. Parents or adults that come in contact with these children wonder why the children behave the way they do. Almost all the time there is an underlying reason. Children are not “bad” because they want to be. They live what they learn. I recall a comment someone made about a 4 year old little girl. The person said, “She is so bad, she’s well known at the daycare because of her behavior.” I reminded that person that this little 4 year old girl witnesses domestic violence in her home on a daily basis. This could be one of the reasons why she behaves negatively.

There is almost always an underlying reason or reasons why children and teens conduct themselves the way they do. Before you pre-judge a book by its cover think to yourself, what’s really going on with this child? I remember growing up and being told I shouldn’t play with certain children in my neighborhood. Looking back they all had issues inside their homes. When I say issues I’m not talking about every day issues children and teens face. They were dealing with domestic violence, neglect, and low self-esteem that came from their mother always putting them down among others. And this is why they conducted themselves the way they did. We have to pray for and with our children every day before they walk out of the door. You never know what they encounter on a daily basis. I admonish you to take it a step further and pray for the children in your community, neighborhood, and all over the world. You often hear “children are our future”, I beg to differ, and will say children are our today. Children are impacted and influenced by their environments whether they are negative or positive. They live what they learn.

Below you will find a list of signs that may indicate that a child is being abused, neglected, or witnessing violence in the home. Please pay close attention and reach out to the child if you notice any of these signs. You could save a life.

Behavioral

  • Acting out or withdrawing.
  • Aggressive or passive.
  • Refusing to go to school.
  • Care taking; acting as a parent substitute.
  • Lying to avoid confrontation.
  • Rigid defenses.
  • Excessive attention seeking.
  • Bedwetting and nightmares.
  • Out of control behavior.
  • Reduced intellectual competency.
  • Manipulation, dependency, mood swings.

Social

  • Isolation from friends and relatives.
  • Stormy relationships.
  • Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.
  • Poor anger management and problem solving skills.
  • Excessive social involvement to avoid home.
  • Passivity with peers or bullying.
  • Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.

Physical

  • Somatic complaints, headaches and stomachaches.
  • Nervous, anxious, short attention span.
  • Tired and lethargic.
  • Frequently ill.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Regression in development.
  • High risk play.
  • Self abuse

 

I hope this article helps us to seek to understand why some children are acting out. They may be crying for help.

Elaine Broaster-White is the mother of three wonderful, intelligent children and the wife of the most perfect husband, whose absolutely perfect for her. But most importantly she is a child of the King, the most High God, Jesus Christ. She is studying to get her degree in Social Work so she can help those without a voice and continue to be an eve stronger force in her community.

© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

25 comments on “If You Only Knew by Elaine Broaster-White”

  1. Yes, I do pass judgment on problem children. I dont think about it in that way, I just see what effect I perceive them to have on my children. I dont think they may have one of those moms that I hear all the time. 🙁 consider me checked! Thank you.

  2. If she can comfortably say that in public she is doing that and potentially more in private! I do know this occurs on every level and is also a reason for why this society is degenerating. We abandoned our values, manners, and etiquette.

  3. @Wakeelah—I totally understand where you’re coming from though because we do so much to protect our children and make sure they have a good upbringing and sometimes assume that other parents are doing the same. But most times, they are not. I feel for these kids who have to be adults at home and are being neglected because they are only kids and don’t know how to respond to what they are going through most times. Some of them act out and some of them suffer silently. I’m not going to lie, back in the day, we always teased the smelly kid with nappy hair and dirty clothes. They were an easy target. But I’ve learned that those kids were going through alot at home and couldn’t help if their mom smoked up all the money for food to support her crack habit and that was why they were hungry. If the mother couldn’t afford the food, we know she didn’t give a second thought to clothing. I really appreciate this article because it opened my eyes, too. We never know so all we can do is pray for kids.

  4. Someone asked me to post a question relative to (child)abuse a few days ago. Basically the father beats on the mother who in turn tells their kids she F’n hates them. Horrible. She(person who asked me to post it) was a neighbor inquiring on what’s the best C.O.A.

  5. @DuClair—Interesting that you post this because I recall doing a research paper in college that stated that when men are oppressed, depressed, or angry, they take it out on the women who take it out on the children. That always made me wonder. Think about the woman who just killed herself and the kids by driving into the river in NY a few weeks back. I would think that that situation would fall under this category. I mean, why didn’t she just take it out on the man or herself? I guess that’s not fair to judge her like that since I didn’t know her. But it fits into this discussion. I would tell the neighbor to contact child protective services. She’ll need proof because in some cases, if the kids recant their statements or deny the allegations, there isn’t much the authorities can do. That’s crazy, isn’t it? What have you advice her to do?

  6. Yeah I live out here in nyc. Very sad and since you brought it up. As far as I know he abused her emotionally and wouldn’t show love to all of his kids but 1. The 1 child that she didn’t kill…makes you think. Umm, at 1st no one knew how to answer the post but the general consensus was CPS. The cops would get calls, come over, and she’d lie to protect him. Smh

  7. Sometimes I think that a lot of parents don’t know how to give love & grew up in a home where abused occurred…they don’t know how to be parents or return the love since it was never given & they don’t know how to give it back…its sad that the cycle goes that way but it has to stop somewhere…just like my husband mom…she don’t believe in love & she has trust issues & my husband is the same way he loves me dearly but things his mom has done to him in the past comes up in our marriage…we have been together for 6 yrs & I never once heard her tell her son I love you or even gave him a hug my heart really goes out to him that he don’t has a loving relationship with his mother!

  8. @Tranquility—My father didn’t have a loving relationship with his mother either—at least not in the way he wanted her to show him. He also struggled with this for many years and it played out negatively in his life. His still made his own decisions, but their relationship played a role. It’s sad that the cycle continues. I guess people do unto others what was done unto to them instead of what they’d like others to do unto them. That’s deep. I would have patience with your husband, as I know you are because you know where his behaviors come from. It’s hard to break cycles, especially when you think they are ok, although they don’t feel good simply because they are what you’ve known for so long.

  9. @DuClair—that’s deep about the only surviving kid because that child was not his biological child. I also read something where that father had the 2 year old wandering the streets half naked with his pants down to his ankles at 1AM the night of the Superbowl. He was with another woman and they allegedly went out to the corner store. IDK.. The mother got a restraining order against him and the 2 year old boy. That broke my heart. I have a 2 year old and I would die if he was wandering outside late at night. Emotional abuse is no joke. If this grown woman responded this way, imagine how a kid would respond to severe emotional abuse…

  10. I would’ve asked her not to talk like that to the child. It is abuse! Years ago I saw a mother punch her 2 or 3 year old son because he was crying. I asked her “how would u like someone punching u in ur head?” To keep it brief she broke down saying he’s a hand full. We spoke on it & I encouraged her to get training on toddlers. Surprisingly she did!!! Remember, a child can’t defend itself! Someone has to step in!

  11. No I don’t Judge those Kids. Iam Old School. I DO Look At The Moms. I Can And have Saw The Different. I have Heard A Child Say Some Ugly Words. And I Say that is Not Nice and don’t you See me. That Child would Say ok or Iam Sorry. Those are the kids that has hard working Mom. Now it is the One who say F You lady! You Can’t Tell me Nothing Iam Not Your Child. That Is A Child that See and Hear Any and Everything at HOME! I really Feel For Them. But that is Me.

  12. @Gene—I think you did a wonderful thing by stepping in. I try not to judge mothers, especially since I’m a mother because our kids can be a handful. There’s nothing more irritating and frustrating than repeating yourself over and over again. You tell your kids not to do this or that for their protection and they don’t listen anyway. It can be tough being a parent so I try not to judge. But, honestly, there was no way i was going to reprimand that mother for cursing at her kid. Believe it or not, she caught me staring at her and she dropped her head. I think she felt bad afterwards.

  13. problem kids or abuse kids goes both way. not only r they the target 4 being bullied, most of the time they r the bullies. cuz they no their home life is not good so they pick on the weaker classmate to make them feel good. i don’t pass judgement on them, if i see a kid picking or being pick on, i tell them that not nice & ask them y, or do u need someone to talk too.

  14. OK Shay as a owner of my own Day care business. I can relate to this. This behavior is not accepted at my day care school. We must be mindful of what we say or do around children. My Day care slogan is where we are what we teach. Words are powerful.

  15. All, I appreciate you for reading the article. I can see it has been eye opening for all of us to say the least. You just never know what children encounter on a daily basis. Parents are getting younger and younger. Many of them are uneducated and unfocused on their children. Truly it does take a village to raise children but when you have disrespectul children and parents that dont want you in their business a caring person is reluctant to speak up. Most importantly pray for our children, all children whether theyre yours or your neighbors.

  16. Elaine, you hit the nailon the head “Parents are getting younger and younger. Many of them are uneducated and unfocused on their children.” OMG! This is really scary! This is truly reflecting in our chidlren! Thanks for writing this article, cuz! Love ya!

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