Sexual abuse has affected millions of children throughout the world. Child sexual abuse is defined as: An adult using a child for sexual purposes. This can be in the form of child pornography, submitting children to look at pornography, fondling, touching, kissing, sodomy, exposing oneself to a child, rape, oral sex, intercourse, or having the child touch the adult. All children will react differently to this type of trauma. There is no one single identifiable sign or symptom that all children will have. They may have very subtle symptoms or they may have very pronounced symptoms. I have gathered a list of symptoms that children of sexual abuse are often seen to have.
Bedwetting (after being potty trained)
Waking up in the night screaming, nightmares or other sleeping problems
Showing an unusual fear of certain people, places or things
A reluctance to be with a certain person
Loss of appetite or trouble eating
Fear of the bathroom
Mood changes, anger outbursts or withdrawal or fear
Becomes worried when clothing is removed
Wearing layers of clothing
Age inappropriate knowledge of sex
Imitating sexual acts with other children or toys, such as dolls
Withdrawing from activities they used to be involved in
Difficulty walking or sitting
Complains of pain with urination or bowel movement
Bleeding from the genital area or anus
Lowered self esteem
Symptoms of PTSD such as panic attacks
Regression of behavior
Having new words for private body parts
These are all symptoms of child sexual abuse. One common feeling I have found in working with children and adolescents, is guilt. Children usually feel guilt over the abuse that occurred. It is important to remember that under no circumstance is a child ever responsible for what happened to them. It is crucial that “re- victimization” does not happen. Some ways a child can be re- victimized is by saying to the child:
“Uncle Joey, or Grandpa Bob would never do that to you, why are you lying?”
“It couldn’t of been that bad, or you would have told me sooner”
Child sexual abuse victims usually carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives. Some children as they begin to get older will start using drugs, get into relationships with others who are abusive, see themselves as “damaged goods” and begin acting out sexually. Engage is self mutilation, such as cutting behaviors. Some children gain weight or don’t take care of themselves so they look “unattractive” to others.
There is hope. Finding the proper treatment for past trauma can be influential on how they cope with this as an adult. Rape crisis centers are usually available in most states. There is also a national rape crisis center. They are a full service agency that addresses prevention, education, crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy. They work with both children and adults. There is also a 24 hour hotline available at the national rape crisis center, for parents or victims of sexual abuse.
About the Author
Wendy McLellan is a licensed mental health and substance abuse counselor, with more than sixteen years of experience. She has recently devoted time to the efforts of http://www.safecomputerkids.com in their goal to provide parental internet safety tools and resources to the public.
Do you spend much time considering the issue of family entertainment? When parents compare notes and questions about parenting, the issue of entertainment rarely comes up. After all, how can family fun compare with such important issues as health, safety, values, nutrition, and education? But family fun is an important issue for parents for three reasons.
First, it is important to remember that family bonds are not born in the delivery room. Family bonds have to be forged and strengthened over time. Family fun is a great way to build family bonds by spending time together. While you cannot plan an activity specifically just to create a better relationship with your children you can improve your relationship through a family fun activity.
Second, the best way to teach your children something new or help them master a new skill is through fun. No one, and especially not kids, likes learning by listening to a boring lecture but if you can take your children to a location that allows you to teach them something about science, history, or the world then you will be increasing their knowledge based. Fun can be educational as well as entertaining. Remember, that there are all kinds of fun scientific concepts as well as world knowledge that can be learned outside of museums.
Family fun activities are also important for building those lasting memories of their childhood that children will carry into adulthood and out of your home. What stories do you want your children to be able to tell their children? What memories do you want your children to have? Happy childhood memories can help children with self esteem and overcome challenges in the future. Giving your children those happy childhood memories will help provide a solid foundation to become the people you want them to be as adults.
Spending time, energy and money focusing on family fun activities is a worthwhile activity for every parent because it helps strengthen family bonds, provides opportunities for learning, and creates lasting memories. Keep that in mind the next time you decide family entertainment is not a high priority.
About the Author
Deanna Mascle shares more Family Fun Activities and Family Entertainment Tips at http://familyfunforyou.com
Children can teach adults a thing or two. If you just take a moment and observe a child's mannerisms, you will see some surprising things in their personalities that would make you wish, "Where did those days go when I was a kid?" Followed by childhood memories that made you smile. Whether it was your favorite toy, place to go, or the warm feeling you get when you smell a certain food or listen to a song, it's moments like those that you will cherish forever. Yet, what if you could learn from those moments through the children you watch interacting today? Make some adjustment to a life you may not be too happy with these days. What possibly could a child teach an adult? In this article you will find 13 things that you may want to add to your own personality and change the way you do things.
Smile even when everyone around you isn't. People can sometimes represent a mirror that you just don't want to view in public. Take a moment to look at the person walking past you; the grimace that is on their face may be reflective of the grimace that is on yours. A child's smile will make you smile back.
Say "Hi" to the people you come in contact with no matter what they look like or what mood they appear to be in. You don't have to look at someone to say, hello, although you should. However, sometimes a nice "Hi or Hello" can help the angriest person get out of an ugly mood. Children who are joyous don't care how ugly you may feel. When they are in a good mood, they want the world to know about it. So very young children will say, "Hi" and keep saying it until you say something and then they continue exercising their one or two word vocabulary "bye, bye!"
Be kind to nice people and ignore the mean ones. Sometimes children experience a negative feeling when certain people come around them and they will scream their heads off. Then when someone comes around they truly like, they will positively interact with them. When you know that you have attempted to be respectful to a mean person and they choose to grunt, swear, or ignore you, don't challenge them. Rather, look for a nice person and give them an extra dose of kindness.
Cry without shame. Sometimes the emotion is too great to keep in and children will let a tear fall in an unlikely place. When you feel as if you are busting out of your seams, take a moment out of your life and just let go. Whether you have happy or sad tears, let them go.
Laugh loud! Not only at what most people would laugh about, but even the things you find funny no matter how corny, gross, silly, etc.
Tell someone you trust about something new you had learned. For example, children will share their excitement about learning new things such as "I can say my ABCs and I know how to tie my shoe." Let someone know how proud you are of your accomplishments.
Show someone your pictures. Whether it was one you drew, photographed, or bought, show and tell never goes out of style. Even if your friends aren't impressed, so what! Do most children stop being creative because someone called their picture ugly?
Speak up when someone does or says something you don't like. Children will be direct about how they feel and sometimes demand that their needs are met. Don't always feel the need to hide how you feel. Since you have the advantage of knowing when is the right time to express how you feel about an issue, do it. Lying or sugarcoating your feelings will do more harm than good.
Protect your brother or sister. It isn't often that you will find someone who will show loyalty. In order to have a loyal relative or friend, you will have to first show that you are loyal. Like the little boy who stuck his hand out in front of his brother, when a stranger attempted to touch his little brother's hand, you may have to do the same one day for your brother or sister.
When you play...play hard. If you are going to bother to take a vacation, why not do it in style? Going out to eat? Enjoy the meal without cell phones. Going to the game? Yell, eat, drink and be merry! Attending a conference, meet and greet as many people as you can! Children know how to have a good time. Jumping, singing, dancing, yelling, playing games, you name it, they come to a party to have a good time.
It's okay to be a picky eater (sometimes.) You may not like a certain food or drink. Don't eat or drink it, because everyone else tells you it's good for you. Find something that is the equivalent to it. Children won't let anything touch their lips that they aren't sure of and you shouldn't either. "What is this stuff?"
Say, "I love you" to the people you care about. Children who are taught to say, "I love you." Will say it even when you don't deserve it. Don't let another day go by without sharing a little love with those you care about.
Always say, "Please" and "Thank you." Sometimes more than once, nice and loud so everyone around you can hear will do.
Although this article may have been a tad entertaining, the messages are serious. Do make an impact on yourself and someone you love by learning a few things from a child. Become a better you, by protecting, loving, and learning from the inner child within you.
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