by Shellie Spradlin
Many children who witness traumatizing acts are reluctant to speak about them. Some are threatened by adults, and some are simply embarrassed to admit what's going on at home. If you suspect violence in a child's home, contact a local social services office, school counselor or the local police department.
If the child does feel comfortable enough to talk do not pressure him or her to do so. Children will give only what they want you to know, any pushing may close them back up and support is truly what they need at this point. You could encourage a child to draw pictures and/or keep a journal. This allows a child to be free with his or her emotions without feeling obligated to show anyone.
Non-judgmental support, comfort and understanding are the most important things to offer children of abuse. Just being available to listen to their fears and anger helps to provide a sense of well being and caring that they do not receive at home. Most important is to reassure the child that he or she is not alone and not to blame for what’s going on at home.
The sad reality is that many adults that come from a violent background pass on their anger to those around them and it just continues from there. The more you do to instill in a child a sense of her own power and goodness, the better the chances that the child will break free from the cycle of violence and not perpetuate it on her own children.
Extend yourself, make yourself available and be a mentor to a child in need today. Someone like you made it possible for me to live a productive and meaningful life.
Shellie Spradlin is a long time Pregnancy.org contributor and beloved member. As mom to three beautiful girls, two boys and a 1995 angel baby, Shellie has experienced both the pains and discomforts of pregnancy along with the excitement and joys! Shellie resides with her family in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.
Copyright © Shellie Spradlin. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.