The topic that I’m writing today is extremely crucial, critical, sensitive and provocative. No, it’s NOT rape, perhaps more serious and shameful than that – it’s ‘CHILD ABUSE’. Majority of the parents in India thankfully know this term these days but, are afraid to handle these devilish marks on their kids’ delicate souls. They are confused where to start from.
My appeal – YOU are your kid’s parent, and only YOU know how to caress your child after such a horrible incident. Never ‘Shush’ them, never leave them alone no matter what, listen to them NOT just hear, never BLAME them, don’t discuss anything with their friends or your friends or relatives because it’s just a story for everybody; and the truth is no one will help you in this matter.
Let’s get into the details…
I know India has progressed much as compared to the time when I was in my schooldays. However, everything comes with lesser good and more of bad in its developmental stage and unfortunately so is progress too. Sigh! The technology, particularly the internet, has granted an access to all the possible and unimaginable risks and danger to the kids. If you think you’re smart, your kids are smarter. They know how to break the password and get into pornography. On the contrary, the victimizers too have an easy and quick access to infinite ideas for pursuing their bad intentions by merely clicking few buttons. But…
Uh-Oh! There’s something wrong in what I just said…
Wait a minute, I’d like to contradict self by saying that rapes, child abuse in the name of ‘child marriage’ (still practiced in the remote areas), ‘Sati Pratha’ (a gruesome practice carried during the 19th and 20th centuries in India in which a Hindu widow was immolated on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband), prostitution, kidnapping, molestation, and sexual harassment were all heart-rending parts of human life in the earlier times too… Yes, I’m talking about the pre-tech era with no access to internet and stuff. So, what’s new that we are talking about today? Gosh! The only difference is that these horrible incidents have also attained progress and success to a larger extent.
What’s the point?
The point is our ‘moral values – the humanity within’ that were never in the limelight during the earlier times and even today. Everybody, ever since the evolution, ran after something that never lasts for a long time. Yes, with this I mean money, power, strength, beauty, job, lust, relationship, sex, education, satisfaction, change, etc. The only element that dies with you is the way you are raised by your family.
Can you help change everyone – is that what I mean?
Absolutely not! It’s an impractical thought and technically impossible to have a perfect world. However, we can always hope for the best and as a woman, I can ensure imparting moral values and humanly traits to the kids in my family. That would hopefully make a little difference at least when they grow up.
Few things I keep telling all the boys in my family:
- Respect even a prostitute, come what may! (You may never know what is her painful history)
- Respect all the women you don’t know
- Respect all the women you know
- Keep away from unsocial elements in our society
- Keep away from flattering relatives and pestering guests
- Do NOT allow anybody to touch your body unless you know the touch or the feeling
- Do NOT touch your girlfriend without her consent
- Keep away from lusty women. Even they can trick you!
- Report any touch you disliked to your mother or father
- Understand your own body parts and feel them to understand the difference (age-restricted conversation)
- Help a woman in need even if it calls for risking your life OR call for some help for her in case the situation is totally out of control – Be Proactive!
And yes, there may still be ‘n’ number of things I keep discussing with them from time to time. It goes without saying that every statement needs to study and match the age of boys.
Do I mean that only boys or men are victimizers?
I know I sounded biased when I wrote those points but, the harsh fact is there’s been a rapid increase in the women victimizers too.
My rendezvous with the girls:
- Avoid hugging every one you meet (including women)
- Never be alone with any of your relatives
- Respect good men; respect their privacy
- Minimize your tantrums and fantasies
- Do dream of a fairy-tale world but, be parallel to the reality unknown
- Stop exciting them with your womanly attributes
- Don’t blame yourself ever. It was NEVER your fault!
- It’s NOT always about strangers… Be careful of your friends too!
- Try understanding the touch and SPEAK out immediately upon any discomfort
- Use ‘Zero Tolerance’ for any such undesirable incident
- Report any uncomfortable scene or incident involving any other kid(s) to your family immediately
- Don’t fall for any threat; it is mostly pointless!
- Understand your own body parts and feel them to understand the difference (this rendezvous is age-restricted)
- Avoid sitting on anyone’s lap; avoid kissing everyone you meet (it’s the same for boys too)
And the list goes on…
FEW THINGS THAT CAN HELP YOU FACE THE CHALLENGES WHILE DEALING WITH A CHILD ABUSE CASE:
- NEVER trust anyone – Check where the hands of relatives or friends are placed while the kids are seated on their laps. Ensure that both their hands are visible and the person is not making any irregular body movements.
- Call the kids out and/or distract them immediately the moment you sense something wrong. Now this calls for enough smartness from you as a parent 😊
- Try to find out why your kids are so fond of that one person – Be it a man or woman.
- If the kid doesn’t remember anything, NEVER push her/him hard; this will further worsen the situation. You really need to play pretty tactful.
- If the kid is narrating any incident, use active listening and closed question techniques. Remember, the kid wants to vent out her/his frustration. Let her/him SPEAK and you nest for that while with your ears open.
- In today’s busy life, it’s practically impossible to keep a constant eye on your kids. Hidden cameras would help to a larger extent! (Don’t forget to place one in the guest-room)
- Stop blaming each other as parents as each pays an equal or perhaps more attention to the kids. May be you just need to sit together peacefully and find out ways to get your kids out of that situation. (Remember, it’s a horrible world outside so stop passing the hat!)
- If the child finds it difficult to narrate any incident to you, immediately take her/him to a child psychologist. (Believe me, this has helped many)
- NEVER blame your child. It was NEVER her/his fault. Those are just cute little angels who must have fallen in the alluring devilish traps of the victimizers.
- Stop piling up advice and warning to your child(ren). This may worsen the situation further and your kids will only retaliate for sure.
- NEVER hype about this incident in front of your kid but, at the same time, take every word your kid said seriously.
- NEVER discuss any action plan or anything related to the incident in front of your kid. You are simply scratching her/his painful area. STOP RIGHT THERE!
- Succumb to your child’s mood swings. Remember, she/he is a victim who has been through those horrendous episodes. You need to give them a lot of time. PATIENCE – is the ONLY way out for you!
- Divert her/his attention from that incident as soon as possible. It is very important that you erase the incident from the memory box of your kid to avoid extreme rigidity later in her/his personality. This will definitely take extra time so, never give up. Keep the faith and you’ll eventually see everything falling in place.
- A travel plan is always a better idea. Sometimes, a required change in the location may help changing the perception toward life. Forget about everything that you’re totally engrossed in and take a break. Here’s where you need to change your priorities – from career to your kids.
- Just give them a tight hug – all they need is love and caress at this hour!
Remember, such horrible incidents not only affect the psyche of a child but, destroy her/his inner peace and shatter her/his personality totally. ‘Child Abuse’ transforms the victimized kid to a grown-up rapist, sex-addict or sex-hater, and a psychologically impaired adult. It’s not about what to do this time but, how to do it… Only patience and perseverance can restore your child’s innocence and drive her/him back to normality.
I wish all those parents who are struggling with these painful incidents the very best in life! May your kids have beautiful childhood memories.