Children are like African violets. (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.) They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted. Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of. Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.
As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support. When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant. The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.
Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child. Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.
Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction? Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.
Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another, This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling. This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.
The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling. Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive
Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases). Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.
Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right. The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought. They often cost more time than money. First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.
Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support. A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian. The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!
Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored. “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed. Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.
Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children. Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost. Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well. The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.
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For example, when I want to ask a man a quick question while he is watching TV or on the phone, I am told to wait a minute which never comes. If I am doing something, a man expects that I should interrupt what I am doing tell him the information that he wants to know which usually also involves that I stop what I am doing and do it for him. However, I am expected to multitask and to not forget what I was doing or going to do to take care of something for him.
Another example, men have goals and aspirations that can take a good part of their time and of their disposable? income. Or else they think to themselves, what else am I working for? Women work to contribute to the family income and also to pay the childcare costs so they can work to do this. Certain hobbies and their accompanying expenses are considered necessary “man” things to do. Women like to look nice and to have a nice place to live which is not as important to men.
Women risk their lives and their health in order to reproduce while men usually think it is no big deal. Even if a woman chooses not to reproduce, it is still her responsibility. Also often there are men who like to have unprotected sex and who often do not see reproduction as their responsibility. Birth control and a woman’s menstrual cycle usually are two things women have to take care of and suffer from. Men often think that these are things a man does not have to be concerned about.
Also having children can create a great big stress on a woman’s body and under certain circumstances can kill a woman. Any woman who has been pregnant more than once including stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as live births, can tell you that they can all be different. Even I who had three children late in life seemingly uneventfully can tell that you that I could have lost my third child during birth and I didn’t know this til after she was born.
Some women don’t want to bother with being pregnant but still have to deal with mixed feelings about having an abortion and the often dangerous lack of skilled care at abortion clinics. On the man’s side is the possibility that when an abortion is involved, he may still want the child if the woman doesn’t!
Sometimes I think that some men can become so attached to their ideas and accomplishments that they can’t accept the idea that their ideas may no longer work with new discoveries being found and can stand in the way of necessary progress. Academia reinforces this with its publish or perish mandates necessary to obtain tenure. Women are more flexible and more able to see different points of view. Relationships for women are more important for women and often make up for the fact that they are less attached to a job or position or a theory.
Children are our most precious resource. Don’t waste them. This subject is worth repeating. They need love and affection to thrive. Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have. Nor should they lack support. Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry. These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer. For some kids, all the food they get is in school. How can one study and learn when they are hungry? Security and safety are another need. Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime. Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too.
Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people, the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong. History is a necessary part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes. Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.
Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture. Those who take on the responsibility of providing for their or other children’s needs. Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this. Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind. Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights. Custody determinations often forget this. I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases. Yuck!!! Children are not property!
Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance. Even though others say it is for your own good, sometimes it isn’t.
Reality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.
Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways. Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.
How hard is it for a person to change his or her mind? This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table. Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box. Many inventions were created this way.
Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not. Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures. What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?
There are some things a woman should look out for when establishing a new relationship with a man. Don’t believe that his last girlfriend or wife deserved to be labeled as the “bad” one in the relationship. Be careful if either you or he came from a family where violence was common or accepted if a woman or child did not do the right thing according to the man of the house. Be aware too that men or women can come from families where violence was common among the women of the family.
There is no real excuse for violence. When anger is considered “justified” because the person who is angry thinks that someone or something made him or her feel that way and that is enough to justify acting it out. This can lead to a very explosive situation. Add alcohol to this in some people and the situation becomes even worse.
Being the only man in the family, besides my elderly grandfather, my dad was called upon to “handle” his brother-in-law when he was in an alcoholic rage in order to protect my mom’s crippled sister and kids. My dad had been quite an athlete in his youth but this did not always help when my uncle was threatening them with a butcher knife. Also, my younger brother was still at home and had to witness this. I don’t think Police usually made domestic violence calls back then.
Women and children and even some men are not punching bags and it can leave a strong impression on some children even if they themselves don’t get hurt. “Don’t hit him; hit me” was a brave statement made by a sister when her brother got hit, not her. How helpless does a child feel when they watch their sibling or parent get hurt on purpose when the other parent has a “mad fit” and takes it out on him or her?
The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they? When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them? The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.
Also, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse? Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless. Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.
Doing it to children is a heinous offense. They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it. Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too. “Monkey see; monkey do” Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.
It is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too. When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears. The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”
(No pictures were used in the context of this discussion of whether or not child abuse is actually rape; because any pictures used of children might be considered sexualized.)
In thinking about Child Sexual Abuse , I realized that we hardly ever talk about it as childhood rape. When a man has anal sex with a boy, what is he really doing? It surely is rape. When a man manipulates a girl’s sexual parts into to have an orgasm, is this really rape? When a woman initiates intercourse with a boy or adolescent male, isn’t she raping him? Having a girl touch her sexual parts (whether her own or the girl’s) in order to achieve sexual excitement and/or orgasm, do we consider that rape of a child by a woman.
For purposes of discussion here is the new FBI definition of rape: (https://www.fbi.gov/…/new-rape–definitio…) The new FBI Summary definition of Rape is: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” But how about rape by proxy?
My definition of rape for the purpose of this discussion consists of using an innocent victim in order to achieve orgasm or high levels of sexual arousal. If the child’s sexual feelings are aroused and/or the child actually comes to orgasm, the child is not considered old enough to give consent. Also, what adds to the heinousness of this behavior is that it is kept secret and hidden to avoid detection and create undeserved guilt in the child or adolescent. The latter is often why the victim often suffers in silence. Also, does the child or adolescent know what he or she is actually doing or that he or she is not responsible for this illicit behavior?
Could child pornography also be considered as rape by proxy? The offender self-stimulates himself or herself to orgasm using what is essentially an unwilling victim. When we don’t call it rape, we make it seem less harmful. It involves an adult using a child to come to orgasm without his or her consent. How are the children treated when these pictures are taken? If the children are encouraged to see the filming as a game, what happens when the children learn what they were used for?
Remember when you were not supposed to share your private parts with anyone, but a parent, or with someone else usually a medical person when your parents were present. Later you were told you could choose to share them when you were an adult; but not with someone you didn’t want to share them with.
Now we can view others’ private parts anywhere on the street, in magazines, on the internet, and in advertisements. It is hard to say, “No, I don’t want to look at that, I don’t want to see you that way, and if you are going to do that either you must leave or I will leave myself.”
It is still alright to feel icky and to refuse to view things that you don’t like. As a long-time psychologist, I thought I had seen everything and nothing surprised me or offended me. If viewing something does not have to be done in the line of duty, I still can say it is inappropriate and switch channels or walk away or if it is my space, tell someone to leave and possibly not to return.
Private parts are your personal possessions and they are there for your satisfaction and enjoyment. This can be spoiled when someone tries to use another person’s private parts for their satisfaction and enjoyment only and will say anything or do anything to make it happen.
Feelings can become detached from the event and the victim may not remember what happened. This is a form of self-defense and possibly a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This makes it difficult for the victim to bring up from inside him or herself what happened in order to digest it properly. This also can interfere with a person’s appropriate sexual development.
The victim has a large price to pay. What about the offender? Usually as long as he or she can do it, he or she will do it to more and more victims and in worse and worse ways. It could be called an addiction. It usually has to do with what an offender needs to do to get sexually excited and to reach orgasm. Like alcoholics need more and more alcohol, the offender takes more and more risks and does more and more damaging things to his or her victims. The frequency and intensity of the abuse also can increase.