Child Neglect, just isn't about not feeding your child....

United States
March 3, 2009 7:19pm CST
Child neglect just isn't about not feeding your child or providing your child with the basic needs. It goes beyond that. Today on Oprah the show was on neglected children who hadn't received direct attention from the parents. The one child who was now with a new family was not removed until she was much older and even at the age of 10 years, her mind was still that of an 18 month child. It was the saddest thing I've seen today. It brought up a good point though, neglect comes in many forms and none more damaging then that of no attention. It's funny how you will hear parents say "They just did that for attention" all of the time not even realizing that their child deserves their attention. Parking your child in front of the television, letting them play alone all day, or what have you is a form of child neglect. Meaning, it really is child abuse. In what ways do you spend time with your child? How do you avoid the temptation to use the television as a substitute? Do you feel you've been neglectful at times? How did you change? Do you feel that this type of child abuse needs to be punished? How so and what fits the crime? How do we change as a nation? I know for myself, I've found at times that even I struggle with the balance of writing my master thesis, communicating online with friends, writing up my articles for publication, and raising a family, as well as being a wife. However, it seems that using my planner has helped me the most. I have a set pattern each day that I follow (with flexibility of course lol). I try to make sure that when the children are up that I'm spending one-on-one time or that their dad is with them if I do have to do something, like clean. Though, I've found that most of the time I have tag-a-longs so it makes for a close time even if I am cleaning. Though, by direct attention, I try to get down on my children's eye level, cuddle, and look at them directly when they are speaking with me. I try to do what I can to show them my love, and also help them develop empathy-something that even this show pointed out is diminishing in our country because of this type of neglect. I'm not a perfect mother by any means, but I am an aware mother who knows that being a parent comes first. Namaste-Anora
3 responses
@stacyv81 (5906)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I agree, I have always said give them attention the first time they ask or before they ask, and they wont act out "for attention"....ya know? I think that your childs basic needs go beyond food, shelter, etc...It also means emotional needs, and mental needs as well. They need to feel safe, loved & they need a relationship with their parents, it isnt enough to be physically there, you need to actually be there for them in every way!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 09
You said it very well Stacy, if we gave them the attention they wouldn't be acting out. Parenting is definately one tough job, and I think that it's not really for everyone. I wish we'd provide more parenting classes in high school so that students could learn just what it is like, what it involves, and perhaps make more informed decisions. Blessings-Anora
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Dear Anora - It was much easier when he was very little but I still try to do something with my son called squeeze and sniff... I love squeezing him and sniffing his cheeks and he laughs and laughs... I love the baby smell! Although my husband and I both work full time we spend every other minute with him. He is something of an independent little guy right now - I don't know why. Sometimes he'd rather play in his play pen rather than sit with mom and dad. But we touch him as much as possible. We sing and read to him every day. I actually saw a documentary on an orphanage in Russia years ago. The nurses said that the children were developmentally disabled because they were not touched all the time and that the nurses tried to touch each child at least once a day. I found that very sad and it strongly influenced my behavior towards the children in my own family.
• United States
5 Mar 09
Deejean- Thanks for sharing! Yes, I agree touch is so very important. Our little guy likes to play by himself at times too, so I let him. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Anora
@biwasaki (1746)
• United States
4 Mar 09
I agree with you on this...child abuse comes in many forms. Working full-time, having a family, and still being able to do things that I want to do is a fine balance. Luckily, I am able to work at home, and my work schedule is flexible enough that I can rearrange it as needed. I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to be able to do this, so I am thankful that it works out for me. As much as possible, I try not to let the kids watch too much t.v. If there is something that I need to do, I try to include them (picking up around the house, cooking dinner, etc.). If that's not possible, then hubby will get involved and try to keep them entertained for a while. I think every parent has felt neglectful at one point or another, perhaps feeling like they could have done more; but we do the best that we can and hope that we are doing the right thing by our kids.
• United States
4 Mar 09
Biwasaki- Thank you for responding. I agree, we've all felt this and I think that because we've acknowledged it, we can work to become even better parents. Hopefully we can educate newer parents on this though and perhaps in generations to come we'll see less and less of it. I try to limit television too, but there are times where we just sit down together and enjoy shows like It's a Big World, Curious George, etc. Namaste-Anora