Is Your Child at Risk?
Abuse can happen even in families that appear to be holding it together, and leading
normal healthy lives. It is important to understand the difference between discipline and abuse. And it is absolutely
crucial to be clear about when you have crossed the line.
There are many factors that make it more likely child abuse will occur in a family:
- Domestic violence. It is terrifying for a child to witness domestic
violence – and this itself constitutes child abuse. The situation harms the children
even when the mother is doing her best to protect them from it.
- Untreated mental illness. A parent who is mentally ill or one who
has been traumatized may be distant and withdrawn from his or her children, or quick
to anger without understanding why. Such parents have a hard time taking care of
themselves, much less their children. Treatment for the caregiver means better care
for the children.
- Lack of parenting skills. Some parents never really learned the
basics of how to be a good parent. This might be because they were raised in an
unhealthy family themselves, or are uneducated about what it takes to parent. In
such cases, parenting classes, therapy, and caregiver support groups are great resources
[link] for learning better parenting skills.
- Stress and lack of support. Parenting can be a tough job, especially
if you don’t have enough support, or you have relationship or financial problems.
If your child has special needs, a disability, or difficult behaviors it is even
more challenging. It’s important to get the support you need, so you are emotionally
and physically able to support your child.
- Alcohol and drug abuse. Parents who are drunk or high are unable
to care properly for their children. Their ability to make good parenting decisions
is impaired, as is their ability to control often-dangerous impulses.
If any of these factors apply to your situation, realize that with the help of Allah,
the situation can change for the better. “Allah will not change the condition of
a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Qur’an: 13:11) And He is the
Forbearing, the Turner of Hearts, the Forgiving.