Child abuse is a very serious and controversial issue that is escalating in today's
society. As we look back to the 1940's and 1950's, it was almost unheard of to let
anyone outside of your immediate family know anything about your personal life. Every
family was thought to be, or shown to the general public to be, the "perfect family".
Some schools had the authority to punish a child by either spanking them with a paddle
or hitting their knuckles with a ruler. Child abuse is one of the leading causes of
childhood deaths in this nation. Statistics show "every 4 seconds a child is abused and
every 7 minutes a child's life is lost" (Neglect 1).
We as a society need to work together to try to think of alternative ways of
disciplining our children. A child is a gift from God and should be treated as such. I do
understand that with the hectic life styles of today's society, sometimes it just seems like
life is a struggle and just too much. Spanking a child as corrective action is one thing, but
beating a child, ripping his or her hair out, locking him or her in a closet, or verbally
abusing a child is unacceptable. One solution we can consider is taking something of
value away from the child, the child may consider this a worse punishment than taking a
In the year 2000, three million referrals came into the Child Protective
Services agencies in the United States to research the chance of child abuse
(Bureau 1). Constantly beating a child can cause immediate memory loss and/or
brain damage. In some cases, severe emotional damages may not surface until a child
reaches adolescence. An adult that has been abused may have difficulty establishing
healthy intimate relationships and may be at a higher risk for depression, substance
abuse, anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares.
We can look at the recent event that is shocking the nation. As I looked at the late
breaking news on the of Madelyne Gorman Toogood who was video taped after
repeatedly slapping, and punching her daughter Martha as she placed her into her car
seat. I felt sick to my stomach. I remember the words as I watched the interview on Mrs.
Toogood. She stated, "Martha was just being Martha, she was pulling the barbies off the
shelves and hiding from me. Martha didn't deserve what she got, I just lost my
temper" (Taped Beating 1). It is a scary thought that someone could bring himself or
herself to beat a child in this manner.
I would encourage you to think about the following question. If the roles were
reversed, would the abuser find it acceptable to be beaten upon? Parents who are
committing these crimes need to think of that tiny, innocent child in the mother's womb,
so innocent and pure.
There are many places a parent can go to get help with parenting issues. The
internet is a good source to research parenting issues. The internet has numerous topics
that may help in learning how do deal with conflict situations and gives advice on
different issues, such as substance abuse, driving, school, allowance, chores, and
working. We need to take action on child abuse issues and help parents find ways of
controlling his or her emotions or tempers. If parents do not learn to control themselves,
the future might not be a place where a child is safe to come into this world.
Another solution I have found which seems to be the best bet so far with pre-teens.
is found on the Kids Contract website. There are 9 simple fill in the blank agreements
you can make with your child about a wide variety of issues. These contracts are in a
simple easy to understand language and give the child, in writing, the consequences
of their actions if they do not follow the guidelines of the agreement (Kids 1).
I am aware that there is a need for discipline in a child's...
Cited: Child Neglect. CAWSCORP, Inc. 1997: page 1
Children 's Bureau Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Page 1. April 2002.
Kids Contracts. Page 1. Sept 2002.
Lawyer Says Mother Won 't Fight Charges in Taped Beating. Page 1. Sept 2002.
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