Lying sucks. There, I’ve said it. Parents can’t help but take it personally when their children, especially teenagers who are supposed to behave more “grown up”, lie to them. I know being lied to sucks, but try taking a moment to think about where the lie came from, WHY the lie happened in the first place. If you deal with the WHY and not the LIE you give your family the potential to avoid scenarios like this in the future. (more…)
With the recent increase in domestic violence #Trending I think that now is a good time to talk a little bit about TeenDV, or teen dating violence. (more…)
When I think about Sexual Abuse the first thing that comes to my mind is shame & abuse. For 2 years I worked with juvenile sex offenders in Arizona and almost every time the levels of shame or guilt were off the charts.
Real quick: I want to make sure everyone is on the same page here. Exposing youth to sexual situations or material is in fact sexually abusive, even if touching is not involved.
I know that we see nightly news feeds that terrorize us parents with all kind of threats to our children, but statistically this type of abuse is often perpetrated by relatives, friends & family. Sexual abuse is not limited to girls either. Studies suggest that sexual abuse among young men & boys often goes unchecked due to shame.
Shame and guilt in child sexual abuse.
Shame is a dark place that you don’t want your kids to go down. Feelings of shame & guilt can be very complex and will manifest themselves in different ways. Sexually abused children often grow up with their own sexual issues, as well as deep lasting emotional ones. Because the abused kids internalize so much of their abuse, the shame can make it difficult for any child to come forward.
A Few Reasons Why Kids Will Not Come Forward.
1. Worry that someone wont believe them.
2. Fear of retaliation from the abuser.
3. Fear that their family will be angry with them or their family will break up because they came forward.
Because of this, it’s a lot more uncommon that false accusations are made. Of course they do still happen, so I personally think that EVERY instance of suspected or reported abuse be taken seriously.
What are some warning signs of Sexual Abuse?
1. The child has difficulty walking or sitting.
2. The child has an advanced knowledge of sex and sexual acts that are not appropriate to their age.
3. The child makes a STRONG effort to avoid specific people and situations.
4. The child resists changing clothing or doing certain physical activities in front of other people.
5. The child is in crisis at home. (Running away, STD’s and pregnancy under the age of 14, physical or sexual abuse to others.)
6. The child demonstrates “grooming behavior”.
(Grooming = Gaining trust, breaking down defenses and then manipulating someone into a desired result.)
I think it’s important to talk about sexual abuse in an age appropriate manner with your kids. The doors of communication must be open and if your child knows they can talk to you and communicate effectively they are more likely to speak with you in times of personal crisis.
If you’d like to read a first hand account of some of the effects abuse can have on children, my book Child Abuse: The Ripple Effect goes into detail about what happens when the abuse ends and life comes crashing down around you.
I wanted to share with you guys the link to my eBook – Child Abuse The Ripple Effect. (more…)
Along with anger is guilt. Even the loneliest among us feels guilt. It may be because of leaving someone behind to suffer in our place. It may be leaving behind your family because no matter how horrible they were to you, they are still family and disregarding those bonds is hard, even for an abuse survivor. It may be over feelings of betrayal or feelings that you deserved the punishment that was given to you. (more…)
Anger is a part of every person in every part of the world in every socio-economical status.
Anger is everywhere. What we do with that anger is what distinguishes us from the rest of the world. (more…)
I think that as humans, all teenagers wear masks. We wear them to fit in, we wear them to be popular or to get the girl or make the team or hang out with the right group of friends but this mask is different. It’s a custom made mask, its not a football players mask, although it could look like one from the outside, it’s a mask that feels so real that for a time you forget you’re wearing the mask but the reminder always comes back. (more…)
Imagine a stone being thrown into a lake. That stone being thrown, that violent action causes the water around it to spread out into ripples. At first those ripples are close together and well defined and as time goes on they become wider and farther apart. This is the way that abuse affects our lives. Although the ripples are farther apart they are still there, even if you cant see the ripples I assure you they are still moving and still there. (more…)
My physical & verbal abuse stopped when I was around thirteen years old but the emotional pain would stay with me for years to come. After previously running away twice and even getting law enforcement involved numerous times, to no avail, the abuse stopped. There was no hero. There was no great victory. I simply ran away and refused to go back. Not because I was heroic, or because I finally had the courage to do something about it but because I physically could not take another beating. I was done, I had counted out and decided that if I died that night, it would be OK as long as there was no more pain. (more…)