Too Busy, Trusting, and Nonchalant When it comes to the Children?

We just don’t think sometimes as busy moms.  We are so distracted with trying to complete To-Do Lists that we fail to notice red flags or the “writing on the wall” so to speak, when it comes to people watching our children.  We don’t think at times how a few too many visits over a friend’s house might have a significant impact on their personalities, how they interact with us, and what other parents might be thinking since every time they look up they see your child at their home.
I thought of this blog entry idea after thinking about some things I witnessed and experienced as a child.  It was then, that it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, there is a parent out there in cyber-world who needs just a friendly reminder to stay on her (or his) toes when it comes to parenting children.

Don’t be na├»ve when it comes to over-night stays.

As much as we don’t like to think of a relative hurting a child, there are those who once were abused children who never received help so now they tend to reenact their childhood sometimes by what they see, hear, smell among other things.  Some critical individuals underestimate the power of one’s senses.  They don’t realize how some things will trigger certain emotional responses and reactions in adults.  For instance, a child who is often difficult to manage might bring out the worst in an adult who during his youth was also equally hard to make behave.  So this person might desire to discipline a child in a way that is cruel or harsh because he received this sort of punishment.  Meanwhile, a busy parent doesn’t really know what is going on over at a relative’s house and most likely will side with the caretaker if her child is often a challenge.

There are those parents and others who don’t see anything wrong with permitting siblings, cousins, friends, and adults to sleep in the same bed with children.  Unfortunately with a society, like ours, that glorifies sex as much as it does, one can never be too careful about allowing others to sleep in the bed with your children.  If one must share a bed, have the child’s head lay on one end facing the other child’s toes and put a pillow between both.  Put a nightlight in the room and leave the door open.  This way if one child has been exposed to some things that you don’t know about and has plans to show and tell at least you can hinder an experimental episode.  Be cautious when children play as well.  Discourage games like “House” and “Hide and Go Seek.”

Don’t permit children to stay up late at night or arise early in the morning and hang out in rooms together without adult supervision. (Be sure the adult watching the children doesn’t have a shady track record).

Children tease, bully, snoop, and try things on one another that they wouldn’t ordinarily do when adults are present.  Why “trust” that children will behave when adults are absent for long periods of time?  This is why some parents are without their children, whether they choose to admit it or not, for neglect.  I have personally met parents who lost their children as a result of fire and gunshot wounds, because their children were curious and just wanted to see what would happen if they played with this or touched that.  While others were sexually abused by a relative, friend of the family, and/or cousins, because mom or dad was busy working, needed a break from the kids, or went out of town.  Some children don’t tell on relatives, friends and others because they are fearful that the parent will be mad, might not let them come back to see other relatives, or will get someone in trouble. 

As parents, we also need to be mindful of what children are viewing over other people’s homes.  I can’t tell you how many times I personally witnessed and heard as a child how someone got a hold of a porn magazine, a video, or taste tested someone’s hidden drugs or alcohol.  All of which were discussed on the playground, during study hall, at lunch or after school.

 With so many marriages ending in divorce and children living with a single parent who often works long hours and is unable to supervise, there are those who have little regard for children and take advantage of them in some of the most despicable ways.  Do what you can to be sure that your children are with trustworthy individuals.  Periodically pop up on your child staying over a relative or his or her friend’s house.  Be at home during your lunch hour sometimes.  Take a personal day and check to see if your child is really coming from the school and going straight home.  Don’t put any faith in a text message since you don’t know exactly where your child is and if he or she really wrote the message.  Consider a tracking device.  Of course, there are those people and children who are generally honest, but there are far more who are deceitful and lie more than they tell the truth.  Always be one step ahead of your children whether they have a good track record or not.  Lastly, don’t assume that because an adult is “so nice” and “has children too” that they are reliable, have morals, and care about your loved ones as much as you.  

To you and your family’s safety!  

Nicholl McGuire, Author of When Mothers Cry

If you or someone you know is being abused, please do call: National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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