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The Signs and Significance of Unintentional Abuse

This article is part 11 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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Is there such a thing as unintentional abuse? Absolutely. I experienced it myself.

Author, therapist, and PsychCentral.com columnist Támara Hill, MS, NCC, LPC-BE, MS, specializes in working with children and adolescents suffering from behavioral and mood disorders. She helped educate me about the realities of unintentional abuse and what it looks like.

So, what exactly is it?

Hill notes that unintentional abuse is often perpetrated by someone emotionally unavailable to provide adequate emotional or physical care to a child. The unintentional abuser does not maliciously intend to harm or intimidate a child but does just that through: Read more

Teen Drug Use: It All Starts With Smoking

This article is part 12 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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Trying to stay informed about the illicit temptations thrown at kids can leave a parent—or anyone working with children—begging for mercy. I’m in that boat as I try to keep up with the latest teenage drug trends.

Seeking information and guidance, I turned to Sheriff Michael Nielsen of Boone County, Indiana, where my hometown is located, for a crash course in teenage drug use. Sheriff Nielsen graciously shared some basic facts he learned while working with teens and young adults in our community.

“It all starts with tobacco use,” Sheriff Nielsen said. “Smoking leads to alcohol, which leads to marijuana, which leads to harder drugs.” The Sheriff is candid about his former addiction to tobacco and its hold on people who use it. He adds, “As strong as tobacco is, just think of … the power drugs have over people.”

To better understand the issue, here are the drugs of choice for kids and teens: Read more

4 Holiday Safety Basics for Kids

This article is part 13 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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Holiday season is when families and friends gather to celebrate. Sadly, it’s also a time of year that presents sexual predators with opportunities to prey on child victims.

While many may think we only need to worry about strangers harming our kids, we should all keep in mind that the true danger lies in our own circles of trust. Here are some sobering facts all parents should know about sexual predators:

  • Ninety percent of sexually abused children know, love or trust their molesters
  • Nearly sixty percent of sexual predators who harm children are known by the victims’ families
  • Approximately thirty percent of children who are sexually abused are molested by a member of their family (for example, a parent, stepparent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle)

Read more

The Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma

This article is part 14 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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Research continues to confirm that trauma experienced in childhood can affect people throughout their lives.

People who endure adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can suffer a variety of detrimental life outcomes1 including:

  • Activities or behaviors that can negatively impact health—smoking, addiction to alcohol or drugs, or self-injurious behavior, for example.
  • Physical health issues, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD), and even attempted suicide.
  • Negative life situations such as being at higher risk for domestic violence, poor performance at work or school, unintended pregnancies, and financial stress.

Read more

Ten Reasons Children Don’t Disclose Abuse

This article is part 15 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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One challenge in stopping child sexual abuse is that it is often perpetrated in secrecy—a secrecy that the majority of child victims maintains.

There is overwhelming evidence that most child victims delay or never disclose child sexual abuse to friends, family members, or the authorities.1

A large adult retrospective study determined that 21.2 percent of survivors disclosed their abuse promptly; 21.3 percent disclosed abuse from one month to five years after it occurred; and the majority, 57.5 percent, delayed disclosure for more than five years.1 Many of us may scratch our heads and wonder, “Why in the Read more

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