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A Word- What Puts Children at Risk for Abuse?

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

By Magnolia Heaton, LCSW I was scrolling through Facebook and came across the following image:

(By the way, I saved the photo but I'm not sure who the source was; it was just a stranger's post that was being circulated).





I had some thoughts I wanted to share and it prompted me to write this post.

Look. I’m a trauma specialist and I’m PHENOMENAL at my work.

We say their lives matter but microaggressions and overt aggressions prove we don’t value children (or ourselves, or others). It’s so deeply ingrained into our society.

Children, as much as women, have been seen as property—for eons.

What I’m gonna say, I’m going to say lovingly and respectfully. And, I’m saying it as food for thought. I encourage you to practice empathy and think of your own inner child. What I’m going to say is against what most of you believe, but, trauma research & my daily trauma work with people for 9 years now extensively proves the following: —— *TRIGGER WARNING* —— . . . .

Messages like the one we see above (in photo)...

*this* is what sets kids up to be abused.

Hear me out.

In sending messages like this, we set kids (and, later, adults) up to be abused by disempowering their voice and *forcing* them to do things and to comply.

In perpetuating this, we use fear and control as tactics. This disempowers people and results in learned helplessness. Kids stop speaking up. They stop trusting their parents. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “well... even if I told them, they wouldn’t believe me; they would just blame me. So, I didn’t tell them.”

Time and time again, folks.

In using messages like these, we impart shame and anger upon children. (And, I’ve seen this across most societies worldwide). So, kids carry around shame and grow up. They verbally and physically hurt others and/OR turn inward and verbally assault themselves, tending toward depression. They learn they can’t trust anybody. They feel unloved and unsupported at their core.

They keep growing and date people who mirror their inner pain and, at minimum, verbally abuse them; people who mirror how their parents treated them. If these kids grow up, they have their own children and, unless they notice the pattern, will continue to propagate the cycle of abuse. And then they’ll wonder why their kids are acting out; Why their kids reject them; Why their kids push them away; Why their kids are so angry; Why their kids rebel. . . Still with me? . . Solution? Treat children (including your own inner child!) as if you love them, as if you respect them, as if you value them, for, however we treat children is what they’ll become. If we treat children as if they have inherent value as human beings, they come to value and respect themselves; they become loving, valuable members of society.

THAT is the solution.

Only hurt people hurt people. People who love and value themselves? They go around encouraging and helping others because they live in that love vibration.

Save yourself. Love yourself. Save them; lift them up. . Love is the answer. Love—is healing. Written by: Magnolia Beatriz, LCSW Like this Blog Post? Give it a Like. If you have questions or would like to see specific topics, please leave a comment.

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