Child abuse isn’t just bruises and broken bones. Emotional abuse and neglect have been shown to have the same effects on a child – feeling worthless, unloved and unsafe – as physical abuse. Children who are abused can lack trust, have relationship difficulties and have trouble regulating their own emotions and without help, are likely to continue repeating the cycle of abuse. However contrary to common belief, abuse doesn’t mean ‘bad’ parents, often they have been the victims of abuse themselves, they may be struggling with their own mental health issues or have a substance abuse problem.
The earlier abuse is recognized, the better the chances of recovery. Understanding the signs of abuse can be difficult, individual signs can simply be changes in behavior. Instead, watch for patterns of behavior such as excessive withdrawal, extremes of behavior, and acting inappropriately over a period of time. Frequent unexplained injuries or injuries that appear to have a pattern can be a warning sign of physical abuse.
If you feel that your child is being abused in another setting, or if you are having trouble coping with parenthood, Margaret McDonald can help. In a safe, non-judgmental environment, Margaret can teach you effective parenting skills, and counsel your child to help them lead an emotionally healthy life.
To schedule an appointment, please phone the office on 3862 8833.