When Your Life Becomes An Abuse

A few weeks ago my boss was telling me about one of his rich friends. He told me that the man had struggled during his early years to make a living. This man didn’t give up until he was able to have the life of his dream.

The said man has a few years before he goes on retirement and he has almost finished building houses for his children.

When I heard it I was very impressed. This is not to say that parents who haven’t built or aren’t building houses for their children are not good.

More often than not, abuse is defined in the space of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. While all of these are very crucial discussions we must perpetually have and review, I think that child abuse goes beyond these categorizations.
 
Child abuse is a serious problem in our societies because of the devastating effects on the child. Before I talk about my concept of abuse, I, for one, think that it is abnormal for a parent to abuse their children.

Children are very weak and innocent and it shouldn’t be condoned when they are abused.

I believe that parents can abuse their children without being physical, emotional, sexual, or neglecting them.

Last week we agreed on a few issues regarding how patterned our lives are. If you didn’t buy last week’s edition, you should go online and read the article or better still get the paper.

One of the unrecognized ways parents have abused or are abusing their children is by allowing the negative patterns to continue with their children.

The good news is that we are predisposed to these patterns. This means that we can either be passive as parents and watch these patterns unfold in the lives of our children or be active and interrupt them.  

For a case in point, my grandparents were not educated at all. Unlike others with very educated and famous grandparents, I didn’t get that. My parents tried to get some education but because it was a pattern in my family, they didn’t get the support they needed so they had to give up on education at a point.

We can all agree to the pattern of not getting an education in my family right? Thankfully, my parents recognized the pattern and did all they could to interrupt this pattern. My mum who is physically challenged and my father who didn’t work any white-collar job did all they could to get myself and all my siblings the foundation of tertiary education.

Today that pattern of not getting an education has been interrupted and is likely to stay interrupted for a very long time as long we continue to be intentional.

When a child is abused, the child sees the world differently. They see the world as cruel and people as undeserving of trust. In the same vein, when parents do not break the negative patterns in their families, the children see the world using that lens and that can be very limiting.

The man in the opening story recognized a pattern of struggling to make a living and did all he could to interrupt that pattern. I believe his children see the world as a place of endless possibilities and are likely to pass that on to their children.
The second way parents are abusing their children inadvertently is by not taking care of themselves.

For the few months I have worked in a hospital, I have recognized that lifestyle diseases have become like a rite of passage into middle adulthood.  The statistics of young adults with chronic lifestyle diseases is very alarming.

I have seen some able-bodied men disabled by lifestyle diseases. I have seen parents cut off in the prime of their lives by lifestyle diseases. When we take care of our children without taking care of ourselves or living healthy lives, we are not doing them good because we are likely not to be around when they need us.

NO PARENT SHOULD GIVE AN EXCUSE FOR NOT TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES. Enough of the unhealthy living: less of the alcohol, less of the late eating, more of exercise etc. This advice is not to parents alone but everybody who has goals of becoming a parent.

For example, when you become diabetic before you give birth, your child is likely to get diabetes too. So watch it!
Succinctly, we need to become very intentional as parents and potential parents. Let’s love the children and care for them. If you think children are not a blessing just visit a fertility clinic.

Let’s not preach virtue to our children and practice vise. It starts today!

Our stance remains no to child abuse!

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