When Fear Rules !

Trust…Listen to your Children

by on Apr.17, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

Trust…Listen to your Children

How many people in your life do you feel you truly trust ?

“The issue is that we need to get to know a man [or woman] and trust him to be who he proves himself to be. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be and when he is not, we hurt.”

There are people who trust no one, and although they are less disappointed when someone fails them, they live a life barren of emotional intimacy. Then there are the rest of us, who trust too easily, as we want closeness in our lives, in the form of support, approval and a sense of belonging.

I have seen many adult children of abusive and selfish parents wish so much to see the parent change and be more the loving and caring parent they always wished for, only to be terribly frustrated and angered to find that the parent never changes. Now again, we do not want to become paranoid and trust no one, but we do need to realize our wish to not look at the dark side of some people, to avoid conflict and angry feelings, does lead to a premature acceptance and trust of those who cannot be trusted.

People must prove themselves. My experience has been all to often that parents, siblings, relatives, friends, even teachers or other respected members of society who have been found to be abusive, emotionally, physically or sexually have a history of past behaviors that have been ignored, rationalized away, or excused when in fact they were bullet-proof examples of behaviors that should tell us they cannot be trusted.

Look at recent situations where teachers have been convicted of sexual relationships with their minor-aged students. I can site troubling cases where school principals, priests, ministers or coaches have sexually abused kids and yet on the surface, they are praised for their support of children’s causes.

Trust must be earned by those around you and justified by keen observation on your part. To this point, I would suggest that we LISTEN AND OBSERVE our children, taking nothing they say lightly. There are bullies of all ages out there, and we must not only teach our children that they deserve to be treated with respect, but that any time any behavior on the part of another child OR ADULT bothers them, causes them to feel fearful or guilty, those feelings are to be shared with BOTH of the child’s parents. The children need to know they will be heard.

When children or adults are abused, the abuser most often attempts to shame their victim into not exposing him or her, or makes the victim fearful of further abuse and harm. LISTEN AND OBSERVE any changes in your child’s behavior or demeanor. Open your eyes to the fact that among the many good people out there, there are truly dark people with needs that allow them to rationalize and justify some very sick behaviors.

Abusive people are cowards, insecure and needy in most cases. Don’t AVOID seeing people for who they truly are. Like the wicked witch from the “ Wizard of Oz ”, evil cannot be ignored or avoided. When it is avoided, it only grows stronger. While Dorothy caused the evil witch to melt away by dousing her with water, I see the water as a cleansing element that allows us to see the reality of the dark side of some people, and as exposing them to the light of day.

Coach

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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