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Everything begins at home: a reminder on National Children’s Month

Everything begins at home: a reminder on National Children’s Month

A series of family photos.

In celebration of National Children’s Month this November, we must remember that children are young and are still in the process of learning things; thus, we must pride ourselves in giving them all the love, patience, and support that we can muster. 

I saw a photo on Twitter the last time I was free. It was a photo with 4 (not-so) different people in it. 

Imagine a stack of dominos, but with people instead of pieces. A great grandfather verbally abusing his son, who, in turn, was also nagging his. But the last pair—they were different. 

He was showering his son praises, regardless of how big or small the progress he was making. The son, bright and cheerful in all his deposition, was all too happy to receive his parent’s love and support.

And this made all the difference.

Why should I care?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1 billion children (aged 2-17 years old) experienced violence or neglect last 2019. 

The violence a child can experience ranges in many forms:

  1. Maltreatment 
  2. Bullying
  3. Youth violence 
  4. Partner or domestic violence
  5. Sexual violence
  6. Emotional violence

Any of these forms can have lifelong impacts on the health and well-being of children, families, communities, and nations.

In 2018, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published findings in the Philippines from the 2015 National Baseline Study in Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC). 

High rates of violence against children.
Photo Courtesy: Situation Analysis of Children in the Philippines, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and UNICEF Philippines 2018

The numbers presented showed high rates of violence in the Philippines. Too many children, at such a young age, experience so much in just the little years they existed.

What should I do?

If you grew up in a very healthy environment, you are indeed lucky. You must treasure such an upbringing and ensure that your own family experiences it, too. 

But if you did not, then you must promise to stop the “tradition.” Cut the cycle of toxic parenting. Learn from the mistakes of the past. Because if you continue this, the consequences of your actions might be too much for you to handle and might affect your childa childin so many ways.

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WHO said that violence against children, depending on the form, can:

  • Result in death;
  • Lead to severe injuries;
  • Impair brain and nervous system development;
  • Result in negative coping and health risk behaviors;
  • Lead to unintended pregnancies;
  • Contribute to a wide range of non-communicable diseases;
  • And impact opportunities and future generations.

Children are human, too. 

They deserve to divulge in the fun of youth—wholeheartedly exploring hobbies and interests, learning to stumble on their mistakes and getting back up on their own, speaking their mind—all while not fearing that you will reprimand them on even the smallest of actions.

They are human, and they hurt, and thus we should not inflict any form of pain unto them. Let them learn, let them know if they did something wrong, but never hurt them intentionally.

Start at home. Shower your children, or your nieces and nephews, or even your neighbors all the smiles and love you can give. 

Your support and guidance are what will help them do better things in the future—to grow into the kind of people we know we will be proud of.

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