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Take time to listen

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By Bobbie Daniels, Campbell County Children's Center

For a parent, it is often hard to find the time to listen and the words to say when your child approaches you, in need of someone to talk to about a situation in his or her life.  And when we do find the time, we are often shocked by what we hear our children say.  
However, it is imperative that such conversations are priority when a child needs to talk. Oftentimes, this may be the only opportunity your child has been presented with where he or she has gathered the courage to disclose physical or sexual abuse they may be experiencing.  
For a child, experiencing physical or sexual abuse may be the hardest thing they have ever been forced to live with. When the child decides to tell, if the parent is uninterested or doesn’t believe what their child is attempting to tell them, it may result in devastating effects on that child’s life. He or she may decide no cares they are being subjected to the abuse, which can lead to the abuse continuing and worsening, and the child may never tell another person again. Instead, the child may keep this devastating event bottled up inside, allowing it to severely damage their lives and, quite possibly, their actual being.
If your child needs to talk, please do not neglect this opportunity to provide a safe haven for your child and whatever need he or she may have.  Embrace this time, open your ears, if even for a short period of time, and invite your child to talk while you just listen. If during your discussion your child discloses that he or she has been experiencing physical or sexual abuse, listen to their story, and report their disclosure appropriately. This will better ensure that your child will no longer be subjected to such abuse.  
Your child will then be permitted to begin rebuilding his or her life and becoming a much stronger person, thanks to your help.  You will never regret taking the time to listen to your child!
For more information, contact the Campbell County Children’s Center at (423)562-4190.  To report child abuse or neglect, call 1-877-237-0004.