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What keeps you from hurting your children?

By khulac
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 12:50 pm in Advice, Health & Safety, Parenting Issues.

I, like maybe many other Bay Area parents, have been following this terrible story about a Tracy boy who was held captive and abused for at least a year, with three adults being held responsible, police say, and neighbors who wondered about him but didn’t intervene.

I am sleepless from laying awake at night trying to make sense of how something like this could happen. And why it seems to happen again and again. I touch my daughter, 7, and son, 4, while they are sleeping, thankful that they are safe. For the moment.

But I have been pushed to the limits of sanity by those two angel faces. Quite routinely in fact. But I would never hurt them. Right???

As the editor responsible for the coverage of this case, I am reaching out to fellow parents and our readers. Please, share your thoughts here. It’s so important that parents openly discuss how they cope when their children push them to the edge. Maybe your comments will help a parent seek help, or maybe you will convince a neighbor who suspects a child is being hurt to call the police.

So try to answer this:

 What separates YOU from a parent or caregiver who does the unthinkable? What do you personally do to cope with a difficult child? Share a story of a specific situation where you avoided a disaster and found a way to save your sanity.

If you don’t feel comfortable posting here, call me at 925-847-2164 or e-mail me at Staying silent only keeps abuse a secret.

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No Responses to “What keeps you from hurting your children?”

  1. Javon Says:

    I am not surprise of what I’ve heard or seen in a case like this. The SYSTEM has let all the children down, these folks are there to support and protect these kids not to LOSE them in the system. I myself have a very difficult child in my home, not only have I called the police to have her removed from my home, I’ve also placed a call to CPS, yes CPS on myself stating my child is disobident, I have to take off work to sit in her classes and that I’ve had enough of the BS. I asked for some type of help so that I wouldn’t do any harm and find myself in a situation like these folks. It’s a win, lose situation here, my HEART goes out to the boy (Kyle). I still have some sanity, I take it day by day with my child, I show her and tell her that I’m here for her. I love my CHILD.

  2. Sue Says:

    Two things keep my kids safe at home.

    First, family history. My father’s definition of disciplining or punishing his children at the extreme would be considered child abuse today, although it wasn’t considered that in the 60’s and 70’s when they were raising us. Before I ever had children of my own, I had thought long and hard about that, and I paid a lot of attention to other parents, the ones I considered good parents with nice likeable kids, to figure out what they were doing right.

    Second, my husband is a terrific dad. Before we were married we talked a lot about kids, and made sure we were in agreement about how we’d raise them. He’s been the stay-at-home-parent for almost 17 years (Jan. 1992 he left his last job), and I’ve worked full time and supported the family. If I’d had to stay home full time, I believe I’d have abused – so I didn’t stay home.

  3. Cindi Says:

    I was a single parent for awhile and I am a mother of a pre-teen so I know what it means to be tired and grumpy and to have my buttons pushed. I pray to God daily for patience because I do not want to get to a place where I could ever hurt my child, physically or emotionally, because screaming and yelling and name calling destroys a child too. God will give you patience and the strength to do what is right. My parents never abused me and I am sure they felt like it a time or two.

  4. Jennifer Says:


  5. Rachel Says:

    I was abused as a child. Which wasnt very long ago… I ran away when I was 15 after slowly creating the resources and friendships nessicary to get away. My mother used to sit on my chest and beat me, or hit me with hangers. My dad pretended it didnt happen and somehow my siblings STILL believe it was my fault… I recently found out some disturbing news that leads me to believe, that it has since transfered to my youngest sister, now that I dont live at home. It gave me an instinct to hit people when Im angry. I have learned to control it. All on my own, and i must say its not easy. But i will be strong and when I do have children I WILL NEVER PASS ON THAT TRAIT! It was a horrible life to live. But people turn a blind eye to it, and dont get involved and that is just as bad. I will never not report or speak up, if i saw it happening as well.

  6. ash Says:

    Hi Rachel, I am so sorry you had a terrible childhood.Please, protect your younger sister,and report your Mom.( You can do it anonymously if you need to).Again, am so sorry about your background, counseling can be helpful,looking at good parents can be really helpful to figure out how to parent well yourself if you come from an abusive background.

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