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Ending child abuse: Get instructions

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- You may be familiar with the adage, "Kids don't come with instructions."

Each day with a child is a new experience. Step-by-step directions for raising children would certainly be handy; however, there is no instruction manual that could adequately detail the unique qualities and needs of all children. Even in families with twins or triplets, each child has his or her own distinct personality, which can make for a great time or double (or triple) the frustrations often associated with parenting.

Unfortunately, not all personalities are able to harmoniously coexist 24 hours a day, which can lead to "personality conflicts." In a work environment, we usually find ways of managing these personality conflicts so that we can get through an entire workday without severe altercations. However, when we live with people with whom we cannot see eye-to-eye, this can bring about some extremely serious problems; and, when personality conflicts exist between parent and child, the problems can be even more severe.

Children cannot help being who they are, just as we cannot help being who we are. Kids do not come with instructions or "delete buttons" to delete unwanted behaviors. If we find ourselves becoming agitated with children who do not behave the way we would like them to, there are ways of dealing with their behaviors that can actually turn out to be a beneficial experience for everyone. We can learn to better respond to our children's behaviors by learning more about them, as well learning more about ourselves.

Being a parent - responsible for all the needs of another human being - can be intimidating. When we find ourselves becoming very frustrated with our children, and perhaps doing things that we later regret, it can be a very painful experience for the entire family.

But, there is always hope and help through the many resources here at Osan Air Base, including your Family Advocacy Program. Family Advocacy personnel are professionally trained to assist parents to explore ideal ways to deal with childhood behaviors, and learn better, more productive ways to guide their children to become happy, emotionally-healthy adults.

Give us a call at 784-5010 to set up an appointment. Although children may not come with instructions, there are positive ways of dealing with them so that all concerned feel good about themselves and their families.