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Ending child abuse: Know thyself

  • Published
  • By Mr. Carl Neighbors
  • 51st Medical Operations Squadron
April is designated by the Department of Defense as The Month of the Military Child and is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is a time when we all need to acknowledge the special place that the children of military families should have in all of our hearts.

Unfortunately, child abuse is present in the military as well as the civilian society. We see instances of child abuse on television and read about it in the news on a far too regular basis. Everyone agrees that child abuse is truly horrible and needs to be eradicated from our society and all societies on the Earth. But, what part can we as individuals do toward accomplishing this goal?

The theme of this article is "Know Thyself" or put another way "Know where we are coming from." We need to ask ourselves "What kind of environment did I grow up in?" "How was I treated and how were my brothers and sisters treated?" "How did my parents treat each other?"

Most of us have learned how to parent by watching our own parents. In fact, it is surprising how many of us, after we have become parents ourselves, realize we are saying and doing the same things our parents did, which we said we would never do.

The first step in practicing good parenting skills is to take a good look at ourselves and how we were raised, and determine if that is the way that we want to raise our children. If we determine we want to raise our children differently than the way we were raised, we need to not only make a conscious decision to parent differently than our parents, but we must often explore and learn about new techniques on parenting.

Family Advocacy is here to assist our military and family members in exploring where they came from, where they want to go and how to get there. Life is a journey, and it is often helpful to "ask for directions." So, if you would like to explore your current parenting style or get up-to-date information about parenting styles, call Family Advocacy at DSN 784-5010 to make an appointment.

And remember, "Know Thyself" is the first step in becoming a better "self" and possibly a better parent.