“Protecting Our Children”

by Martine Bacci Siegel

The return to school is an exciting time for most, but for some it simply serves as a short respite from abuse at home. Listed here are some behaviors school staff should be on the lookout for as they could be an indicator of a more serious problem. Remember, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. You MUST report any suspicions you have. If you believe a child is being abused, neglected or is dependent, please call the Child Protection Hotline number below or the Protection and Permanency office in your county or call the Child Protection Hot Line 1-877-KYSAFE1 (1-877-597-2331)

The online KY Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System is available for professionals to report non-emer-gency situations that do not require an immediate response from staff. The website is monitored from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. Reports will not be reviewed evenings, weekends or state holidays.

Here are a list of behaviors to look out for

  1. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.
  2. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or fear of strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.
  3. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them or exhibit an unusual fear of a familiar person or place.
  4. Changes in eating. The stress, fear, and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.
  5. Changes in sleeping. Abuse children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
  6. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.
  7. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.
  8. Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.
  9. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language and may exhibit symptoms of a genital infection.
  10. Unexplained injuries. Children who have been physically abused may exhibit unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.

 

“Motherhood Is . . .”

by Deacon Stephen Bowling

In the liner notes of his 1975 album “Windsong”, the late John Denver wrote about how he had tried to record the sound of the wind in order to incorporate it into the album which carried its name, but for some reason, he “could never capture the sound on tape so as to do it any justice.”

This is the same kind of problem one has when trying to adequately describe all that goes into the concept of motherhood . . . our language is simply not big enough to do justice to the power and beauty that the word encompasses. The word defies being forced into any description we might wish to place upon it . . . nevertheless during the month of May every year we all make our attempts at doing so.

Perhaps it is this deficiency which drew me to the above quote on motherhood by Gilda Radner. I think it more than any other begins to capture the true essence of motherhood without in any way diminishing the grandeur and holiness it carries with it. In many ways the quote actually seems to enhance the term – something I thought impossible before finding it.

“Infinite Optimism” may be a phrase which begins to tell the story properly.

Motherhood always seems to me to be at its heart an act of positivity . . . something, as John Denver himself said on that very same album, which “works in the service of life and the living . . . part of the movement, part of the growing, part of beginning to understand.” Mothers always look for the best in us; they support us when we are in need, they protect us when we are afraid, and perhaps most important of all, they love us for just who we are, just as we are.

“Infinite optimism” is perhaps one of the most succinct descriptions for Holy Mother Church as well. Even though there are many who might not be able to live up to this ideal expression of motherhood, the Church herself absolutely must do so . . . to assist those in need and to model for us all exactly how “mothering” was intended by God to be done from the very beginning.

The Church indeed works in “service of life and the living” as it seeks to accompany us along our journey through this life. Our benefit is always in her heart, our welfare is her intent and our success and salvation are ever her wishes for us.

The Church is our spiritual mother and the infinite optimism she pours forth upon us in the sacraments is intended to become a living part of us, just as the Gospel itself is as well.

On this upcoming Mother’s Day . . . a day when we seek to remember our own mothers’ “infinite optimism” (or at least their best attempts towards it) we also should take a moment and remember Mother Church and her best attempts at achieving this sacred goal too. Just as with most mothers, the attempts and the successes are far more numerous than we might always remember . . . and the victories that she has achieved for us are very much worth celebrating anew once more.

“New Baby . . . New Beginnings”

by Martine Bacci-Siegel

Becoming a new parent presents many challenges for couples, but can be managed with an extra dose of patience and understanding. Kathy English with “Today’s Parent” takes a look at some hurdles facing new parents today. . . .

Hurdle #1: No time for “us”

Mother Cuddling Newborn Baby In Bed At Home

About two months after becoming a first-time mom to Jonah, now 16 months, Julie Grier realized she was lonely for her best friend — her husband, Jason. “I remember being at my new moms’ group and getting all choked up as I told the other moms, ‘I just miss my husband,’” says the Burlington, Ont., makeup artist. “I slept beside him every day, but I felt like I hardly knew him anymore.” Continue reading ““New Baby . . . New Beginnings””

“Parental Love”

by Martine Bacci-Siegel

It is a well-known fact that warm-loving parents create equally warm and loving children. Through this relationship, your children would learn things about life initially. It has been found that young people, who grow in and around secure attachment, stand a much better chance of developing happy and content relationships with others in their life. A child who feels insecure due to lack of attachment from parents is at an increasing risk of depression, aggression, and even emotional deregulation. So for that, here are our simple tips for you to strengthen the bond between you and your child:

Always Express Yourself. It is very important for you to tell your child how you feel about him. picture1

  • Express yourself, say I love you often.
  • Express love day in day out.
  • If you disagree on something, sit and discuss what exactly you didn’t like and why.

When you express yourself, nothing is left unsaid, leaving you both on the same page. This goes a long way in building a strong relationship.

Let Your Child Be Inquisitive:

  • Tell your child what you believe in and explain why.
  • Let him ask you questions. Answer all questions with patience.

Remember, you are building the foundation of your child’s future belief and faith. So always be ready to nurture the queries. It will help him form his own opinion and views later.

Let Your Child Help:picture2

  • When you let your child help, you are not only teaching him to be responsible, but also getting closer.
  • Ask for his opinion on what to wear while going out and be ready to opt for what they suggest.
  • When you take his suggestions seriously, he gets your respect too and feels good.

Play With Your Child:

  • Play time is the best bonding time.
  • It is a good way of getting to know each other and brings you closer.
  • It can always be a great way of teaching your child about winning and losing.
  • Get silly with your child and show him your side that he doesn’t often get to see.

Always Eat Together:picture3

  • Meal time should always be family time.
  • Let it be the place for discussion and sharing stuff.
  • You can spend some quality time at your meals.
  • The dinner table is the most common place for family talks.

The relation that your form with your child is actually the foundation upon which he will later define himself. This is going to help him develop and sustain more meaningful and close relationships in his life.

The love and care that you offer to your child determines your equation with him not just now, but for years to come.