By Lavinia Masters
What kind of behavior do you display around your children? What is acceptable for them to see?
Not just on television or on the radio but what do they see you do at home?
Do you allow your children to see you showing appropriate affection towards others or affection that they are too young to understand but are able to imitate.
Do you allow your children to see you act out as if it you were participating in some drama scene when you become upset with others...remember your children look up to you and nine times out of ten whatever they see their parents do...in their minds it appears acceptable...and they can use it against you.
I remember an instance where a parent was a childhood victim of sexual abuse and never really got closure from it. Her daughter would watch her as she would get so upset about it and cry to others on the phone about it yet never explained to her daughter what she was going through. However she never realized that her child was watching and soon discovered that this was a "trigger" point for her mother in her life.
So one day the little girl got into trouble at school and knew that her mother would punish her and in an effort to save the anger of her mother she told her mother that the teacher "touched" her inappropriately.
Well you can only imagine what happened next...not only did she stir up those conflicting emotions in her mother but her plot to flip the anger worked. Later it was discovered that the little girl had lied on her teacher and the mother was devastated and wanted to know why did she make up such a story!
Long lesson short...the little girl had watch her mother basically become unglued when it came to her talking about her childhood sexual abuse...and the child knew that this would throw her into a "frenzy" if she said that someone committed this barbaric act to her.
I later shared with the mother that children learn the majority of things from home and their parents and we have to be careful not only what we say but what we do around our children. We are a silent video and they are the audience. They take in and absorb everything we say or do...whether negative or positive.
Furthermore if you are suffering from things such as the trauma that childhood sexual abuse brings then we should seek some sort of counseling or help and talk about such things with our children to help or prevent these acts from happening to them.
So next time you curse out your neighbor, light up that cigarette, talk about your friend behind their backs, take something that does not belong to you, or act out uncontrollably when you have been a victim of a past circumstance....remember your children are watching.
Lavinia Masters is the Founder of S.A.V.E. Ministry and is an outspoken speaker and advocate for sexual abuse victims.