cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother


A SAD STORY-Child Maltreatment

The amount of abuse and neglect children face in this country is outrageous. One example of this is a story about a little boy who was dealt an unfair hand in life. This little boy was taken from his biological mother do to abuse and neglect at the age of two. He was placed in foster care with a family friend by DCF. After about a year in this placement it was discovered through his preschool program, he was being abused physically and emotionally. He was removed from this home and placed in a temporary foster home with very caring people at three years old, who seemed to make him feel safe and loved. Even in this positive loving environment, his aggressive and violent behaviors became too much for the family to support on a long term basis. DCF then placed him in a “forever home”, he was transitioned slowly and very positively into this new home. He was able to begin with appropriate behaviors and seemed happy. After a few months, his behaviors at home and school began to deteriorate. Then his behaviors began to spiral out of control. He was referred to Child First, and United Services for additional support within the home. He had been referred to the SST program at school for additional support and services at school.


As I learn more and more about early childhood development and the critical role early interactions and experiences play in the formation of the brain and ones ability to function effectively, I wonder how will this little boy make it? His early abuse and neglect will continue to have an impact on his future, to what extent I do not know. Can those negative experiences be made up? In the research I have done most experts predict abuse and neglect will have a lasting impact on a child throughout their life. The level of this impact may vary depending on the type, severity, and duration of the abuse or neglect. More needs to be done to prevent abuse and the cycle of abuse to continue in this country. It is heartbreaking as a teacher to see the needs these children not being met. At times I have to stop and realize the academics I want children to learn to be prepared for the next grade is not always the most important need of a child. If a child feels unsafe and/or malnourished, they are not in a state of mind where they are able to focus and retain academic knowledge. All children need their need there basic needs meet first.


Looking at statistics of abuse and neglect in comparable countries, the US is usually ranked as having a high level of child maltreatment. I wonder if part of the reason is because we as a country are more vocal about the abuse we witness.   Are we more likely to report what we see than in other countries where some abuse is more accepted within the cultural norms of the society? Whether or not our country has the highest rates or not, there is far more abuse and neglect happening daily than is imaginable. It is everyone’s job, especially those of us who work closely with children to be aware and report any abuse or neglect. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. It is critical that professionals in the early childhood field receive training on recognizing maltreatment, strategies to support these children, and refer children and families to the proper resources that can give them the support they need.







Thoughts on Breast-Feeding

As a child who was breast-feed, I never really though much about not breast-feeding my own children, it seemed like the natural thing to do. I have always thought it was the best choice to make it you are able to. I had family support and the luxury of staying home with my children until my second son was 1 year old. This made breast-feeding a much easier choice for me.   I choose to pump breast milk at time so my husband could also be a part of this important bonding time with our son. For all the same reasons it is important for a mother and child to have that experience, I feel fathers shouldn’t miss out. I really enjoyed breast-feeding my children. I did find breast-feeding in public much harder. At times I felt comfortable and other times I felt uncomfortable like I was being inappropriate or judged by others. I do not think public breastfeeding is as well accepted nor supported in the U.S. as in other countries and cultures around the world.

This is one of the two the biggest obstacle women have in choosing to breast-feed or not. The second obstacle is being a workingwomen they defiantly need more support to make it possible to work and breastfeed. I have worked with women who had to return to work as soon as their paid maternity time was up. They had chose to breastfeed their child but found it very difficult to breast feed and work full time. Women are not able to bring their infants to work with them so have to pump their breast milk while at work or switch to formula once they go back to work to make it easier. Even women who are dedicated to breast-feeding have a difficult time finding times, proper spaces, and acceptance in a work environment to pump their milk. Many employers do not have a plan to support breast-feeding women.

In the articles, I have read on breastfeeding there are clearly a lot of differing opinions. I do not know that anyone can argue the fact that the female body was designed to breastfeed, and it is a natural process. However, cultural differences can make this a beautiful natural event that no one thinks twice about doing or see being done, or an overly private event that makes it more difficult to enjoy and to practice. Although I feel breast-feeding was the right choice for me I do not want women who did not choose this path to be made to feel bad or like they are not good mothers. There are many reasons women are not able to or choose not to breast-feed.

In some areas around the world breast-feeding is just so natural and a part of their culture that most mothers breast-feed their babies unless they are physically not able to. In other areas around the world especially less developed countries breast-feeding is actually a matter of life or death for infants. Children that are born into an environment with no running water or adequate food supply depend on breast milk.

The following link has stories written by women around the world sharing their experience with breast-feeding and observations of breastfeeding around the world. I recommend you take time to read some of these stories. http://www.007b.com/public-breastfeeding-world.php