An awareness/brainstorming session was conducted on Novermber 16, 2014 among CSS volunteers on how parents can play a better role to prevent child abuse. The main purpose of this session was to have a discussion with the parents in CSS before conducting awareness session among the general public on child safety.
Ponmurugan, Venkat, Charu, Ashwinkumar, Meenakumari, Akshya, Akshya’s mother, Sasikumar, Sasikumar’s wife, Rathi, Lakshmi Rekha, Saiyasodharan, Swaminathan, Muthukutti, Manohar, Pavithra, Kanchan, Kothandapani and family.
Venkat, Pon Murugan, and Kanchan
At the start of the session, the parents present there stated their expectations from the session. Next, a written survey of 20 questions was conducted to understand how parents interact with their kids.
Next, a discussion was conducted on the responses to the survey questions. The parents explained their responses. Other parents and volunteers gave their opinion on the recommended approach for each question.
Following were the key takeaways from the survey:
- Children also watch television while their parents are watching. In some families, the children watch television in their own rooms. This is a concern as it may be difficult to monitor the child’s activity. Children try to imitate what they watch on television. For example, Watching WWF or some fight scenes in cartoon shows encourages children to do similar acts. Parents also stated that they avoid switching channels when some awkward scenes are shown.
- Children emphasis on parents following rules. For example traffic rules.
- When children make mistakes, parents talk to them and give them opportunities to correct them. Only then do they shout or beat the child.
- Parents appreciate their kids for their achievements and usually answer queries of the child.
- Parents usually treat their own parents in a respected way in front of their children.
- In some families, fights between spouses in front of the children is a concern. The recommended approach was to take efforts and avoid such fights in front of the children as these fights have a negative impact on the child.
- Some parents try to monitor their child’s online activities. Monitoring the activities was recommended.
- Parents are not comfortable using the actual names of private parts. However, it is recommended that parents need to educate their child with actual names of private parts.
- A couple also expressed their opinion on how they find it difficult to monitor their child’s activity when she visits her neighbor.
Next, Pon Murugan made a presentation on how to prevent child abuse. The presentation focused on why and how parents should talk to their children regularly and empower their children to prevent sexual abuse. Pon Murugan also showed a sample video on how to educate children about sexual abuse.
The session concluded with the participants sharing their opinion on child abuse. Ashwin also recommended that it is essential to educate boys about sexual abuse, and break the myth that boys are not sexually abused.