Protecting Your Children from Child Abuse in School

When the news first broke about this child abuse case at NTUC My First Skool, I read descriptions and comments on social media channels with a trembling heart. I have not been able to bring myself to view the video of the abuse that has since gone viral.

The boy is 3 years old, just like Bubbles. I read about his mother crying as she saw evidence of him being dragged and pushed. My heart cried along with her, and cannot begin to imagine her anguish and perhaps even guilt, or how long it will take her and her son to be healed from this ordeal.

There are many things a mother can worry about with regards to her children. One of my greatest concerns is the treatment of my children by those I entrust them with. Each time I read about child abuse stories, my fears about possible ill treatment of my children create a tightness in my chest, and I whisper a word of prayer of protection for them.

Many young children cry when being sent to school. Many do so because of separation anxiety, a common developmental behaviour. Bubbles went through a bad bout of school refusal for a couple of weeks after Bun arrived, as she did not like knowing that Bun was with me while she was not.

However, despite such behaviour being common in young children, it pays for parents to be vigilant.

Below are some precautions I take. Do share in the comments if you have other ideas that will help protect our children!

1. Get to know your child's minders/teachers as much as you can. Chat with them, talk about your child's idiosycracies, behaviours, preferences etc, and sense how they are like by their responses. Always keep communication channels open with them. If you can't get open communication, consider placing your child elsewhere. You are the parent, and you have every right to know what goes on with your children while you are away. Where possible, show appreciation too, as it is never easy taking care of a bunch of kids.

2. Talk often with your child about their time away from you. Even if they are unable to fully describe what they did, you will be better able to detect if something is amiss if these conversations are done regularly. Any issues can also be addressed quickly. 

3. Keep an eye out for possible signs of abuse. If you sense that your child may have been deliberately hurt, take action right away to get more information in a tactful but assertive manner. It is better to be wrong about your suspicions, than to have your child suffer.

4. Keep an eye out for other people's children. Some parents may not have the bandwidth - the time, energy, or even awareness to look out for their children in such a manner. Some may just have full trust in their children's schools.Whichever the case, if you sense that another child may have been hurt, take action to get information too. You might be the child's only lifeline.

I hope this case will result in a thorough investigation and a positive change in the school's (and its branches) systems, such that something like that never happens again. My thoughts and prayers are with the boy and his family.


Ai Sakura said...

It's always a terrible feeling knowing you can't be with your child and protect them all the time. I saw the video and it's just truly heartbreaking.

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Ai Sakura:
It is already hard for us to learn to let go, and each time news like that surface, it makes me shake.