Getting the chance to raise a family is an exciting opportunity. You can instill your own beliefs and values into a family, and you also have people you can care for and love. However, nobody is perfect, and sometimes, these imperfections have a negative impact on the family ecosystem. This can come in the form of neglect when parents or carers become too busy to pay attention to what’s going on with their little ones. Keep reading to find out how you can identify neglect in a family.
What is Neglect?
Before you can identify neglect in a family, it’s crucial that you know what neglect is classified as. According to the Federal Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act, it’s defined as “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker that presents an imminent risk of serious harm to the child.”
In more practical terms, this could be not providing a child with basic needs like food, water, shelter, clothing, or medical care. However, some exceptions to the rules are conflicting religious beliefs as well as the parent or carers financial circumstances.
Know The Signs
Being able to identify when there’s neglect in a family comes when you know the signs. They could be physical or behavioral, so pay attention when you notice anything out of the ordinary. Keep reading to discover a couple of common signs.
- Poor Hygiene: A telltale sign of neglect in a family is poor hygiene. Not caring for their basic needs could mean that their clothing is haggard or worn and they don’t look as though they’re being given regular baths. This is often termed as physical neglect as it has to do with how they look and appear.
- Trouble Regulating Emotions: An indicator that a child may be emotionally neglected is when they seem to have unusual struggles with regulating their emotions. This could result in irrational and bizarre behavior as well as them having low self-esteem. These things could also be signs that a child is being emotionally abused by being shamed, belittled, threatened bullied or refused love.
- Unexplained Injures: If you notice that a child has several unexplained injuries, this could be one of many signs of child abuse. When they are being physically abused, you may also notice that they’re easily startled, afraid to go home, and are always expecting something bad to happen.
Talk to Someone
If you suspect a child is being abused, it is sometimes wise to try and ask them questions. However, seeing as it’s a sensitive topic, you have to approach with calmness and avoid interrogation.
Out of fear of getting it wrong, it can be easy to ignore the signs and end up not discussing it with anyone. However, this isn’t typically the best approach and you should actually do the opposite. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your concerns. You could also voice your concerns by contacting your local child protective services offices or law enforcement agencies.