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Preventing domestic abuse

domestic-violenceDomestic violence is no new topic. There are several cases daily of emotional, physical or sexual abuse from different parts of the world. Some end up in divorce, serious injury to the victim or even murder. Why would anyone be in such a relationship one may ask. Most times it starts after “I do” has been proclaimed and the couple are living as man and wife. The true colours of people are usually revealed after marriage, were for most its too late to pull out as it may cause scandal, or one chooses to persevere for the sake of the children or financial support or any other reason. No one has to be in an abusive relationship and there are signs that one could use to determine whether or not their partner has the tendency to be abusive.

1. Desire for Power & Control

Mostly in abusive men, there is usually a strong desire for power and control that they exert on their lovers when they feel inadequate. When things are getting out of their control, they turn their frustrations into violence behavior towards their lover. They also are abusive when they feel they are losing control of their significant other, or they feel inferior because they are earning less, they feel jealous or anything that affects their ego and self-esteem. This often leads to obsession, were they forcefully restrict their partners from the ‘outside world’ out of fear of losing them and constantly keep them in check. It is important to know just how big the ego of your significant other is and their hunger for power and control. An indication is if they do not like to ‘share’ power with you. They make all the decisions and set all the rules and are aggressive (even passively) when they are not in control. This is a vital sign.

Child_s640x4272. Violent background

Abusers have often been found to come from homes where they have been abused or observed one of their parents being abused. This influences their approach to relationships as they tend to repeat what they observed in their own relationships. It now becomes a form of learned behaviour, especially if the abused did little or nothing about it (positive reinforcement). Violent temperaments have also been found to be hereditary, meaning that the child of a violent man has a tendency to become violent himself from when he is young or in the future. Correlations have been found between juvenile delinquents and abusive behaviour in adulthood. Know very well the background of whoever you’re getting yourself involved with and look out for histories of violence within the family.

3. Substance abuse

There are several cases of alcoholics and drug abusers being abusive. Abuse of drugs and alcohol makes it less likely for one to control their violent impulses. Reasoning is reduced so they become more impulsive. Substance abusers lack self-control and, because they are often not themselves, end up doing things they’d regret when they are sober. This indication would be clear most of the time, act on it!

1-green-finger4. Blame

A major reason why abuse goes on in a relationship is blame. The abuser blames his or her violent behaviours on their partner, saying it’s their partners fault that they are harming them. On the other side, in a number of cases we find that the abused also blame themselves for the abusers behaviour towards them. Telling themselves or others that if they didn’t act in a certain way they would not have been treated badly by their partner. Either way, it deeply affects the self-esteem of the abused and positively reinforces the abusers violent actions. It is important to note that no one else is to blame for our actions; only we are to blame. Never blame yourself for someone else’s bad actions. Beware if its always your fault when something goes wrong in your relationship, and when necessary it is vital you stand up for yourself.

These four signs are often obvious, so do not ignore them.

                                                              Do not be silent in abuse; speak out!

Domestic abuse occurs most of the time when the abuser believes he or she would get away with it. No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship and it can be prevented if we are all mindful of ourselves, our thoughts and our actions.

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Spare the rod?

Every parent  would normally have different methods of raising their children, but it is fair to say that whichever method used can fall under these two categories, they either spare the rod or don’t. Most African homes tend to follow the ever famous Bible quote Prov. 13: 24, which has been understood to imply “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, and therefore physically discipline their children until they get to an age were they naturally become more reasonable and responsible.

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This method is pretty much a form of conditioning which psychologists over the years have shown works with animals and infants. However, one has to consider the possible effects physical discipline could have on a child on the long run. Would it eventually make the child more disciplined or more violent to others? More stubborn or more compliant? A modern theory is that the long-term effects of whatever method parents use to train their children would depend significantly on that child’s temperament.

According to the American psychologist Jerome Kagan, a temperament refers to those aspects of an individual’s personality, such as introversion or extroversion, that are often regarded as innate rather than learned. Arguably the most common theory of temperaments would be that which suggests choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic temperaments are fundamental. Having said that, shall all parents then carefully observe the temperament of their children as to discover the the more effective methods to use when raising that child?

If you say yes- that would require at least one parent spending adequate time with the infant. Time which most Child violence protests placardworking parents should but may not have. However the benefits may well be worth it. Take for example a choleric child and a sanguine child. Sanguines are said to be pleasure-seeking and sociable, therefore it may be more effective using reward and punishment for such a child than for a choleric child who is more stubborn and assertive.

On the other hand, if you say no- it means that you believe that both children should be disciplined the same way regardless. This would mean treating a melancholic child who is naturally prone to sadness with the same sternness used for a naturally stubborn child. The long term effects for the melancholic child may be devastating. Having said that, it’s naturally the troublesome and more stubborn children that would get more physical discipline than the others. This could prove just as the better behaved children, having observed the consequences of bad behaviour, are reinforced in their behaviour and are beaten less.sparetherod2sparetherod4

Whatever method one chooses to use to discipline their children, it is important that they do it solely for the good of the child. Using a child as a punching bag due to being frustrated with life or transferring anger from work on your child would do more damage than good to that child.

Be mindful of your actions – especially when dealing with children.

Whats YOUR opinion? You are very welcome to leave your comments below.