Choosing a preschool for your child can be a daunting task with endless things to consider, including the location, community, cleanliness, utilities, the friendliness of the staff, and the range of motor, cognitive, and physical activities they offer.
Not to mention that if you are a new parent, the thought of sending your child to daycare every morning can be scary. Whether you feel guilty because you think your child is too young to be kept away from you, or you worry that they won’t receive an adequate amount of care and affection, you may feel anxious. Every parent’s worst nightmare is to take their kid someplace where they won’t be safe. The issue is that unless someone leaves a major mark on your child, you’d never know if they’re subjected to any form of abuse. To help you out, we collected 6 signs you need to look out for to determine whether a daycare facility might be abusive.
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1. Behavioral Changes
Not every child speaks up when subjected to abuse. This may be because they don’t understand the gravity of the situation or may have been threatened to keep quiet. Some children even believe that the abuse they receive is a consequence of poor behavior regardless of whether it’s true. They may fear that if they tell you, you will get mad at them for behaving badly. No matter the reason behind their silence, children who have been abused may suddenly become overly shy, depressed, or withdrawn. They may also exhibit signs of shame or guilt. While some children are naturally quiet and shy, you will notice a change in their behavior. Some children become more aggressive or violent because they know no other way to deal with the trauma.
2. Fear And Anxiety
Most children despise going to daycare, at least during the first week or so. However, if their feelings remain as intense for a prolonged period, there must be something wrong. Your child should not feel forced to go to daycare. Even if they’d rather stay at home, they must have their good days at the nursery. Notice if they show any signs of fear or anger when they’re dropped off. If they go to great lengths not to go, such as fake illness or makeup lookout stories, or even throw tantrums, you may want to dig deeper into the issue. Always listen to your child if they express discontentment regarding an employee at the daycare. Also, be very concerned if they show discomfort or feel anxious whenever they hear a certain employee’s name or come in contact with them.
3. Unexplained Injuries
While children fall and bruise all the time at the nursery, bruises on the forearms, the legs from behind, shoulders, buttocks, wrists, and neck are usually signs of physical abuse. These are the areas where your child is least likely to get injured if they slip and fall. If this is the case, you need to contact a Corpus Christi daycare abuse attorney immediately. A strong indicator that your child may be abused is if they flinch at any sudden movements or recoils when they’re touched.
4. Infantile Behavior
Reverting to infantile behavior, like sucking on thumbs, wetting the bed, and being terrified of the dark are all signs that your child may be dealing with emotional baggage. Physical and sexual abuse can lead to this type of behavior. Don’t hesitate to look into the issue if you feel that your child has re-acquired old habits.
Everyone can get nightmares. However, if your child suffers from recurrent nightmares and night terrors, the chances are that they’re dealing with something grave. Children don’t have the mental capacity to cope with trauma; they internalize their pain, and thus, it makes its way to the subconscious.
6. Gut Feeling
When parents have gut feelings, especially where their children are involved, they are almost always right. Even if your child isn’t necessarily abused at their daycare, if something doesn’t sit right, it’s definitely worth looking into. Talk to your child and ask them about their time at the nursery. If they’re holding back, observe any changes in their facial expressions, reactions, or tone of voice. Children are not usually excellent secret-keepers, meaning you’ll eventually find out if something’s wrong. The most important thing to do is listen to your child carefully and show them that you care.
Knowing that your child has been subjected to any form of abuse is among the most devastating things you can experience in life. Unfortunately, daycare abuse is growing more and more common these days. The repercussions of this trauma can leave a permanent mark on your child, which is why you must look out for signs of pre-school abuse.