Wounding children

I got into a discussion a while back about the legitimacy of corporal punishment. Liberal parents are fond of labeling any form of punishment child abuse1.

Corporal punishment aside, lets look at the notion of child abuse a bit more.

Let’s say a couple has casual sex, sex outside of marriage, sex outside of a framework that is designed to facilitate the life that could result. If a life were to come about under such circumstances, I believe the couple has committed an act of child abuse by not providing a suitable environment for this newly created life.

Now the parents of this new life could decide to terminate this life. This inconvenience. This parasite. And this would be their last and final act of child abuse as far as this tiny, but no less viable, life is concerned.

But lets say they aren’t as heartless as so many millions of parents are each year. Let’s say they have actually have a bit of moral fiber in their being and decide to care for the life they have created.

If the couple does not decide to start rectifying the unsuitable environment for the new life they have created, meaning they get married and start working on building as much of a home as they can in 9 months, then they are further abusing the child by depriving it of it’s natural right to a family (which means, at minimum, a mother and father who are committed to each other and the new life they have made).

Being in a single parent home (mostly the mother) is the #1 indicating factor of childhood poverty. So when a couple decides to not create a suitable environment for the life they both participated in making, why don’t we call that what it is? It’s child abuse.

When it comes to what is commonly understood to be child abuse, that is the inappropriate application of physical pain, studies have overwhelmingly shown that the greatest threat to the well being of a child is not their biological father. It’s their mother’s live-in boyfriend.

So if people are serious about ending child abuse, why isn’t there more focus on alleviating the situations and factors that lead up to the cases commonly understood to be child abuse (like the mother who stabs her children to death in a gas station bathroom, or the mother who drowns her children in a bathtub, or the mother who shakes her child to death so she can play farmville)? Why don’t we stand up for all abused children?

Sometimes the worst abuse is the kind that leaves no visible marks at all.

  1. That discussion led to this post on the sovereign status of parents over their children. []
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5 responses to “Wounding children

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  2. Thanks for this great post, Wes. You make an extremely good point that the worst kind of child abuse leaves no visible marks- that's how it can go unnoticed and perpetuate or even multiply. Do you see anything to indicate that culture is moving toward recognizing psychological damage as child abuse?

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