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the real me: part 1

April 21, 2010
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I mentioned last week that April is Child Abuse Awareness Month – though I didn’t elaborate at the time, I feel the time has definitely come.  I received the question “what is it that you do?”.  Part of me wanted to keep it completely quiet…just sharing my running…but I feel pushed to share more. 

I’ve started many posts with “when I started this blog…” in reference to worthy charities and awareness – mostly because I felt the need to share something worth while.  What has made it hard to continue is I have been spreading someone else’s passion.  I was sharing what someone else believed in.   I am not denying anyone of their beliefs or passions, I just seemed to be denying my own.

This morning, on the radio, I heard someone say, “What is it that makes you outraged? Take that outrage and HELP!”  My outrage has always been (and probably always will be) against child abuse.  Any form.  From sexually offending a child – to telling a child “get out of my face!” or “I’m sick of you/this!”  Whatever form it comes in, it can get my blood boiling faster than any other atrocity in the world.  Seeing a mom grab the arm her child in an attempt to get his attention – to hearing a mom tell me “…she’ll be fine.  I was sexually abused and I’m okay.”  I can’t do anything else but to stop help these parents. 

I want to type it all out.  I want to encourage parents to teach their children what they expect instead of tell them.  I want to encourage readers to call 911 anytime they are concerned for a child’s safety.  I want to remind folks that everyone deserves to be treated respectfully – no matter their size, age, birth order, handicap, or attitude. 

My job is fairly specific (when typed on a piece of paper) but what I ‘do’ is broad.  I’m a counselor/consultant/coach who goes into homes and childcare centers to help adults learn to manage difficult behaviors in young children.   What this typically means is “This child won’t do what I say and I’m sick of him! Kick him out! Give him medication! But don’t you dare try to teach me something new.” (paraphrased from 15 years of working with parents/teachers)  🙂

It is from this point that most child abuse starts.  When the adult feels they must be in control of the child or there is something wrong with the child.  Once we lose control of our thinking, we lose our ability to discipline effectively. 

I’ve been there a million times; MODELING “don’t you talk to me like that” (using the same voice tone I’m hearing) or DENYING “I don’t want to snuggle tonight” (spoken in my best 3-year-old voice) or SELF-GRATIFYING “I’m tired. . . I deserve. . . I want. . .” (or any other form of ‘my needs come before your’s’).  So many forms of pain, yet we – as the parent – believe we have a right to act a certain way because we’re the ‘grown-up’.

We model who our children become.  If you don’t like what you’re seeing/hearing, I suggest looking in the mirror instead of at the child.  If you hear yourself saying, “she’ll be fine. I turned out okay.”  I encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself ‘how is what I’m doing okay?’   Maybe I’m talking to the parents/teachers on my caseload right now, but I’m feeling very raw lately.   It’s the real me.

So…this is why I run.  It is the single best form of therapy for me.  (notice how well it’s working? hahaha)

My current-favorite-parent says to me (almost weekly) “how can I be a better parent so that my boys won’t go through what I went through?” Ahhhhhh….hope.

All being said, I’ve been searching for a worthy charity that puts their efforts toward preventing child abuse, but so far – nothing.  There are hundreds out there.  However I haven’t come across one that addresses early prevention, intervention and treatment for parents – and I believe that is where it has to start.  If you know of one, please share. 

Thanks for listening.  There will be more – because it’s me (and because I titled it ‘part 1’ – see how sneaky I am?).

Run the Race you believe in.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2010 11:27 am

    Great post. I couldn’t agree more. We (adults) are the role models.

    I volunteer a fitness program for kids with Seattle elementary schools. It rages me the schools keep reducing recess time. In fact, some schools have gone away with it completly! And then they wonder why our kids are becoming so inactive and overweight. ARghhhhhhh!

    • Mother Runner permalink
      April 21, 2010 12:18 pm

      Ugh! That is so frustrating.
      The human brain cannot function as well without movement – thousands of research studies to prove that! Basically, no recess = lower test scores.

  2. April 21, 2010 12:35 pm

    i love seeing the passion in your words!
    miss you kansas girls!

    • April 21, 2010 2:33 pm

      thanks for seeing the passion and not a raving lunatic! 🙂
      miss my iowa girls too.

  3. April 22, 2010 5:58 pm

    I read your blog because I am reading running blogs….but I must say I am more interested in your passion against child abuse. I have that too…and running only helps so much. I just want to say, most of all, thank you for sharing. It helps so much when someone else talks about it. It is a taboo subject because it makes for discomfort, but it needs to be talked about So. Much. More.
    Elaine

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