By Maryke Venter
31 May 2020 marked the first day of the official Child Protection Week in SA. And yes, within the COVID-19 crisis there has never been a more important time than now to be part of the solution to protect children. My own journey with Child Protection started more than 40 years ago. I was born into a family where both my brothers were adopted. To be part of this journey has molded me in so many ways and what a privilege to be part of a story of HOPE right from the very beginning. Because you see, our family would never have been truly complete without my brothers.
At 17 I received a calling to become a social worker – something I never even considered before. This calling led me to the next phase of my journey with Child Protection. I never doubted that I needed to support children and families in need. In 2013 is started at CMR North as Director. This role gave me a front-row seat to the challenges but also the triumphs organizations face and have in their endeavors to protect children.
Our work is mostly invisible as it involves legal processes; because of this the simplest way to describe our work is to declare: We save children!
During this week, we will share some information about child protection, but more importantly, we will share stories of HOPE. Please support this crucial work that may be invisible but has a lasting effect on every child we save.
CHILD PROTECTION IS NOT A JOB IT IS A CALLING
By Neo Mashao
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: The impact of COVID-19 on children and their emotions →
Society often in times of crisis tend to focus on the basic material needs of the members of society. This is understandable based on Maslow’s theory, but people are so much more than just their material needs. During the first couple of weeks of lockdown the goodwill of donors was overwhelming and thousands of families received food parcels and other material support. But the reality of COVID-19 is that the impact on children are much more than the lack of material needs. Parents / caretakers need to constantly be aware of the fact that they can contaminate children with their own negativity, fears, etc. Do not think because you don’t see your children, they don’t hear you. They also often accurately “sense” parent’s issues by observing behaviour, body language, etc.
Children’s fears regarding COVID-19 include:
(1) The fear of the virus itself – that they may test positive,
that they may infect family members or friends
and that they or loved ones may die.
(2) Some children fear going back to school –
that they won’t be able to keep up with the tempo
in class or activities like sport, etc.
(3) Children fear that friends forgot about them,
do not want to be friends with them anymore
or that they will have to adapt to new friends.
(4) They also fear the threat to their family’s security.
When children are living in circumstances that is not conducive to their emotional well-being (stress, anxiety, rejection, isolation/loneliness, violence, failure, etc) their emotional reserves run on empty. This results in behaviour including attention seeking via negative behaviour and the need for constant attention. They react with aggression, but keep in mind aggression is a facade and behind the aggressive behaviour they hide feelings of helplessness, fear, loneliness, frustration, confusion, depression, etc. Responsible parents tend to the emotional needs of their children – love, attention, connection, security, etc.
If you as a parent are concerned about the emotional well-being of your child, please seek help – it is not any less important than the physical well-being of your child.
By Petro Fourie
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: Motivate your child - What drive’s a child to improve their behaviour? →
(‘6 Ways to motivate your kid 2020’ by Renée Bacher – Explore Parents)
Convincing your children to do things they don’t want to do can be challenging. And making them stop doing the things you don’t want them to do can be even trickier still. What drive’s a kid to improve their behaviour?
While using rewards in the short term isn’t harmful for things like getting your child to stop having a tantrum on an airplane, external rewards won’t build your child’s character or impart the value of keeping his room organized or getting to sleep at a decent hour. What does? Encouraging him to follow the lead of what makes him feel good inside — such as satisfaction in a newly learned skill or a job well done. “That feeling of mastery is tremendously motivating.”
Have meaningful conversations
One-on-one talks with your kid are crucial for tapping into a child’s intrinsic motivation. Children are naturally curious, and inviting them to understand why something makes sense may appeal to their intellect.
Asking your child how it feels doing a particular task while she’s doing it can also contribute to the kind of happy atmosphere that makes kids want to cooperate. Questions like, “What do you think about doing your homework by yourself?” and “How does it make you feel having finished that homework now?” can lead kids to insights they might not have had otherwise about their accomplishments.
Another effective strategy for getting children to turn a bad habit around: Show empathy by asking how you can help. This will put the parent and the child on the same side against the problematic behaviour, rather than setting up a battle.
Kids’ solutions for problem behaviours often work better than parent-suggested ones, because children are invested in having their solutions work. Giving your kids feedback during these conversations about the way they’re handling their responsibilities can also motivate them.
Embrace their imperfections
Most young kids actually enjoy select chores if you can relax your standards about how well and how quickly they get done. For example, some like sorting and matching socks. But kids stop because parents can be too rushed and too picky. Focus on the fact that your child got his comforter off the floor — instead of that it’s hanging unevenly — and praise the effort. And if there are certain jobs your kids love, make sure that they get those jobs.
As for the jobs your kids dislike, using a little creativity can make them more appealing: Use a puppet to ask your child to please clean up her shoes, or challenge her to race Daddy to bed. Offer a choice where possible, even a limited one such as brushing teeth before bath time or after; this gives kids a feeling of autonomy, an important component of tapping into internal motivation. Heavy-handed efforts to control children sometimes lead to unnecessary power struggles that end in words like You can’t make me! . None of us likes to feel controlled, especially little kids. Children like to believe that what they are doing was their choice rather than an obligation.
Consider their capabilities
Think about the time your child learned to write her name, or play a song on the piano, and how pleased she was with herself and how you could barely tear her away from the new activity. The feeling of mastery is profoundly motivating, and the flip side is also true. So have a meaningful conversation with your child about what might be getting in her way. If more answers are needed, talk to her teacher, pediatrician, or a counsellor.
Kids want to please their parents. That sense of connection is powerfully motivating. Praise your kids when you mean it but be careful about how you praise; focus on effort and growth more than outcome. Also, when they hit the home run or land the lead in the school play, be careful that your pleasure doesn’t swamp theirs,” she says. “We want the excitement to be theirs, so it isn’t all about us.”
Lead by example
It’s pretty simple: If you want your kids to stop fighting so much with their siblings, rather than offering them candy or other rewards to “be good,” try to resolve your conflicts with your spouse in a loving and admirable way. To help them remember their manners, make sure you say “please” and “thank you” to them too. And when you’re on the phone and your child wants your attention, don’t tell her “just a sec” if it’s going to be more like 20 minutes.
In doing so teaches your children that you’re going to put them off for as long as you can get away with and that you don’t keep your word. Playing loosey-goosey with time also means that your kids probably will too, so don’t be surprised when you tell them it’s time to leave a party or clear the table, and they say “just a sec” and don’t mean it either. Saying what you mean, and meaning what you say, can be highly motivating indeed.
How can we help kids acquire these skills?
Having a strong relationship with your child may be even more important than we’ve thought. Studies show that children with a secure attachment to their parents — even 3- and 4-year-olds — have greater resiliency and are more self-reliant. It’s also important to remember that character strengths like curiosity and self-control can be taught. They don’t appear magically as a result of good genes. There’s a lot we can do to influence their development in children.
By Ronel Aylward
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: Protecting children is Gods work →
By Wilna Stander
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: Ons dink aan kinders wat nie hulleself kan beskerm nie →
By Anja Le Cornu
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: Let us all protect children during COVID-19, and beyond →
National Child Protection Week is commemorated annually in S.A to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).
The campaign began in 1997 and it aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure that children are cared for and protected. While the initiative is led by the Minister of Social Development, it is every citizen’s duty to a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.
CMR Noord/North is a designated child protection organisation
We are a welfare organisation that renders child protection services according to the Children’s Act in partnership with the Department of Social Development. We have the jurisdiction or mandate to render these crucial services to families in certain geographical areas. We render statutory services with a specific focus on Family Preservation. We have over 84 years’ experience in the field of delivering social services to communities.
993 children were protected by us through legal processes during 2018/9. Most of these children experienced trauma through abuse and neglect. Our services also include safeguarding of abandoned babies and adoption- and foster care services.
Most people understand the impact poverty, violence, unemployment and isolation can have on the on the wellbeing of children. Parenting can also be extremely challenging to parents and care givers under the current difficult circumstances.
The CMR Noord/North operates via 15 Centres of Hope (Offices) in 3 provinces, that render not only Child Protection services, but Family Preservation and Poverty Relief as well.
The Centres need all the support from their communities to assist them with financial contributions or goods in kind.
Contact Anja at firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 460 9272 x2 if you can assist in any way.
By Maryke Venter
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE: The last words on CPP 2020 →
During Child Protection Week 2020 the children were asked:
What do you notice?
Try to notice your thoughts and feelings without trying to change them.
Write your thought and feelings …