Families are said to be the first people that we turn to in case an emergency happens. They are the first to know when we have just received good news in our lives. It is where we feel safe. To define it simply, a family is a group of people that are united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption. It is made up of mostly parents and their children. Often described to be the backbone of society, this social unit may just as easily result in drawbacks due to misunderstandings caused by the generation gap and poor parenting. When a child has done something wrong, the usual instinct or mindset of Filipino parenting is to take control and establish consequences without proper communication. Shouting, expressing signs of violence, spanking, manipulative behaviors, is not the right disciplinary action as it may impose long-term effects physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The more frequent they are exposed to abuse, the more likely they are to find this treatment normal and a deed caused by love that is for their own good. According to a study conducted by UNICEF, Eight in ten Filipino children have experienced violence in their own homes. As there may be countless grounds that have to lead to this action such as financial instability, career pressure, or seeking to put an end to bad behavior, this cannot be used to justify wrongdoing for it can produce adverse negative outcomes. The cycle of domestic abuse begins from recurring events of name-calling, physical abuse, and destructive criticism that gradually becomes a habit. Any kind of abuse may have started with their grandparents' beliefs or parenting styles that have been passed to their parents, and then to themselves. The cycle is visible in the way a husband talks harshly to his wife, a manner that he saw his father use to his mother, how the wife resignedly gives in to her husband's demands like her mother did, the need to dominate or control their child, or to neglect their children's needs the same way they were neglected. This parenting style that dates back generations ago may just be the root for their toxic relationship. Many of these issues are the source of all the trauma, low self-esteem, poor academic performance, and rebellion, emotional and behavioral problems. These victims may have to suffer lifelong developmental challenges for at
such a young age they faced extreme and ineffective consequences for their mistakes. In fact, children who are neglected are highly likely to be involved in bullying in school. It's also possible that the majority of those currently in prison for violent crimes were either emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as children. It's a never-ending pattern unless it is broken.
Our parents may have not been good role models but it is never a good idea to normalize such an act or pass it onto others. Mistreatment is like an epidemic that spreads nothing but violence and destroys bonds. It affects the life of each individual, but if we try to break the cycle as early as possible in our own families then it will have a significant impact on society at large. While it may take a while for children of abuse to bounce back on their feet, to forgive, and move forward. It's not easy to let go and convince oneself that "the past is past" due to painful experiences, but with the support of friends, colleagues, and family, the healing process will hopefully become more endurable. There are laws that protect the victims, and mental health hotlines and professionals that they can refer to that will take them one step closer towards recovery. For the abusers, every day is a learning opportunity and a second chance to do better. There are options to explore on the road to change. There are ways to make things right. There are other approaches that they can use to vent their frustrations, anger, fear, and shame, without transferring it to their children or partner. Think of the future of your family. What moral values are you going to impart to your children? What kind of legacy? This path will not only guide you to build a health relationship with your loved ones but will also set you free.