'A touch, A loving touch'
- much needed!
Publicizing Child Abuse, and making it a public issue, has truly educated and created a strong awareness for all of us. Arousing our natural inclination to now look for it everywhere, and not being careful enough to see where it does not exist. This has created a backlash of fear and confusion among the best of teachers, childcare workers, parents and institutions, as to how much affection is acceptable.
"Marsamus", which means, "Wasting away", existed in the 19th and early 20th century, and children in orphanages, about 100%, died from this disease. Even children in progressive homes, hospitals and institutions died from this ailment. It baffled all. Eventually researchers discovered that infants suffered from lack of physical contact with parents or nurses, and not a lack of nutrition, medical care or other causes. Bottom line - they died as a result of not being touched enough.
For over half a century or more, Dr. Arnold Gesell and Dr. Maria Montessori studied children and their behavior, stressing the child's need for affection should be openely displayed, inorder for the child to know that he/she is important and wanted.
I myself an early childhood teacher, and grandmother, I'm inclined, because of publicized child abuse, become very concious and careful about touching children in my care a lot, for fear my actions maybe misinterpreted.
In our need to protect our children, who are many, and in the care of people other than their parents, lets not isolate them from others, or make others afraid to give our children the attention they so desperately need. We can do this by developing a sensible compromise between caution and hysteria.
Therefore, we see that the answer to abuse should not be an arbitrary "hands off" policy for our children. Instead the people whom we entrust with the care of our children, should be carefully screened, while making sure they are loving, caring, moral and most of all trustworthy individuals. Eventually giving them the support and security to do their jobs with excellence.
Thus A touch - A loving touch for growth and development.