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Dear Readers: According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (www.HHS.gov), April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse is defined, in part, as the physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment of a child by someone who has trust or power over the child.

Kids are our future, and we need to ensure they are raised and cared for in a safe, secure and, yes, disciplined but loving manner. Children for sure need guidance, rules and boundaries.

But if you get frustrated and to the end of your rope, hang on. There are solutions for you. Take a deep breath and reach out to a friend. Raising and caring for a child is difficult; no one is saying it’s easy. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals. But you, as the adult, have been assigned to look after the care and well-being of a youngster; it’s critical you get help if and when you need it.

— Heloise

Tech talk Tuesday

Dear Readers: Last week we defined what an electric funds transfer (EFT) is. Now let’s define Regulation E. Reg E establishes your rights as a consumer when it comes to these transfers. Do your part as a customer. Review your bank statement with an eye on debit card purchases. Notice a discrepancy? Call your financial institution ASAP. They must do the research. Come to the phone prepared with the type, dollar amount and date of the transaction you are disputing.

The financial institution must resolve the dispute within 45 days. There’s more to Reg E than we can cover here.  Ask your financial institution’s manager for help, and read all disclosures that come with your debit card.

— Heloise

(1) comment

Frank Sterle Jr.

Should not every day of the year be National Child Abuse Prevention Month, everywhere?

Trauma from unchecked child abuse/neglect typically results in the helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it acts as his/her starting point into an adolescence and (in particular) an adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. It can make every day an emotional/psychological ordeal, unless the mental turmoil is doused with some form of self-medicating.

Meanwhile, general society perceives thus treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

Proactive measures in order to avoid having to later reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention—that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments—maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Child development science curriculum might be one way.

I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial parenting or child development education by way of mandatory curriculum? After all, dysfunctional and/or abusive parents, for example, may not have had the chance to be anything else due to their lack of such education and their own dysfunctional/abusive rearing as children.

For decades, I’ve strongly felt that a psychologically and emotionally sound (as well as a physically healthy) future should be all children’s foremost right — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter — and therefore child development science should be learned long before the average person has their first child.

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