By Brenda Boykin
Parent Abuse by a Young Child
I am aware of how innocent parents can live in fear of being accused of child abuse or neglect. When my son was around thirteen years of age or so, it got to the place I could no longer physically dress him in the morning or make him wear what I wanted. In fact we had already been arguing on a daily basis about his choice of clothing for at least a year. Our biggest issue was over his desire to wear shorts even in the winter because he is hot natured. One winter school day, thinking I was being smart and would teach him a lesson even if it meant he would have to learn the hard way, I let him go to school wearing shorts. With all my glorified wisdom, I even bragged to my daughter that I was sure the kids would make fun of him and we would never have a clothing argument again. WRONG! The kids made him out to be a hero. The teachers did not see him as a hero though. The principal and two teachers asked him that day why was he wearing shorts. He told them, that I was behind on the washing. He must have paid some attention to my arguing or he would have told the truth.
I have been guilty of thinking the worst also. He was in another person’s care one day and when he came home I saw that his whole ear was bruised. It appeared that someone had drug him by the ear or at least squeezed it. I asked him what happened and got the reply that he did not know. I asked the care giver what happened and got the same reply. I finally calmed down enough to make suggestions like did you fall, get your head stuck, and other things that crossed my mind even though I felt that either he and/or the care giver should have been aware of those sorts of things. About a month later he admitted that he had taken a toy rubber cup that was wet and placed it over his ear. It caused enough suction that when he pulled the cup off, his ear bruised. Who would have thought!
I will admit there was the day that he scared me so bad I thought about giving his leg a couple of pops because he could have been killed or run over by a car. He had run away from elementary school. I did not know he knew his way home. He ran past the town judge and town mayor. They tried to stop him and ask him what was wrong but he kept running. Then the local policeman got in on the chase by car. Shortly after Richard came in the back door, the officer knocked on my front door. I sent Richard to his room telling him I would deal with him later. When I stepped out on the porch, the principal and school counselor pulled up. His principal told him that morning that she wanted to see him at the end of the day in her office. He had worried about that all day and when she called for him, he ran right out of the school and all the way home crying. I just knew I was going to be arrested for having evil thoughts.