Saturday, 28 July 2007

Update: Child Abuse: The Story of Little Xin...



Update: I have been advised (see comments) by Pediatrician Dr Les (MBBS (UK), MRCP (Edin)) to change some of the 'abuse' in my post to another word, as people may become confused. So yes, I have changed some of the words. Thanks Dr Les for the feedback! It also transpires that some people think I condone these kind of behaviour, when all I did was give a running commentary of what is the possible scenario while sharing about Xin. I do not in any way condone child abuse.

***





I have been following the story of 17-month-old Chin Shyan Ping, and I feel so very sorry that nobody intervened soon enough...



During the course of my work in the hospital, I not only was privileged enough to work with darling Chee Keong and all the other special children, but I was also allowed access into a few areas of the hospital not otherwise accessible to the public in general...

Firstly, as some of you might know, I worked in the newborn babies nursery, where I learned hands-on how to care for, feed and clean/bathe newborn babies, some as small as 1 kg!

In addition to that, I was also allowed to work on certain special cases in the Isolation Ward, which I've not blogged about before...



Today, I would like to share with you one story of a little girl called *Xin...



Xin was 3-and-a-half years old when she was admitted into the hospital for suspected child abuse. I got a call a few days after she was admitted, asking if I could spend a few hours a day with the little girl in hopes that I could befriend her and gain her trust, and in the process, make her stay in the hospital less frightening...And of course, if she tells me anything that could help the doctors understand her situation, all the better...



When I first met Xin, my heart went out to her...She was all curled up in a little ball, her cheeks tearstained, and her arm in a sling and cast for a fracture...

She refused to talk to me or look me in the eye, and all I did that day was sit in a chair in one corner of the room, barely saying anything except calling her name occasionally...The idea was to get her used to my presence so that she would realise I meant to be with her, and to let her know I was not the enemy...

All in all, I sat with her for over 3 hours that day, in a corner...



Just before I left, I went up to her and reached out my hand, palm up, while calling her name. I told her I would come back tomorrow...

She looked at me, and then she said, in Chinese: "Can you bring me food? I want to eat KFC Nuggets"...

Ah...There is some progress, I thought...

I agreed to bring her nuggets...



That was how I found myself in the wet kitchen the next morning, at 6.15 am, still groggy-eyed, frying nuggets.

I was groaning to myself the entire time: Sheesh, the things I agree to do!

My mum was rolling her eyes, because I am usually too lazy to even brew coffee at such an Ungodly hour!



After my usual 'rounds' helping the nurses clean and feed the nursery babies from 7-8 am, I tiptoed into Xin's room (The Isolation Ward is inside the Nursery Wing, as the Nursery Wing's main electrical doors are locked, for safety) with the tupperware of nuggets. She was awake...

The minute she saw me, she asked for her nuggets...

I gave them to her. She looked at them, then glared at me: "Not KFC!", she screamed.

Oh dear! Where was I going to find KFC at 8 am in the morning?



To cut the long story short, I ended up bringing Xin all kinds of food. Some days, she demanded ice cream, some days sausages, some days Mee Goreng, some days jelly and the list goes on...

And she was very particular with what she wanted...If I brought the wrong thing, she refused to talk to me, and would scream...And make no mistake, she could really scream! And she bit me hard once too!



Sigh...Abused child? I think she was doing all the abusing! (Update: I can't change this sentence. To people who are bound to get confused, what I meant was the tables are turned (a cry for attention). Which is why I indulged her...)



Xin was also very shrewd, for someone so young...

She would refuse for me to bathe her when it was time, and would only look for me to bathe her when I was busy carrying a baby or feeding them...When I wanted to bathe her, she would insist on the busiest nurse, or scream in protest when her demands were not met...

She would also climb out of her cot (yes, eventhough her arm was broken!) and proceed to run all over the nursery wing, even to the extent of climbing the windows...

The result was a very harassed Daphne running all over the wing too, and from Xin, I learnt never to wear a skirt when working with mobile, hyperactive, tantrum-throwing children...



All in all, I spent 3 weeks with Xin, sitting with her after I was done with the babies, but before Chee Keong woke up...At about 9.30 am, I would go and wake darling Chee Keong up, bathe, exercise and feed him, which would take me about 2 hours. After that, it was back to Xin...



While working with Xin, I learnt many new things about (physical) child abuse...I learnt alot from the 2 Pediatricians, Dr Amar Singh (Head Pediatrician), Dr Sheila and Dr Khatijah...

One thing that Dr Amar always says is that the main aim in intervention was to one day reunite the child with the parents, unless there were cigarette burns or something of that nature (Parents who burn/scald their children are of unstable mind)...



You see, contrary to popular belief, parents and guardians who physically hit their children (exception of cigarette burns and the like) do love the child very much, and are not deranged or excessively violent...(Of course, there are exceptions)...

They hit the child because, often, they do not know how to handle a child, especially one prone to tantrums, violent and/or irrational behaviour, and who are full-of-energy...And most of the time, the adults don't realise their own strength...And the parents are often young and/or struggling to make ends meet under very harsh conditions...

Update: I Never said it was ok that these parents hit their child, so please don't misread.



Taking Xin as an example...Her parents/guardians/babysitters probably didn't know how to discipline her!



The role and aim of intervention was to help these parents by addressing their concerns as parents, and to help them resolve their anger and frustrations in other ways...And of course, to help them handle their child in the best way possible...

These interventions were foremost, to help safeguard the interests of the child, and subsequently, the parents...And of course, to preserve the family unit...



Xin eventually went back to her parents (I do not know what transpired legally, and the agreements made, and I cannot reveal more than this)...



Reading about little Shyan Ping's fate, and that of her parents, I was indeed very sorry, because had someone intervened earlier, Shyan Ping might still be alive...Had a group of dedicated doctors like Dr Amar, Dr Sheila and Dr Khatijah come into the picture, not only might Shyan Ping be alive; she might be happy with her family...



So really, when a child like Shyan Ping dies, whose fault is it? Her parents?



No, the cold fact is: It is society's fault for not doing something...


We have all failed the little Shyan Ping's of the world...



PS: I will periodically share stories of the children and people that I've worked with in the hospital...So, stay tuned! The stories that I share are mostly stories you would not have read in the press about. This is because Dr Amar, bless his soul, is adamant about protecting these children (and their identities) and not letting them become victims of the press and rumour-mongers...We really do need more Pediatricians like him...

As for me, I share these stories (the details are kept confidential) because I think we all have a lot to learn together, and awareness comes in many forms, including through blogs...




Note: *Name has been changed...




76 comments:

Mat Salo said...

Daphne,

Please tell us more of these unfortunate children.. we will look forward to it. But sadly not with relish (like Pi Bani's accounts too) since these powerful stories are sad accounts of the human condition...

BTW, where is the hospital? In Penang?

Anyway, enjoyed your previous post too. I like your spunk and you don't take shit from nobody. Way to go, girl. If only there's only more people like you... But it's ok, at least there's you and you DO make a difference!

Jo-D said...

Dear Daph,
What a toucing piece. I am amazed at how much depth you carry for a girl of 21. You are very blessed for being such a wonderful person and for daring to do something. Please share with us more stories, as we have so so so much to learn and be grateful for. I never thought of people who abuse their child to love the child. Thanks for teaching me. And kudos to Dr Amar, Dr Sheila and Dr Khatijah. We need doctors like them, just like we need people like you!
Hugs

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
I've met Dr Amar but the HIV kids we deal with are usually under Dr Jeya's care. Have you met him? Another nice doctor who'd go out of his way to help the kids.

MotherOfTwo said...

Daphne, Just arrived at your blog. Really admire your bigness of heart. Your parents raised you well and we all have lots to learn from you. Continue your good works and may you be abundantly blessed in every area of your life.

Anonymous said...

I am very humbled by you. I will never think I can learn so much from someone who is so very young. Thank you for sharing Daphne and may you find happiness in your life always.
From, Joe

Kak Teh said...

daphne dear,
I thought these only happen where I am where the newspapers carry daily dosage of children being abused. It is a sad world. It is alwasy the case - intervention came too late.

Aunty Teh

mott said...

Dear Daphne,

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you.

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne ..

I am so glad to know that there's always someone with a heart of gold to make that little difference .. we need more Angels like you to make this world a better place!!

Keep it up, Daphne!!

** Hugs **

winniethepooh said...

Most parents do love their children like what you said, "they do not know how to handle a child,...And most of the time, the adults don't realise their own strength..."

For a helpless 17 month old baby like Shyan Ping, it takes just one incident of 'excessive strength' to 'kill' them.

May little Shyan Ping rest in peace.

You are an angel send from above Daphne just like Dr Amar Singh, Dr Sheila and Dr Khatijah :)

have a great week ahead

tokasid said...

Regards Daphne:

Your entry is very touching. I just can't understand why ppl abused their own children. I've seen this during my primary school age, a kampong mate was physically abused by his own father who works in Henry Gurney school Taiping. Whenever his father saw him playing with us, he'll stop playing and run home. His father will pick whatever handy( broom,tree branch etc) and wacked him.Once he was tied to a tree and his father took a branch with red ants(kerengga) and shook the branch on my friend. He just closed his eyes and cried silently. Thank God, he grew up well and didn't become like his dad.
Keep up your good deeds.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Abang Mat,

It is most unfortunate that we cannot look forward to these stories with relish (I can't look forward to blogging with relish, can I?).

Don't take shit huh? I kaki garang lar...The guard at my hostel said when I marah, my face turns black...

My mum said she only knows two people that can do that: Her previous headmaster, and me...

Heehee...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jo-D,

I never knew that too. It was the doctors who taught me! That's why I share these stories...Because I think we can all learn a lot together...Thanks for reading!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

I've met a few Dr Jeya's, but they're all female...And the one male one, I think, is an MO...I think you're talking about a different Dr Jeya...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi MotherOfTwo,
Thanks for coming by! I suka...Keke...

Hi Joe,
I think we can all learn from each other lar...Actually, we learn alot from the young ones...I learnt a lot from Xin...Like I learnt that if I don't follow her instructions to the dot, she'd scream and/or bite! *Wink*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Teh,

I hope the floods didn't affect you too badly...

Anyway, here you have it: Globalisation...

It's become a wide-spread phenomenon, child abuse...

People used to have double (triple, quad) the amount of children, but they seemed to have more patience too...

We've become so advanced, we don't even have time for ourselves or our love ones anymore...

Daphne Ling said...

Dear The Razzler,

*Hugs* to you too ;)

You're such a nice presence to have in cyber-space...All your comments are so uplifting! I can see your heart is every bit made of gold too!

*Hugs*

PS: Regards to Mrs Razzler...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

You know what? I forgot to wish RIP for baby Shyan Ping...Thanks for the reminder...

Awww...I believe all Pooh fans are angels...All peace lovers, like the super-cute and cuddly Pooh bear ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Ooops Mott,

You're very welcome! And thanks for popping by!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Tokasid,

Wow! Thanks for coming by...What an honour!

I guess your friend's father forgot to draw the line between his own children and those at Henry Gurney school, although I think he shouldn't treat the kids (at Henry Gurney) like that either...

Shaking kerengga? Oh My God! I doubt he's very stable mentally, if I may say so...

I was told that parents who cause such sadistic pain on their kids (I mentioned cigarette burns in my post) are 'wrong' up there...I guess kerengga-shaking ones are too...

Regards to your friend...I'm glad he turned out ok...

And thanks for dropping by =)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

hi daphne,

i may be wrong but from what i can gather, Xin's unbecoming behaviour was simply a normal reaction after a traumatising experience she went through. the comfort she gets from the staff and u especially, was some what comforting and resulted in her demanding more attention. she's only 3 and i dont see any wrong to give in, provided u r game for it, which i am very sure u r. but then again i may be wrong. take it easy.

thank you.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp (Ph.D),

Why do you think I ended up waking up early in the morning to cry all kinds of finger food for Xin? Or drive to 7-11 (which is on the other end of the hospital, from my place) to buy her ice-cream? Or run around the wing after her when I could have been firm and forced her to sit?

To indulge her lor...She must learn that hospitals are not a horrible place, and that not everyone is bad (as in out to hit her etc)...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

oops, i may have said something that may have offended you. my mistake. the fact that you went out of your way for her says alot already. and i can only admire you from far. my sincerest apology.

Tiara said...

Kerp has the right idea here. I'm actually shocked at this entry, Daphne. I would think that after working with children who have experienced trauma, you would know better then to say things like:

"Sigh...Abused child? I think she was doing all the abusing!"

and then you go on to say that most parents that abuse their children actually love their children, they just can't control them?! What, is it the CHILD'S fault they get abused, because they're not "good enough"?

As Kerp earlier mentioned, the reason Xin was lashing out at you could very likely be because that's all she knows to do. Children need attention and they can really act out when it's not given to them. Xin was likely abandoned often and had to resort to being aggressive to get what she wanted.

She also likely didn't trust you, so that could be her little way of testing you - to see if you would go to all lengths to support her. A lot of kids that go through the foster care system in the US do something similar: they become rather undisciplined and rowdy because they want to see if their adoptive/foster parents really love them, or they feel that they themselves are unlovable so don't see the point of having to act "nice". It's self preservation, it's self protection. Not surprising if Xin had been through some terrible abuse.

Love NEVER leads to abuse. YOU DO NOT ABUSE SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, FULL STOP. Blaming the kid for being "undisciplined" is NOT an excuse. Children need discipline, but they also need respect and love. Abuse is NOT love.

(And before anyone here accuses me of being a troll: I've worked with Daphne before and have always known her to be intelligent, caring, and kindhearted. So this post genuinely surprised me in its ignorance and judgment.)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Haha! Insult me? No way! I was merely telling you what happened! Haha...If I were to be insulted, it would be to the comment below your 2nd comment, because it is obvious Tiara didn't read the post properly, before giving her opinion...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Tiara,

Firstly, I ask you re-read my post properly, because it was not my opinion...

You probably had to go listen to the speech Dr Amar gave in Heritage Hotel a while back about abuse (and misconceptions)...I would not dare to think I know more than him, but if you think so, ok with me =)!

Secondly, Xin was a child-abuse suspect (child)...

And thirdly, I did mention at the end that "Taking Xin as an example...Her parents/guardians/babysitters probably didn't know how to discipline her!"

I wish to point out to you that I did say that "They abuse the child because, often, they do not know how to handle a child, especially one prone to tantrums, violent and/or irrational behaviour, and who are full-of-energy...And most of the time, the adults don't realise their own strength..."

And the aim of intervention was to make them realise that...

Becuase many parnets smack their child, but they forget that one so small can be more easily hurt...If you smack me at the same force, I would suffer no more than a hurt-ego!

Ignorance huh? I think the biggest ignorance is when you pass a judgement before you meet the child, and before you learn from the elders (and experts) around you...

And hey, when I said the abuse child was doing the abusing, I was refering to the fact that she bites me if I fail to do as she says...

The tables have turned, have they not?

And yes, I did see it was probably her way to make a statement, which is why I still sat with her despite her biting and tantrum throwing, and gave in to her demands, so that she was control...

And by the way, you cant compare with US system, because Xin is not in foster care, and she is happily back with her parents...The officers do check, you know?

Anonymous said...

Greetings to Tiara and Daphne,
I have been a practising pediatrician for over 20 years and worked in the government sector for about 15 years. Although you find it hard to belief Tiara many of this parents love their children but just don't know their strength and don't know how to handle their kids.
I think to be fair Daphne has handeled this piece very well. She has only touched on physical abuse and did mention that there are exceptions like cigaretes. As a doctor, I wish to add others like pouring hot oil, hot water, using hot irons et al. Her only mistake was probbly to use the word "abuse" (Daphe perhars you want to change that word?).
I guess you have to be in the field and faced with it before you realise how bad the public perception is of all this cases.
Tiara, perhaps if you venture out you might realise that your perception of abuse and hitting is very prejudiced. I suspect Daphne herself found it shocking that parents who hit their child hard love them alot. The difference is Daphne has seen the other wolrd and has had her eyes opened.
As for Daphe my advice is change the word. And keep up the good work. As for the Xin being the abuser i see it was a joke.
Regards,
Dr. Les
MBBS (UK), MRCP (Edin)

Evil Steve O' said...

thanks deph for making me see things another way. a little off topic here; my opinions towards child abusers were one of spite and hate. this was actually built up from anger from losing my 1st child (she was 2 weeks away from birth when she died in the womb) . I never could realise how ppl could abuse their child or abandon them in front of ppls homes. Watching those kind of news made me angry. Here i was wanting a child so much and there they were, not appreciating wht they have and i didnt have.
well, the stars must have aligned well for us, as we were blessed with a beautiful daughter 1 year later. and u know the sweet part? she looked exactly like the one tht didnt make it. So there must be someone up there aye?

anyway, i sent u an email. maybe u r too busy, but will be back in ipoh with my wife and daughter either this coming weekend or the next..depending how well i recover from this annoying flu.. will u be in iph?

Anonymous said...

Do u hv a university degree to be feeding babies? dont u think it's very dangerous if you'r dont? they are babies! very fragile! r u a medical or nursing studnet?

Lesser Evil Steve O' said...

excuse me, since when do you need a degree to care for a child?

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Dr Les,

Yes, you are right Dr Les, I was a little too hasty in using the term 'abuse'...Probably why I got Tiara all ready to kill me ;)

I will re-read and change the words where appropriate...Thanks for the tip...

You said: "I suspect Daphne herself found it shocking that parents who hit their child hard love them alot"

Actually yes, I was shocked. I could not understand that someone could hit their child so hard and love them...

But you know what I learned? Frustration leads us to do many wild things. And when you're frustrated right, you do many things you end up regretting...(Adrenaline does give you loads of strength you never knew you had, huh?)

I also learned there are many reasons besides the (sometimes) most obvious. For example, when a child is said to be supposedly abused, and we see the child with a broken arm, we automatically assume she was beaten till her arm broke right? But the child could be hyperactive too! Like in Xin's case, I spent half my time coaxing her down from the top of the table and the grills!

In a (frustrated) attempt to stop her, her parents probably gave her a blow (But I wont speculate too much)...

Thanks for the feeback Dr Les. It's great to have someone who specialises in the field to give his opinion. =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Evil Steve O',

Yes, I got your email. I have yet to reply because I wasn't sure of my schedule yet...I will be in Ipoh this week, but my finals are next week, so I doubt I can meet up with you, Mrs Steve and baby Marissa...If I can make it, I'll give you a tinkle, k?

Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear about first baby. I cannot even begin to tell you how sorry because no one can ever guess how painful it is to lose a child...

I guess a lot of our own attitudes and view of things is caused by our own experiences. Like I now feel more kindly (desperation comes to mind) towards people who abandon their child, because I have worked with abandoned children...

I think you get my drift =)

Condolences to you and Mrs Steve...And give baby Marissa a hug for me!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Anon 5.35,

Wah...Wa tadak degree oh...

And no, not medical or nursing student.

But don't you think a degree is not necessary to care for a child? I mean, if lidat right, alot of mothers don't 'qualify' to care for their children lor ;)

And don't worry. The nurses are always there and they put me through a 'crash course' in baby-caring before they allowed me to carry the children la (as in the nurses all taught me the do's and don't's and kept a watchful eye over me)...

And in case you're wondering, yes, I wash my hands before touching every baby, and yes, I wear a mask if I even have the teensiest cough...

Heh ;)

PS: Btw, out of curiousity, what kind of degree were you refering to? Is there such a degree as 'how to carry babies'? Seriously...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Lesser Steve O',
Thanks!

Daphne Ling said...

Oh by the way Tiara,

Troll?!?!

If J.K Rowling is to be believed, trolls are smelly, super fat, disgusting, clumsy and have big, fact, slimy nose-boogers...

*Pinches nose*

You no troll...

At least, I don't remember you as someone who stinks...

As for the slimy, nose-boogers...Neh neh neh!

Jo-D said...

Daph can I adddres Tiara,
Tiara: Daphne DID NOT say parents ABUSE their children BECAUSE they LOVE them.
She said (this is in my words): just because they abuse their children DOES NOT mean they DON"T love them or in another way: Although parents abuse their children, they ALSO love them.
Do you understand the difference? I read your post correctly, right Daph? This is what you mean right? That is how I read it any way.
___________________________________
Daph can I also address Kerp?
Kerp: Daph just agreed with you in her comments. It does not sound like she was insulted at all. An insulted Daph does not say lor. Correct?

PrincessJournals said...

Poor girl. Its not easy and heart wrenching enuf (not to mention WITHOUT pay!) to be doing wht ur doing without having some ignorant ppl condemning u in using certain 'word' and expecting u to be "politically correct".

and 1 anon even had the cheek to ask u if ur a medical/nursing student! wht kinda stupid question is tht? i guess he/she shud sue his/her own mother for not having 1 and yet fed him/her when he/she was a baby!

pls also stop comparing US and Msia. as if its all good in the US! a few cases of doc/nurse of death in the US already.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

oh no, look at the mess i've made. again, my sincerest apology for causing this little fracas. i can assure you guys it was just a misunderstanding and i got it all wrong when i first read daphne's feedback. thanks Jo-D for pointing that one out.

daphne deserves a pat in the back for she has definitely given her best.

and lets all hope too xin to recover fully in no time and will grow up to be as normal a child could possibly be.

thank you.

Tiara said...

I knew the "ignorant people/politically correct" comment would pop up somewhere. -_-;;

I'm basing this off my own experience with people who have gone through abuse. It's more than just "hitting a child is OK, cigarette burns are abuse" (which I'm getting from your post. Please clarify for me if that's not the case.) Even hitting a child is abuse, especially when it causes them pain.

To say that the parents don't know their own strength, I feel that it's not fair to the child. They shouldn't suffer because the parents "don't know their own strength". If s/he's being hit or hurt, the parents have severe rage issues which is causing the child HARM. And then you have emotional and mental abuse, which leaves no visible scars but can break someone from that.

And you got that from a doctor? I'd honestly be worried of that doctor if he starts classifying certain actions as "abusive"/"non-abusive"...

"Oh sorry I hit you, I didn't realize I was so strong"? What a pathetic excuse to give a child, who has to feel the pain. It does not make the pain go away. And what sort of love is it when you don't even consider the child's pain?

Yes, you do hurt the ones you love. I've done this (not physically but emotionally) and I regret it. But that doesn't mean the abuse didn't happen. That doesn't mean the abused doesn't need help.

And "child abuse suspect"...I don't know, I reckon people who report abuse typically don't lie. The way it's been written here sounds like someone is lying about the abuse. Hmm. It bothers me.

US system, Malaysian system, whatever - abuse is still abuse, and the way people react to it is universal. Xin's being typical in her responses, which is ultimately very sad because it reflects just how horrendous her situation was.

I'm not trying to be "politically correct" and neither am I trying to kill or damn Daphne to anything. I just had such a terrible gut reaction reading Daphne's post that I had to speak out. Too bad I end up getting told I "didn't read it properly" or I am "ignorant" or "prejudiced", because honestly I'm none of those things. But what can I do? I cannot change your mind.

Ibu said...

Hi Daphne

Here for the first time and glad I did. Such exemplary conduct for a 21 young gal you are!

As for Xin, at age 3, the need for attention is perhaps at the highest peak. Any 3 year old is the centre of the universe. The world revolve around 3 year old. And it's a phase. If only her parents remember they were also like that. Sigh ...

I'd like to link your blog to mine, I hope you don't mind.

After all, these are deep stories about caring for children - from another perspective altogether.

Thanks!
Ibu

tokasid said...

Regards Daphne:

Reading Tiara's comment 1 August 2007 at 8.06AM , made me wonder...Is there a line to separate punishment( school going children) and Abuse? My question is not about infants or toddlers but with regards of school-going kids.

A dad or mum need to make sure their kids are on the right track but might need some sort of punishment accordingly,if necessary.

When and what do we say its a punishment and what and when it becomes an abuse?

Daphne Ling said...

Ok first I will address Tiara, then I will address the rest...

Dear Tiara,

Hey, look, nobody called you a troll ;)

Firstly, I have to reiterate that nobody on this blog supports or condones child abuse in any way...

Secondly, allow me to point out that what I said was (paraphrased) that although parents hit their child, it does not mean they don't love them...I never said they hit the child because they love them (Thanks Jo-D! for helping me concise it...)

*To use you (your comment) as an example, just because you hurt the people you care about (emotionally, mentally), would it be fair if I come and accuse you of not loving them?

Thirdly, hitting does not classify as abuse (yes, I was a little too hasty in using the word)...

Personally, I am all for giving a child a smack/hit (READ: Smack the bottom with a hand or tap the hand with a normal ruler). Many children nowadays are 'devils' because they were never smacked...Trust me, have seen so many...I don’t see what is wrong in smacking a child (Read above for definition of 'smack')...Better smacked than growing up such a devil that everyone (except the parents) hates!

"Hitting a child is OK, cigarette burns are abuse"...Please read definition of 'hit' above…And I never said abuse was ok…

Fourthly, nobody (especially me) ever said that children should suffer because parents don’t know their own strength...Which is why there is intervention! Because we know it’s not ok!

What I did say was, we have to realise that when a parent hits a child, it does not mean they don't love them!

That is not the same as saying we condone child abuse, and by golly, let us all start a movement to support child abuse, and hell, throw the kid away and blame him for misbehaving!

Do you think intervention is there to blame a child?

Whihc is why I am finding it hard to fathom how you can turn something like sharing my experience, and sharing one misconception about abusive parents into a whole "What, is it the CHILD'S fault they get abused, because they're not "good enough"?"

Did I ever say it is the child's fault? I'm just telling you the parents are human too, capable of love (but yes, go about all showing it the wrong way)...I’m telling you that in helping the child, we must not assume only the worse of the parents!

And allow me to point out that I know Xin's behaviour was her way to say something...WHY in heavens name you think I give in to her? To let her know she has control in her life! And my statement was merely to show the tables have now turned! (Which of course you insist on believing I condone child abuse)

Anyway, regarding "And you got that from a doctor?", let me point out that all this kind doctor meant was that there are two sides to everything, and as people who intervene, we should not be prejudiced (Read: 'Oh, damn those parents, I don't care about what is going on...Hang them for daring to touch the child' mentality) But yes, again, you insist on thinking he condones child abuse too...

If we are people who condone child abuse in any way, or who blame the child for misbehaving, then by golly, the doctors won't intervene (Oh wait, intervening means we are against the child), and I wont spend hours sitting with her to make her stay less scary (oh wait, I blame the child for being hit, so I sit with her and bring her food and play with her)...

As for "Even hitting a child is abuse, especially when it causes them pain., let me point out that 1) Every child has a different threshold of pain, and 2) 80% of children during our parents time were hit (READ: Caned, with cane, and even with belts and the like), and they turned out fine...

Some children, even a jentik with the finger makes them howl, while others, fall from trees, and still not cry...So, if the threshold of pain is vvvvvv low, if I jentik a child, it's abuse?

And tell me, look at the world today (let’s concentrate on Asian countries)...Moral values and many others are going down the drain, because parents don't smack their children, and the children think everything is right and they are the king of the world...Tell me, would a smack on the bottom harm these kids? NO! But it might help them...

If that is your view (that all forms of hitting, as long as it hurts the child) is wrong, then next time, if and when you have kids, if you so much as lay one palm on his bottom (for, say, biting another person), and he says 'Oww!', I will personally report you for child abuse...Not because I think it is child abuse, but because you do...

As for the report of child abuse, let me state that I never said it was a report...A child could be suspected to be a victim if there are funny bruises, no one has to report it...And sometimes, funny injuries are self-inflicted (like when I continuously broke my arm as a child because I was mischievious)...

As for calling you 'ignorant', interesting how you can say "I'm not ignorant", but are so sure other people are...

Tiara, if you would like to offer something constructive (which I would really appreciate) about what we can do to help these children or what we can do to help the parents, by all means, do so. But if your only aim is to point fingers and accuse all the people involved for supporting child abuse and out to blame the child, I don't see any point in furthering this exchange of words.

There is a fine line between pointing something out, and pointing a finger.

Because really, I don't see how people can think the very people who help be the ones who support the violence in the first place...

Because if that is the case, then nobody will ever help anyone.

Come to think of it, my life will all the more easier if I don’t. For one, by sitting at home, I will be known as “intelligent, caring and kindhearted”…

Cheerio!

Daphne Ling said...

Sorry Tiara,

"As for the report of child abuse, let me state that I never said it was a report..."

Should read:

As for the "report of child abuse", let me state that I never said it was a report...

=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

No, no, no...You didn't cause a fracas! I'm glad you pointed out that Xin was, to paraphrase, crying out for attention...You were the first to realise!

Im glad we sorted things out though...And for the record, I still think you rank very highly on my list for your spirit in life!

Ta!

Daphne Ling said...

Ooops, sorry...

Hey PrincessJournals,

Thanks for understanding my post =)*Hugs*

As for the guy/girl who asked about the degree, I'm actually confused lor...Because if there is some kind of course that I can go for, I'm all open for it! No harm in learning more!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ibu,

Thanks for coming over, and yes, I'd be honoured if you think this is worth linking and link me...

Yes, children age 3 think the world revolves around them (in fact, some never outgrow it! I would be guilty too now and then), and it would help if parents remember that...

But then again, if you're faced with bills and mortgage, and with no job, and pulling your hair over your next meal, it's hard to remember children will be children, huh?

Which is why there's intervention lor...To help them address, if nothing else, at least the way they handle the child while they themselves are stressed...

But ultimately, it's always the children's best interest at heart, which is something we can all take comfort in...

Anyway, thanks (again) for coming over!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Tokasid,

"Is there a line to separate punishment( school going children) and Abuse? When and what do we say its a punishment and what and when it becomes an abuse?"

I don't know sir...I'm not an expert in this field, and I don't profess to know all.

Anybody want to help me answer this? Anybody wanna suggest a 'yardstick' of some sort?

As for "A dad or mum need to make sure their kids are on the right track but might need some sort of punishment accordingly,if necessary."

All I can say is, Hear, Hear!

And yes, I think that a smack on the bottom with the palm is fine to set kids on the right track...

Kalau pakai pampers, pembaris biasa (30 cm, nipis, diperbuat from kayu) can lar!

sankochan said...

I wanna abuse daph daph for leaving me alone for a whole week!!!

*cries!*

Daphne Ling said...

Oh you drama-queen SankoChan,

It's not a week lar...Only 2 days (Friday, and Wednesday!) lar...

I'll be back before you know it, and we can eat tomyam!

Don't cry!

*Pat, pat head*...

aemi said...

If only so many people responded to my plead for comments on my bloody law essays (which are mostly really damned boring - as you know the law), i wouldn't need to go to college eh? hehe..

even wei chieh struggles to keep awake hearing me babble on about what i need to memorize for the exams :P

miss you nai..

Daphne Ling said...

Oh dear, I forgot Jo-D,

Dear Jo-D,

Wow...You read me very well (yes, you read it the way I meant it!), and you seem to have gotten the whole thing so well, you have summarised what I'm thinking/feeling in a few statements...

Which is amazing...

And yes, you're right with Kerp too! See Kerp, I'm not angry ;)

Thanks dear...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Ae Mi,

The only reason why nobody responds is because nobody knows how to...

I would love to help you, but I understand perhaps 2 words of the entire law thingy, so, heh...

Too many words, and too many foreign words at that...

I can give emotional support though *Hugs*!

Steve O' not so evil after all said...

hi deph,
good afternoon.

too bad ur schedule is tight. good luck with yr exams , im sure you'll breeze through it..sap sap sui..

as for you changing the term, well it wasnt really necessary if you asked me, cos i think most of us understand wht u meant :)

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Daphne,
Interesting post here. My 2 cents here if you allow!
It doesn't matter who or what you are. There are not enough doctors to care for peoples' health and well being. As I see it Daphne, you are an agent of change. You do the right thing woman. If it comes from the heart, it will always be right. And doing it over and over and over and over again will make you an expert in it. Usage of words like 'abuse' whether it should be used or to whom its referred to does not matter. What matters is that you are there doing the right thing, caring for them. And by the way you do not need a degree to feed kids. Some of our parents didn't even make it to varsity and they brought up children some healthy, some wealthy and some wise. Just go do the right thing girl and if your heart is in the right place, everything will be right.

J.T. said...

I read your post three days ago and have been following every comment.

As far as I am concerned, there is no ignorance and judgment. If at all, you were judged (by Tiara and Anon@5:35) for the selfless work you do.

You keep up with whatever you are doing to make a difference in some people's lives. You are doing good. *hugs*

La Cucaracha said...

Hey Daphne,

Jumped over here from Kerp's blog.

I must say it's admirable what you do especially on a volunteer basis!

Keep up with the good work!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Steve O' Not So Evil After All,

Wahlau! Your nickname is getting longer and longer...Next time, Steve O' cukup ler...I know you not evil ;)

Yeah, I'm sorry too...My finals is next week, so this whole week, am trying to make the best of my time...The next time you come back, drop me an sms, and if I'm around, I will come see you and family!

As for changing the term, oh well, why take the chance that somebody else gets confused? Anyway, it was a professional opinion right?

Take care Steve =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Tony,

You're back! Have been checking your blog, but you've been away...

Of course your comments are allowed...Not only allowed, they're also appreciated ar =)

Thank you Tony. To me, as long as we do things with our conscience clear, things are cool...

But that doesn't mean we don't clarify things when they go wrong right?

Anyway, welcome back!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi JT!

Ar...It's so nice to' see' you again...Been abit worried when I realised you menghilang from cyberspace for so long...

*Hugs*

Thanks for understanding what I was putting across.

Whatever it is, I'm glad that you're back!

See you round...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey La Cucaracha,

Welcome to Aphasia-Dysphasia! Haha...I've always wanted to say that...

Thanks for coming over, and an equally big thank you for your warm 'welcome' note...

Cheerio!

PS: You're a fan of the song with the same name, huh? Doesn't it mean 'The Cockroach' or something?

Tiara said...

:(

I never said that anyone here condoned child abuse. Please don't get me wrong here. I'm not even calling anyone ignorant here. As I said before, the post trigged a terrible gut reaction, I wasn't sure what you were getting at, I'm glad you clarified some points, that is all.

And I do definitely think hitting a child counts as abuse. Hitting a child does not really help as discipline. All it does is makes them resent you, makes them associate "being good" with pain. It's never really helped. Discipline comes with respect, letting the child know what the issue is, with understanding. Hitting does NONE of those things - it's knee-jerk.

Feel free to disagree, but this is what I've experienced and researched and I will stand by it. I have never hit a child and God forbid I ever will.

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Tiara,

I have said all I need to say. Whatever it is, you are entitled to your opinion =) Good to know you realise nobody condones child abuse...

Cheers!

mob1900 said...

some KFC outlets are now open 24 hrs, since July that is.

The pow-wah from Little Xin?
*Those geeks at colonel sanders spent years hooking up their nuggets and fried chickens to kids since, since ... forever, so never hoodwink these 'kids' with home-make-love-fill-wholesome nuggets. They won't 'get it'. Still, carry on.

chevy said...

hi Daphne,
Been following your blog for some time.
I'm curious -with the child returned t her parents, was there a social worker assigned to keep an eye on the family for a period of time?
Do you happen to know?
From your post, it seems the child and her parents require guided counselling in an effort to ensure they - the parents know how to handle the child's behaviour, as well as to ensure the child recognises that her parents behaviour will change twards her.

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as Family Social services to handle suspect child abuse cases?
If a family has trouble bringing up their kids, once reported to the Family Services, are they given guided counselling?

Not to sound cynical, but Malaysians grew up with the jaga tepi kain mentality when it comes to issues like these. So not surprisingly, real abuse cases are almost never reported.

Daphne Ling said...

This was before July, and indeed, I don't even know if Ipoh (now) has a 24 hour KFC! Not exactly a die-hard fan of the outlet...;)

But yeah, we can never fool kids, especially when it comes to fast food! Whatever it is, I wasn't trying to fool her...Wanted to get her something hot, but yeah, I learnt better cold, but exactly what she wanted, then hot, but not exactly what she asked for ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Chevy,

Thanks for popping by...

I understand your concern, but rest assured that the whole situation is well monitored...

Remember I said I cannot reveal the actual facts of the case (what kind of counselling, how long, by whom, from where etc)?

I know we have heard many stories of how useless and hopeless our system is, which is why I share these stories, because among all the bad apples, we do have dedicated people in the force...

The Medical Social Workers in charge of Ipoh Hospital, Pn Kala, is a very dedicated and concerned woman, who handles all these cases very well...

The lady from Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (Pn Norlela) who liases with the hospital, too, is a very dedicated and wonderful woman, and I am happy to say that the Pediatricians too are very dedicated in making sure the child is safe (House visits, counselling etc)! Indeed, it is not the job of one person, but of many people from many units!

Bear in mind I am not giving these answers with regards to Xin's case alone...They are a standard with all the cases, and like I said before, I cannot divulge what transpired in Xin's case, or any other child's for that matter...Morover, I do not know exactly what transpired (it's hard to stay 'impartial' when you're spending so much time with the child)...

But rest assured things go well before they 'release' the child! And yes, they keep in touch with the family (at least the ones I work with, I know they do)...

zorro said...

Daph, the trials and tribulations come with the job you have volunteered for. It takes all types to make this world go round. Some will agree, some refuse to agree. Take it in your stride. Dont allow any negatives to distract you from the work you do for these less advantaged. There are many of us in this blog who will hold your hand in difficult times. Just keep focused.God and all of us love u.

Wattahack? said...

Daphne, you got it right when you say parents or guardians may not know how to handle some kids...

I would like to stress kids of today is very much different from yesteryears. They are smarter, craftier & ingenious in ways we never thought of before. Its hard for educated parents to handle them what more if the parents are not so educated?

Its not like one thinks just by loving or pampering they will grow up fine. Only way to get to them or get around them is to outwit them. I know I was once the badkid and only my dad had the brains to outwit me... if all else fails you see me hanging from the balcony! hahahaha

IBU said...

Hi daphne,

Sorry to knock early Sunday morn.

Fresh from the oven in my blog re In Search of Salhi. Pls can you read and see if it fits for you to kindly cascade and disseminate.

Thanks v much,
Ibu

chevy said...

hi Daphne,
Glad to know that there is some support for families that need the help for childrearing.

Please hear me out..

I'd like to point out that while you say "80% of children during our parents time were hit (READ: Caned, with cane, and even with belts and the like), and they turned out fine..."

I have to disagree with you there. Some grew up to be adults who repeated what their parents did to them and seriously... the children of these new parents ended up growing up with emotional traumas. It takes a lot for those children to STOP the vicious circle - they could continue to do the same to their children or try another way of disciplining their kids and instlling respect instead of fear.

I do agree with a corrective tick, but i'll disagree with caning/belting and the like cos it instills FEAR instead of RESPECT.

I'd say that these days (in asian countries) becos both parents try to make ends meet and provide a better life for their kids, disciplining their kids is the last thing they want to think about because they feel guilty they do not have family time...and when kids do not get the attention from their parents, they act out in every way possible until it escalates out of control.

I've said my piece.

Good luck with your exams(?) and keep up the good work.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle Zorro,

Haha...I'm ok if anyone disagress with my views, and no, am not discouraged...After all, people have always find what I do to be weird ;) But I do have a problem if someone makes accusations...=) Good Sunday to you Uncle B!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Wattahack?,

Agreed, children today are not the same as children of yesterday...Call it whatever you want, but sometimes I do wonder how to balance the best of yesterday, and the good of today?

Sigh...Susah hor?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ibu,

Will put up a notice on my blog...Thanks for passing this on, and hope Salhi is back with his family soon...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Chevy,

Welcome back, and thanks for disagreeing after reading my post properly...

Yep, I agree with you when you say parents should not use belts, or even use the cane...Anything that can scar a child physically is bound to leave a mark emotionally and mentally too (which is why it's amazing how many people of yesteryear turned out ok...though not all, you're right. Thanks for pointing it out)...

Actually, I agree with you with regards to parents today continuing the tradition of hitting their children...

Didn't anyone think that perhaps they don't know how else to be a parent? I mean, if you were brought up hit all the time, you might think that's the correct (and even only!) way to bring your child up, huh?

But now that we (society) knows it's not right, that's where the whole intervention thing comes in: To help them see that there are other ways to go about, I guess...

That's my personal opinion, by the way ;)

Whatever it is, feel free to disagree, and thanks for voicing it out =)

Daphne Ling said...

By the way,

The 3.30pm comment-reply dated August 4th was to Mob1900...Somehow, his name disappeared when I clicked 'publish'...Don't ask how, I have no idea...=)

La Cucaracha said...

Yea Daphne,

I'm as pesky as the cockroach who has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. hehehe

karthik sekar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.