Is Your Child Shy? Could be They're Hiding More Than You Know!
Stacey’s daughter Tessa, (not their real names) now six, is extremely shy. Tessa isn’t just shy around new or different people, she’s shy around most men. She’s also afraid of things, like elevators and being closed in. Her mom says that she has bad dreams at night and is traumatized by the silliest things and becomes ill at the drop of a hat.
Stacey knows what Tessa’s problem is. She’s not just shy. She’s not just a normal child with fears.
Tessa is a victim of childhood sexual abuse. The worst kind—incest! At just three and a half years old, she was sitting at the table with her momma, grandma and grandpa after coming home from a visit with her daddy.
She blurted, “Daddy hurt my peepee.”
That explained all the warning signs Stacey had seen in her daughter, Tessa since she had been just a year old.
Sadly, in most childhood sexual abuse and child abuse cases, close family members and friends are the perpetrator. My ex-husband did the same thing to our three children, and my daughter also told me when she was three. She was really shy too, and did a lot of strange things. Stacey found our story online and contacted me for help. The law should be helping her, but for the past three years they haven’t been doing their job, instead they’ve forced Tessa to still go on her bi-weekly visits with a daddy that’s abusing her. However, God is good, just this year, they opened an investigation and are pursuing Tessa’s case.
Tessa is one of the most beautiful, warm, loving and sensitive children I know. But due to the horrific abuse she continues to suffer, she is withdrawn and afraid of everything in life. She enjoys our visits together, and we pray often as we’re doing something she’s afraid of, so we’re helping her to overcome her fears and panic.
No, I’m not saying that just because your child is shy or afraid, they’re being abused or have been abused. What I am saying, is when it comes to our children, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So here are some warning signs look for:
10 WARNING SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE and SEXUAL ABUSE
-Change in behavior, Shyness, Social Phobia, more afraid of certain things and people
-More clingy and doesn’t want to separate from you
-Redness in the genital and anus areas
-STD or Sores in the mouth
-Unexplained scratches and bruising
-Nightmares and Night Terrors (talking, screaming, fighting, crying, crazy in their sleep)
-Crying and afraid to go to sleep or with a family member
-Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements
-Plays aggressively often hurting pets, siblings, and other children
-Difficulty walking or sitting
*Dream Catchers for Abused Children is a great resource for parents and has all the updated statistics and all the warning signs to look for. Check them out and tell Sandra Potter, I said hello!
Things that are helpful for shy, quiet, or abused children: cuddling with a therapy dog, knowing you’re listening to them, seeing that you believe them, realizing you’re trying to understand them, and lovingly supporting them through their fears, shyness, and abuse.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4