When your children abuse their kids.

Signs of abuse in grandchildren. Warning signs of physical abuse, neglect, mental emotional, and sexual abuse of your grandchild. Mental and emotional abuse are harder to spot. Is your child abusing your grandchild? Grandchildren and grandparents are a team so you can’t hide from abuse.


Is Your Child Abusing Your Grandchild?

Warning signs of physical abuse, neglect, mental or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse of your grandchild.

Sometimes parents can’t see the forest for the trees. A few bruises on their child’s arm or leg. You mention it to the child’s parent, your child.

He/She says, "Oh, another child grabbed him at day care and they tussled. He doesn’t defend himself very well. Maybe we should work with him."

Or your child says, "Her teacher said she fell down a lot today. Maybe she’s not getting enough sleep."

The caregiver is abusing your grandchild. Pass the buck, change the subject, keep parents off-center, and probably keep them from guessing the truth.

That’s where grandparents come in. You can see the forest for the trees. You need to be alert and aware.

There are many warning signs of abuse of children. One sign, one or two times, does not necessarily mean anything. Keep watching before you jump to conclusions but once you are reasonably sure, discuss it with your child or his/her spouse. Tactfully, of course.

If you have the time to investigate caregivers, offer to help, then let them make the final decision.

But the worst part is yet to come. What if your child or child’s spouse is abusing your grandchild?

Why would they do this?

Maybe they are under much financial, work, or other pressures. Maybe they are having marital problems. Maybe your daughter or daughter-in-law is suffering from postnatal depression.

Do everything you can to help, including offering whatever financial support and time you can give to them.

But if all else fails, the child comes first. You must report it to the proper authorities.

That’s the law and your only choice when children are involved.

Look for the following signs of abuse:

Physical Abuse: Sores, burns, bruises on body. A reluctance or vagueness about where these originated. Bruises and burns are the most persistent physical symptoms.

Neglect: Soiled diapers, dirty hair, unwashed clothes, body odor. Sometimes weight loss and lackluster skin and/or hair can indicate neglect, particularly in a proper or sufficient diet.

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Emotional or Verbal Abuse: Sometimes this is much harder to tell. Abused children often become quiet but that is not always a way to tell. Lack of self-esteem is another way to tell, but again, that does not mean children are abused. Again, this can be a hard call. On the other hand, a parent who is always correcting, making fun of, or putting down a child is definitely practicing verbal abuse.

Sexual Abuse: There are warning signs of sexual abuse of children, too. Precocious behavior; sexual knowledge, through language or behavior, that is beyond what is normal for their age; copying adult sexual behavior; inappropriate sexual behavior such as kissing on the mouth and/or attempting to insert tongue in your mouth; soreness, redness, chaffing around genitals; reluctance or outright refusal to let you wash or dry those parts of the body; persistent sexual play with other children, themselves, toys or pets.

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