Child Abuse and Trauma: Why I think Childhood Should be Carefree

Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul(Malone). Parents are one of the main reasons why children are being abused. Child abuse is behavior by an adult who harms a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and development.

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In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe shows how Okonkwo treats his children. Okonkwo only treated his children a way because he had a fear of ending up like his father. Child Abuse causes trauma, unusual fears, and self confidence issues which can affect little kids as they grow up, especially since they do not understand what is happening.

Trauma happens all the time and it is horrible. Trauma can affect your health stability. Nwoye is the oldest son of Okonkwo, who Okonkwo believes is weak and lazy. Okonkwo beats Nwoye hoping he corrects the faults that perceives him. Nwoye begins to pick up more of the masculine behaviors, which makes Okonkwo happy. But he was developing a sad-faced youth. From the book Things Fall Apart we know that, Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories his mother used to tell (Achebe 53). So Okonkwo wanted his boys to sit with him in his obi, so that hecan tell them stories about the land, and he told them about masculine, violence, and bloodshed stories. Each is ashamed to be connected to the other now, Nwoye because he has never forgiven his father for killing Ikemefuna and Okonkwo, because of Nwoye’s new religion (Achebe 112). Nwoye did not really have a great relationship with his father, even though he looks up to him. There is no affection or respect in their relationships.

Okonkwo was always tougher on Nwoye than all his other children, only because he was the oldest son. It is reasonable to ask if parenting or teaching because statistics show that most acts of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by men who identify as such (Achebe 28). This is traumatizing for a kid because parents should analyze their actions first before doing it because they know their kids will be scarred for life. Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom (Wakefield). They want to grow up because they just don’t want to live in the environment that they are living in. More in the story Okonkwo’s kids tend to get more afraid of him because they don’t feel comfortable living with him.

Fear, a worry that changes your thinking, it will stop you from achieving your most wanted goals. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo fears becoming like his lazy, shameful father, and Nwoye fears his father’s wrath. Children were warned not to whistle at night for fear of evil spirits. (Achebe 15). The children in the book have a fear of their father because of the way he treats them, makes them scared. He wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough young man capable of ruling his father’s household when Okonkwo is dead (Achebe 49) Okonkwo was teaching his boys how to do work, but when they worked outside they could not talk. It is reasonable to ask if parenting or teaching because statistics show that most acts of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by men who identify as such (Achebe 54). As for the boy himself, he was terribly afraid. He could not understand what was happening to him or what he had done. When Ikemefuna was walking he looked back and saw a man growling at him, and he felt cold fear down his back. The control we have over fear is difficult because we have all kinds of different worries that we need to overcome.

Over time people’s feelings about themselves and others change. They may feel strong and indestructible one minute than something could change the way they feel. A certain event could change one’s self confidence. People become different when they are exposed to a certain situation. He ran with the animals, drank at their springs not knowing fear or wisdom (Achebe 16). He knew he had a fear of something but, he doesn’t know it yet. He never really liked people proving him wrong, he always wanted to be right. And, most importantly, he never gave up. As his persistence is described, He could see neither what was ahead nor behind. For days he traveled in this blindness without a light to guide him, ascending or descending, he could not be sure, going on with only the companion of grief in which he felt Enkidu at his side (Achebe 59). Even though he was lost and with a father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had. He neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife. But in spite of these disadvantages, he had begun even in his father’s lifetime to lay the foundations of a prosperous future. It was slowed and painful. His life became a quest to find the secret to eternal life which he might carry back to give his friend (Achebe 55). Okonkwo was not afraid of war. He was a man of action, a man of war. Unlike his father he could stand the look of blood. As a child he had an unstable childhood.

This is why I think childhood should be carefree, like: playing in the sun and not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul. Parents are one of the main reasons why children are being abused. Child abuse is behavior by an adult who harms a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and development. As you know in Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe shows how Okonkwo treats his children. Okonkwo only treated his children a different manner because he had a fear of ending up like his father. This why child Abuse causes trauma, unusual fears, and self confidence issues which can affect little kids as they grow up, especially since they do not understand what is happening. This topic is important because parents need to be aware of this problem. This is why I think childhood should be carefree, like: playing in the sun and not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.

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