The safety and wellbeing of every child is our responsibility

Every child deserves to feel safe, cherished, and valued but their safety and wellbeing is our responsibility. Jessica Dalby is calling us to join forces to protect their innocence and nurture their potential.

In a world often fraught with challenges and uncertainties, it is our collective responsibility to shield our children from harm, to nurture their growth, and to instil within them a sense of confidence and security. Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the innocence and dignity of every child, for they are the greatest treasures our world possesses.

As a mother of seven children, I hold a deeply rooted belief that every child deserves to feel safe, cherished and valued. I want each child to know, without a shadow of doubt, that they are never alone—that there are professionals, educators, government officials and authorities tirelessly working to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Our children are not just the future; they are the very heart and soul of our society. Their laughter, their dreams and their boundless potential illuminate our path forward. It is imperative that every child understands they are loved, they are worthy, and their voices matter.

For the last 30 years April has been observed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month; otherwise known as Child Abuse Prevention Month. President Biden issued a powerful proclamation addressing National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is imperative that we understand the struggles these children endure physically, emotionally, and mentally. One month out of the year does not compare to the everlasting trauma a child will carry with them all the way into adulthood if not addressed immediately.

Child abuse and maltreatment can come from foster homes, parents, caregivers, school, friends, online cyber bulling, and the list goes on. Often when society hears the term ‘child abuse’ the immediate reaction is to address and acknowledge the present situation. However, oftentimes we are not looking at the long-lasting effects children may have as they go through adolescence, and into adulthood. Despite what type of abuse a child goes through the severity to their mental health can lead to anxiety, depression, substance use abuse, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.

Therefore, looking ahead is imperative to be able to establish an effective plan to veer these children off the road that may lead to the internal battles they will face. Regardless, if it is physical, sexual, emotional, and or neglect there is no term that will define the mental health struggles these children will be privy to. No one can predict the future; however, we can address the present to be able to provide them with hope, guidance, and the ability to face the fear, hurt, and lack of trust. When a child suffers from abuse recognizing the symptoms is very important, because the consequences can be fatal.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) stress can impair how a child’s nervous system and immune system develop. The nervous system affects and impairs one’s mental health. Physiological affects psychological which in turn impairs one’s memory, can make them maniac wanting them to engage in alcohol and drug abuse, and party extensively to avoid facing the pain and face reality. This is where the shame, guilt, and them taking on the reason it happened to them. Thus, there abuser does not endure the pain the child lives with and blames themselves for.

Every child deserves more than we can offer at the time of abuse. Providing them ongoing care, counselling, love, and assisting them with the ability to trust again will help them go down a path towards success. Trust is essential with those that suffer from abuse, because once violated it is not only abuse, they must go through, but it is the ability to trust again. So, as we address the physical, sexual, emotional, and all types of abuse, let’s help repair the relationships and connections as humans and elevate the ability to trust again.  

Every child is so much more than a fragile flower waiting to bloom, vulnerable to the whims of the elements. Every child is born to be an oak tree, deeply rooted in the soil of love, nurturance and unwavering protection.

Like the oak tree, each child has inherent strength and resilience, capable of weathering life’s storms and standing tall against adversity. Their roots, anchored firmly in the fertile ground of compassion and care, provide them with stability and support as they grow and thrive.

Recent scientific research has unveiled a fascinating connection between the hormone oxytocin and cardiovascular health, shedding light on the profound impact of love and kindness on the human heart. Oxytocin, often dubbed the “love hormone” or “bonding hormone,” is released in response to social interactions, affectionate touch, and positive experiences.

Studies have revealed that elevated levels of oxytocin in the body are associated with a range of health benefits, particularly in relation to heart health. Higher levels of oxytocin have been linked to reductions in heart rate and blood pressure, key indicators of cardiovascular well-being. Relaxation and reducing stress, oxytocin helps to mitigate the strain on the heart and lower the risk of heart disease.

But perhaps even more intriguing is the role of love and kindness in fostering the release of oxytocin. Acts of kindness, expressions of affection and meaningful social connections have been shown to boost oxytocin levels in the body. The very qualities that define our humanity—compassion, empathy, and love—are also crucial to helping the children grow up with a healthy heart.

There is a complex connection between mind, body and soul. Nurturing positive emotions and cultivating meaningful relationships with every child we know, despite the stress and discord that sometimes shadows adults’ world, the simple acts of love and kindness we are naturally gifted with, are a powerful medicine for the heart, offering both physical and emotional healing.

There is power in love and kindness, not only for the sake of our own well-being but also for the health of our children and the lives of those around us. 

Within each of us there is the extraordinary potential to create a world filled with compassion, respect and joy.

Every child needs a nurturing environment to find the sustenance they need to flourish and fulfil their human potential.

But like any precious seedling, they require tender care and protection to flourish. It is our collective responsibility to provide them with the love, kindness and guidance they need to grow into strong, resilient individuals who can withstand life’s challenges and contribute positively to the world around them.

So let us stand as guardians of these young oaks, shielding them from harm, nourishing their spirits, and ensuring that they have the opportunity to spread their branches wide and reach for the sky. For in their growth and vitality lies the promise of a brighter tomorrow for us all.

Just as the oak tree’s branches reach towards the sky, embracing the sunlight and embracing the world with open arms, so too do children yearn for the warmth of love and the guidance of those who nurture them. 

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Jessica Dalby
Jessica Dalby

Jessica Dalby, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, is deeply committed to mental health advocacy. Her humble beginnings and a decade of service in the US Army have shaped her understanding of resilience and the importance of mental well-being. As the founder of Jessica Dalby Brand Media, she's dedicated to elevating brands, from startups to major corporations. Outside of her professional life, she is the proud mother and grandmother of 7 children and 3 grandchildren.

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