Introduction: Play a tape of a crying baby, loudly, from the time the students enter the room,
throughout roll call and while instructions are given to the class. Continue to play the tape
during the writing assignment.
Writing assignment: While listening to the crying baby students are to write an essay entitled
“My Expectations of Parenthood”. After the time period and the papers have been collected,
discuss the feelings and frustrations of the students.
1. How did they feel when subjected to constant crying?
2. How do you react to crying children?
Emphasis should be placed on the fact that this crying baby only lasted a few minutes. In actual
parenting, crying babies and whining children can go on indefinitely.
Group Activity: Divide up into groups and discuss the following situations in “Is this Abuse?”
Then summarize with the class about each situation to see if anybody has different views.
Video Clips: Watch a few clips from the movie Mommy Dearest that portrays a mother’s abuse
of her child. This movie is based on the true story of Joan Crawford, the two children she
adopted, and how she treated them. Then we will discuss the clips and what you feel is wrong
about the situations in each clip.
Some questions to think about: “Is there a difference between child abuse and discipline?”
Imagine being a young child. Picture that someone is mistreating you, and you are completely unable to retaliate in any way. Imagine what would be running through your mind, all of the fear and hatred that you can do nothing with except hold it all inside. The United States government defines child abuse specifically as [a]ny recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which ...
“Where do we draw the line?” “If you were the nanny in this household what would you have
• Define child abuse. Ask students to come up with a definition for child abuse.
o Before listing examples of abuse ask students what some examples are. What
constitutes child abuse? . (What would the students consider child abuse? How
about smoking, drinking, or taking drugs while pregnant?)
o After discussing this type of abuse ask students to identify it in the film clips they
o Differentiate between the types of abuse – physical, emotional, neglect, and
o List signs of abuse (physical and behavioral indicators) of each type of abuse
• Before discussing who inflicts ask students, “Who do you think is most often the inflictor
of child abuse a stranger or someone that is close to the family?” Have students raise their
• Identify the three major components of child abuse (Child + Care Giver + Stress = Child
• Identify methods which help prevent, or cope with abuse. List methods on the board that
students come up with. Discuss “why don’t children tell” and what to do if a child tells
you about abuse or neglect.
• Discuss abuse prevention techniques.
Activity: “Spilled Milk”. Read story and then discuss the questions at the bottom of the story
with the class.
Summary: It is important to tell someone that abuse has occurred. If the first person does not
listen or care about what you have said, keep trying until you find someone who does. Telling
about your experiences is the only way to stop abuse. It is important for people of all ages to
realize where their coping threshold is. It is important to have positive alternatives for dealing
with stressful situations.