Guest Column: ‘There should be no excuse for child abuse. It should not hurt to be a child’

Alyson Jeri Shirley

Alyson Jeri Shirley

By Alyson J. Shirley
Miss Navajo Nation 2015-2016

Greetings! Ya’at’eeh! The month of April is set aside as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

As a nation, we need to invest wisely in our children for they are our future leaders of the Navajo Nation.

As a parent, make time every day and do something with your children to make them feel loved, not neglected. Our children are our legacy, our lifeline. Please stand up for them and protect them from harm. There should be no excuse for child abuse. It should not hurt to be a child.

Teach your children by giving them the information they need to succeed and train them by giving them the discipline to carry out what they have been taught. Teach them about our Navajo way of life, our beautiful language, our rich culture and traditions. Teach your child about K’e, love, kindness, and respect so that they continue this cycle when they have children one day.

Have them spend time with grandparents because they have so much knowledge of family history and teachings of traditional songs, ceremonies, stories, and our way of life. Encourage our children the importance of education and increase their ability to explore the outside world. As they learn to combine the Western teaching and our Dine’ way of life, this will increase their knowledge to live in both worlds.

While April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, we can all make a big difference year-round through small acts of compassion that will help guard and protect our precious children to prevent the abuse and neglect of children.

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Categories: Guest Essay