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What to Do When CCTV Captures Sibling Abuse in Your Home

Sep 10, 2008
When you installed surveillance cameras complete with CCTV in your home as a precaution against nanny abuse and against burglar break-ins, you never thought that sibling abuse could also be captured on film. You simply thought that the long-standing sibling rivalry between your two children was just that - simple sibling rivalry.

What then do you do when you discover that sibling rivalry has escalated to the more virulent form of sibling abuse? Here is a short guide.

What Is Sibling Abuse?

Before you go judging your children, be very sure that what you see on CCTV is indeed sibling abuse. A definition is in order:

"Sibling abuse is the pathological and traumatic abuse of one sibling over another sibling. This can span the range of emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuses usually inflicted by an older or larger sibling either on a one-time basis or over a sustained period."

You should also look out for signs of sibling abuse, which can be corroborated by CCTV footages like:

* The abused child avoids the other in a noticeable way.

* There are changes in behavior including sleep patterns and eating habits. You can install a small camera in the child's bedroom for this purpose.

* The roles are always clearly defined: one child is the victim, the other is the aggressor.

* There is a pattern of increased intensity of aggression, which you do not need the unerring eyes of your CCTV camera for.

You should also look out for risk factors than have contributed to your suspicions of sibling abuse like your frequent absence from home, your playing favorites, and your collection of pornographic movies. Of course, this is not to say that you share all the blame but it cannot be denied that you are the thinking adult in this case.

What Can You Do?>

You need not rush to the family psychiatrist with the CCTV footages or immediately confront the children about your suspicions. There are things you can do to nip the problem in the bud, especially when there you do not suspect sexual abuse. You can:

* Separate the children when physical and verbal abuse ensues. If possible, you should provide for separate bedrooms to avoid situations where every little thing can set off the nuclear war.

* Set a family meeting to discuss issues gather information on feelings and facts, and come up with mutual solutions. The key is to find a solution that addresses the problem for everybody concerned rather than looking for escape goats and Band Aid solutions.

* Make adjustments to yourself so that you do not appear to play favorites with any of the children. Often, sibling rivalry and sibling abuse are the result of one child feeling like the underdog or the most favorite one. Either way, you have a problem that needs solutions.

* Help your child manage their anger and frustrations. More importantly, this means that you have to be a role model of clam and patience for your children - manage your anger instead of your anger managing you!

* Continue monitoring your children's interactions at home even when you are at work. The CCTV system should help you in this area; just be sure they know nothing about it or they might take their activities elsewhere.

If all else fails, then you should seek professional help. However, be sure that your child understands the reasons instead of just shoving him in front of the therapist.
About the Author
Visit Video-Surveillance-Guide.com today for more information on how security cameras like a CCTV camera can enhance your family life. With CCTV keeping an eye on your children, you can keep an eye on them while you are at work, too!
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