Effects of a Neglected Childhood

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Growing up is a process each child goes through to accomplish being an adult. Imagine a hole in the ground; the hole is a child's youth. The fresh earth soil cradles the hole like a mother cradles her newborn. The seed is the most important; the dwelling of all the childhood experiences. If the seed is planted firmly, given love, and nurtured, an able-bodied, active, and promising adult will be transformed. Then there is the hole that has been abandoned; never given love or attention. The soil is hard, and crumbles instantly when touched. The seed is filled with poverty, humiliation, ethnic diversity and an absent parent. The abandoned hole represents an impassive, comatose adult. A neglected childhood challenges people to attain a healthy adulthood. An absent parent denies a child security. Security from a parent is main priority for a child, and if not met; security is broken. Zitkala-Sa writes in "The School Days of an Indian Girl", the horseplay of the paleface women reminded her of her absent mother's gentleness, and made her rupture uncontainable tears (111). Also, the simplest things remind a child of the absent parent; leaving emptiness. The author describes sleeping in the bed with one of the tall girls, which brought comfort to her, because the tall girl spoke her mother's language (111). In addition, reminder of an absent parent can bring on anger. Dick Gregory describes in “Shame”, his lack of necessities. He laid in a bed with five people, and no daddy to care for him (118). If a child lacks security in their childhood, it may enable them as adults to be detached from their own families. Humiliation diminishes a child’s self-esteem. Tell a child he/she is worthless and stupid, and a child will start to believe... ... middle of paper ... .... Ethnic diversity should teach a child about the world around them; leaving an adult proud of its heritage. Poverty is a serious epidemic. Poverty leaves a child vulnerable to an empty stomach and a colder winter, and adults who center their lives on money. Therefore, when a child asks for a hug, or wants to cuddle in bed with a book; follow through with these simply acts of affection. A child can be saved from a neglected childhood, and have the foundation laid out for a promising adulthood. Works Cited Gregory, Dick. "Shame." Hands across Borders: a Multicultural Reader for Writers. Ed. Elizabeth Rodriguez Kessler . 1st ed. New York: Longman, 2003. 117-120. Print. Zitkala-Sa. "The School Days of an Indian Girl." Hands across Borders: a Multicultural Reader for Writers. Ed. Elizabeth Rodriguez Kessler. 1st. ed. New York: Longman, 2003. 110-113. Print.
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