Children who suffer daycare abuse go through many of the same challenges as do adults who are abused. There are usually issues with stress, guilt, fear and, quite often, it can take someone who has been traumatized in this way a long time to recover.
The signs of abuse tend to start manifesting early on, though they’re not always recognized immediately. It’s important to remember that no one symptom can indicate one specific cause without fail, but there are definite warning signs that any parent should watch out for.
Abuse in daycare is oftentimes covered up by intimidating the child out of speaking to anyone about it. This is sometimes done by threatening the child, the child’s family members or even other children at the same daycare. This oftentimes has exactly the same effect on children that you’d expect in adults. The children being victimized will oftentimes seem very stressed out. The burden of carrying a secret will oftentimes manifest in the form of depression. One useful aspect of this symptom is that depression is something that seems unusual in a child, and for that reason, it’s one of the symptoms that parents may notice first.
If you have a very active child, it’s sometimes pretty common for them to come home but bumps, bruises and cuts. Children are resilient and this sort of roughing around is perfectly natural and healthy. There are some types of bruises, however, that indicate that someone is being forced around physically or struck. Look for bruises on the arms, neck and shoulders. Adults obviously have far more power in their hands than children. Children, of course, sometimes do get into fights with one another but the sort of abuse an adult can do is usually pretty obvious.
A child who is uncharacteristically jumpy after getting home from daycare may have something on their mind, as well. One of the most common, but least definable symptoms of abuse is a sudden change in behavior. A normally friendly child may become very aggressive and angry when they’re being abused and a very bold, fun-loving child may become withdrawn and anxiety-ridden. Children do have natural changes in their personalities as they grow, but parents generally have pretty good instincts about when something they’re doing seems completely out of character. Follow yours.