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Child Rights Observatory ENCRO

Egypt National Child Rights Observatory (ENCRO) is a tri-partite initiative aiming to put the bases for a scientific research mechanism

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Q&A;: Myths that are commonly unquestioned

This section is meant to introduce you to myths that are commonly adopted by communities we work in. Some of the statements included here may sound exaggerated or even shocking, but they do represent beliefs of people you work or associate with. It might be important to know what to say if you are confronted with such thoughts.

Here are some of the myths and what we say in response to them.

Divorce of parents is the worst thing that can ever happen to children. I must stay with my spouse no matter what for the sake of my children

The ideal family is made up of two adults who are happily committed to each other and who can provide their children with the care, love, and guidance they need to grow into well adjusted adults.

It is very true that divorce can have negative effects on children. This, however, depends on how the divorce is handled and on how the "family relations" are managed after divorce.

There are, however, other things that can be at least as harmful.

A child growing up with a parent who has a substance abuse problem, for example, might suffer neglect, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse, and might also be introduced to drugs when he/she is not yet ready to deal with the situation. Children with addicted parents often develop anxieties and might fail to develop healthy attachments with that parent. The effects can continue into years of adulthood and might shape the children's future adjustment.

Family violence is not a less harmful context for a child to grow up in. Children witnessing one of their parents abusing the other might develop fears, anxieties, depression, and aggression. They might also experience academic failure due to their growing inattention, distractibility and lack of sense of security.

It is never easy to decide that a marriage needs to end. However, it is never easy either to protect the children from the harm that can result from living with a parent who is addicted to drugs or who is violent.

In all cases, if a parent fears his/her children might be subjected to harm due to any family circumstances, it is always advisable to seek professional help and to consult specialists.

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