Psychologist: We believe that children lie, and all psychological studies say that adults lie
Photo: Marcin Obara / PAP
She jerked the children by the hands and clothes, squeezed their hands, did not let them go to the toilet, she screamed. A teacher from a kindergarten in Warsaw has just been convicted of child abuse. What to do when we see that something bad is happening to the child? How to react? How not to overlook important signals? We talk about it with Dorota Zawadzka, development psychologist.
If your child has been abused, you can contact:
“Empowering Children” Foundation – tel. 22 616 16 69
Ombudsman for Children – tel. 800 12 12 12.
The children did not want to go to kindergarten, they were afraid of lying down. They said that they were thrown on sunbeds, suffocated and beaten, that they could not use the toilet while resting or during meals, so they urinated under themselves. On Thursday, the parents’ accusations were confirmed by the court and sentenced Krystyna W. to two years of community service.
But long before the woman heard the verdict, councilors and parents of preschoolers met at the district council session. Some of them filed a complaint against the headmaster of the kindergarten. In their opinion, she reacted inadequately to the information that one of the teachers may abuse children.
“Our children have suffered violence, ladies and gentlemen,” one mother said. And she was booed by those present at the session.
Klaudia Ziółkowska, tvn24.pl: Are you surprised that a mother who wanted to talk about violence against children was booed?
Dorota Zawadzka, development psychologist: Unfortunately not. We don’t believe children. As adults we say: “do not believe what the children tell you about kindergarten, do not believe what they say about school”. We believe that children lie, although all psychological studies say that adults lie. Not the kids.
Of course they lie sometimes, out of fear or in order to get a reward – it happens. But in the case we’re talking about, they wouldn’t be motivated. So it is a scandal that adults do this.
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