Parents - there are many things to do to care for your child and protect them from harm. But, there's always ways to improve. Here is a list of key guidelines to follow or remind yourself of when it comes to your child and to better your relationship:
To learn more, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. This center is staffed with professionals who offer information about child abuse prevention, as well as crisis intervention, literature, and referrals.
The first thing you can do in preventing child abuse is to educate yourself in prevention. There are many programs offered throughout child abuse prevention, ranging from childhood screening to life skills training to family support services.
Support programs for new parents are available, including nurse visitation, in-home parenting education, and social worker intervention. Social networks are also offered to help new parents connect with others instead of feeling isolated.
Many programs that provide parenting education, such as natural childbirth groups, community-based prevention programs, and mental health services also provide social support systems for abuse. Self-help groups also provide a network of support to members in adjusting to familial change.
Treatment programs for abused children include therapeutic day school programs, hospital programs, residential programs, and home and clinic setting treatment. These programs are designed to help minimize the long-term effects of abuse.
Detecting child abuse early is imperative. Early childhood screening and treatment programs ensure that these children receive the care they deserve.
Crisis care programs are available for family support and are accessible on a 24-hour basis. These programs include: telephone hotlines, crisis caretakers, crisis baby-sitters, crisis nurseries, and crisis counseling.
Training programs for children, adolescents, and even adults help equip them with knowledge and skills to protect children from abuse. Training programs are offered through school systems and adult education centers.
The important thing to know about child abuse is that abusive behavior is often cyclic. If you or someone you know can't stop anger from taking over, feels emotionally disconnected from a child, struggles to meet the child's needs, or has done things that raise concern from others, it's time to intervene and stop the cycle before it starts.
Expecting 10-year-old behavior from a 2-year-old isn't realistic. Knowing which behaviors go with the corresponding age will help you avoid frustration and expectation.
As mentioned above, there's always room for improvement. Don't be afraid to go to other parents, books, and classes for parenting advice.
The most important care in your life is self care. As much as being a parent is a 24/7 job, it's also vital to take a break and focus on yourself. The less sleep/care you have, the more you may take it out on other people, including your child.
Everyone needs help sometimes. Don't be afraid to reach out to professionals if you can't do it on your own.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great outlets to share your knowledge and story about child abuse prevention. No message is too small on social media, and the biggest impact can happen in 280 characters or less.
You know child abuse prevention and where to go. Now it's time to share what you've learned.
The great ways to share your knowledge is to inform others. By teaching a class, talking to a friend or loved one, and participating in an organization, you are able to disperse your information to others, tackle the challenges of child abuse, and improve the community around you.
In addition, ordering merchandise that is able to promote awareness is an easy and stylistic way to share your knowledge. There are blue ribbons, t-shirts, and even wristbands to spread your awareness.
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