Child Abuse Prevention Month

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joshua Barry, Family Advocacy Element Chief
  • 52nd Medical Group
April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month. Many of you are probably not accustomed to hearing about child abuse in the context of prevention. Typically, we hear about child abuse through the media after an unfortunate incident has occurred. The emphasis of this month is to concentrate on what we can do to keep child abuse from happening, rather than just responding after it has happened. This task at times can seem challenging; however, if we discuss what communities and individuals can do to prevent child abuse then it may feel more manageable.
As a parent, it is important to know your limits. When a parent becomes frustrated, it is hard to make a good decision about disciplining your child. Take a moment to collect yourself and calm down before you act.

1) Seek assistance. Even professionals seek out assistance when concerns arise in the home. Seeking help in times of difficulty in your parenting journey could prevent abuse. Forms of assistance could include, but are not limited to…
a. Taking a parenting class.
b. Seeking out a family counselor.
c. Finding a mentor in an older, more experienced parent that you respect.

2) Be honest with your child. Having an open and honest dialogue with your child will promote and nurture the parent-child relationship.
a. Talk with a counselor or member of the clergy about effective ways to communicate with your child.
b. Spend time in self-reflection to allow yourself time to identify areas you excel in and areas for growth.
c. Educate yourself about the developmental stages your child will enter and how best to communicate with them on a level they can comprehend.

As a community we can slow down, put our judgments aside, and remember that all parents are human. We all share the common goal of raising our children the best that we can. Consider the following recommendations for how we can help from a community perspective:

1. When you see someone struggling, stop and ask if you can help. Sometimes a friendly smile and encouraging words are all the help a person needs when they are having a bad day.
2. Help new people feel welcomed and invited into the community by including them in play groups, babysitting co-ops, and school organizations.
3. Familiarize yourself with the professional and non-professional resources available in your community should someone you know need it or want it.

In an effort to help build a stronger community, Family Advocacy and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program are partnering to “Strike Out Abuse” on April 21, 2017 from 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. This is an event the entire family can enjoy with free bowling and free food. Also, April 13, 2017 from noon until 5:30p.m., we will be hosting a car seat installation fair in the CDC parking lot. Bring your vehicle and car seat by to receive tips, suggestions, and assistance in installing your car seat safely and properly in your vehicle.
For more information about parenting and/or ways to prevent child abuse in your home or community, call 452-8279/06565618279 or stop by your Family Advocacy office in bldg. 161 on the second floor.

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