How to be a Strong Parent is being written for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse can occur anywhere and to anyone. Being a strong parent is just one way to prevent child abuse. I hope you will read through the information I have provided on child abuse and then you will find five ways you become a strong parent.
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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that everyone plays a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Prevention is the best hope for reducing child abuse and neglect and improving the lives of children and families. Strengthening families and preventing child abuse requires a shared commitment of everyone. Child abuse and neglect can have a lasting affect following a person for the rest of their life.
Learn more on the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/.
Why does child abuse and neglect occur?
Some factors that contribute to abuse and neglect are:
- lack of education
- drug/alcohol abuse
- mental health issues
- lack of parenting knowledge/skills
- intergenerational abuse.
Child abuse and neglect is widespread occurring across all demographics.
Every family and individual has strengths and every family and individual faces challenges. It’s important to keep yourself strong, your family strong, and your connections strong to overcome these challenges and be a strong parent for your children.
Become a Strong Parent:
1. Be a nurturing
Let your kids know they are loved. Listen to them, make eye contact when they are talking to you, let them know you understand, and celebrate their joys with them. Take time daily to connect with each of your children. We have a special bedtime routine. We read a book of each child’s choosing and then tuck them into bed with hugs, kisses, and I love yous. Routines help kids feel secure.
2. Have fun
Life gets busy, the days are hectic. It’s important to have fun together as a family, to laugh. It does not have to be anything extravagant. It could be a bike ride, a walk, playing a game together, or putting a puzzle together.
This is so important. Moms often throw themselves into their families and kids losing themselves. I found myself at this point a couple of years ago after I had my last child. I was moody, stressed, and not a pleasant person to be around. I rediscovered my love of reading, which has become a great relaxing tool for me. It’s important to take a break and do something you enjoy. You will come back to your kids and families recharged and better able to handle any challenges.
4. Form connections-develop a support system
Again this one is very important. We all need help and support from time to time. Parenting is the greatest thing in the world, but it can be overwhelming and isolating at times. Individuals in your support system are good for providing emotional support and helping out. Develop reciprocal relationships, so you area both benefiting for the help. As a new mom, it was important for me to form connections with other new moms who could relate to what I was going through at that moment. When we moved to a new state it was very important for us to develop a good support system, because we did not have family nearby to rely on and help us out in times of need.
5. Educate yourself on parenting and child development
Babies don’t come with a how to guide book. With each new age and stage of development, new issues and challenges arise. When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, we soaked up as much information as we could through books and classes. I now turn to the library, Google and other parents of similar age kids whenever something new comes up with my kids. Your pediatrician is also a great source.
For more information on child abuse visit these websites: