It is so easy in a generation of email, cell phones, and social networking to lose sight of what it means to be an involved member of your community. Parenting is such an important yet difficult job. If communities can come back together to help each other on a personal level, it will provide for a better future for our children as well as our society. Here are some things you can do to play a role in helping families in your community find the strength to raise children who are safe, productive and healthy:
Get to know your neighbors.
Problems seem less overwhelming when support is nearby.
Help a family under stress.
Offer to babysit, help with chores and errands, or suggest resources in the community that can help.
Reach out to children in your community.
A smile or a word of encouragement can mean a lot to a child, whether from a parent or passing stranger.
Be an active community member.
Lend a hand at local schools, community or faith-based organizations, children’s hospitals, social service agencies, or other places where families and children are supported.
Keep your neighborhood safe.
Start a neighborhood watch or plan a local ‘night out’ community event. You will get to know your neighbors while helping to keep your neighborhood and children safe.
Learn how to recognize and report signs of child abuse and neglect.
Reporting your concerns may protect a child and get help for a family who needs it.
(Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
You can also get involved with Prevent Child Abuse Wyoming through the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign. If you are interested in participating, click here for more information or to see the Pinwheels for Prevention page.
Ten Ways to Help Prevent Child Abuse
1) Be a nurturing parent.
Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams.
2) Help a friend, neighbor or relative.
Being a parent isn’t easy. Offer a helping hand to take care of the children, so the parent(s) can rest or spend
3) Help yourself.
When the big and little problems of your everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of
control – take time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.
4) If your baby cries…
It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry. Learn what to do if your baby won’t stop crying. Never shake a baby – shaking a child may result in severe injury or death.
5) Get involved.
Ask your community leaders, clergy, library and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.
6) Help to develop parenting resources at your local library.
7) Promote programs in school.
Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.
8 ) Monitor your child’s television and video viewing.
Watching violent films and TV programs can harm young children.
9) Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program.
For more information contact your local PCA chapter.
10) Report suspected abuse or neglect.
If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, call your local department of children and family services or your local police department.
Twelve Alternatives to Lashing Out at Your Child
1) Take a deep breath…and another. Then remember you are the adult.
2) Close your eyes and imagine you’re hearing what your child is about to hear.
3) Press your lips together and count to 10…or better yet, 20.
4) Put your child in a time-out chair. (remember this rule: one time-out minute for each year of age)
5) Put yourself in a time-out chair. Think about why you are angry: is it your child, or is your child simply a convenient target for your anger?
6) Phone a friend.
7) If someone can watch the children, go outside and take a walk.
8 ) Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face.
9) Hug a pillow.
10) Turn on some music. Maybe even sing along.
11) Pick up a pencil and write down as many helpful words as you can think of. Save the list.
12) Call for prevention information: 1-800-CHILDREN