April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. By acknowledging this insight there are many ways we can all show our children our love and appreciation and to let them know that they are safe with us, in today’s world where any type of abuse is all too familiar.
At home is where children develop their foundation of self-respect and high self-esteem.
Here are some ways parents can create a healthy environment for their children:
-Children need to know they are loved, unique and are capable of becoming whatever they want.
-It’s important for the parent to also take time for themselves. Life is stressful. Your children will benefit more if you are less stressed.
-If you feel overwhelmed when your baby cries and are having a difficult time soothing your child, seek outside help or support. Speak with your healthcare provider about options on what you can do. Never shake your child out of frustration or for ANY reason. Shaking your child could lead to fatal injuries.
-Oversee and supervise what your child is watching on TV or what kind of games they are playing. Violent and graphic material can harm your child.
-Discipline is important because it teaches your children what is socially acceptable. Discipline should be aligned with the child’s designated age and stage of childhood. Find support from your healthcare provider or school if you are unsure what milestone your child should currently be at.
-Positive reinforcement is important in raising your child. Toys and treats are not positive reinforcement. Instead, reward your child with affection, attention and verbal praise.
-Hitting children only teaches the child that its acceptable to hit other people and also cause physical and emotional damage.
-Set the right example. Children observe what you do, not only what you say.
-Be creative in your approach to alter your child’s behavior if it is unfavorable.
If you or someone you know has reason to believe a child is being abused in any way, call the authorities first or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1877-597-2331.