Posted by: Dennis Hinkamp on Apr 26, 2012
Anger Management for Parents
|Utah State University Extension family life professor|
|Utah State University Extension writer|
Ask a Specialist: Tips for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
LOGAN, UT – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Beyond recognizing the signs that a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect, adults can take additional steps to prevent it from happening in their community. Parents can also apply specific alternative behaviors to avoid lashing out at their child. According to Prevent Child Abuse America (www.preventchildabuse.org), the following are ten proven ways to help children grow up in positive, nurturing surroundings.
• Be a nurturing parent. Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams.
• Help a friend, neighbor or relative. Being a parent isn’t easy. Offer a hand to take care of the children so the parents can rest or spend time together.
• 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 child.
• 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.
• Get involved. Ask your community leaders, clergy, library and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.
• Lobby to include parenting resources at your local library. Perhaps a sign at the check-out desk advertising the availability of such resources will increase their use.
• Promote programs in school. Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help keep children safe.
• Monitor your child’s television and video viewing. Watching violent movies and TV programs and playing violent games can harm young children.
• Report suspected abuse or neglect. If you have reason to believe a child has been or is at risk of being harmed, call your local department of children and family services or the local police department.
If you or a loved one are worried about controlling emotions when it comes to dealing with a child, consider these alternatives next time the pressures build up to the point that you feel like lashing out.
• Take a deep breath… and another. Remember you are the adult.
• Close your eyes and imagine you’re hearing what your child is about to hear.
• Press your lips together and count to 10, or better yet, to 20.
• Put your child in a time-out chair, one minute of time per year of age.
• 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?
• Phone a friend. Turn on soothing music.
• If someone can watch the children, go outside and take a walk.
• Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face. Hug a pillow.
• Pick up a pencil and write down as many helpful words as you can think of. Save the list for future reference.
• Call for abuse prevention information at 1-800-CHILDREN.
Children are little people who do not have the full power of reasoning that adults have. Remembering these tips and that your role is that of nurturer and role model can help you be in control of yourself and the situation without harming anyone ? especially your precious child.
Direct column topics to: Julene Reese, Utah State University Extension writer, Logan, Utah, 84322-4900; 435-797-0810; firstname.lastname@example.org.