Tag Archives: prevent child abuse

National Child Abuse Prevention Month of April…

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Never EVER speak to your children in a way that you wouldn’t want to be spoken to. No matter how irritated you get or exhausted you are…

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Pinwheels for Prevention…

 

Prevent Child Abuse…  Quote from this website…

Take action to support healthy child development and help prevent child abuse and neglect in both big ways and small. Whether you donate to Prevent Child Abuse America, participate in one of our fundraising events, or join us by contacting your local office, your contribution makes a difference.

What can you do right now? Anything you do to support kids and parents can help reduce the isolation and stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.

Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.

Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.

Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.

Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.

Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families, such as parent support groups, child care centers, and our state chapters and local Healthy Families America sites.

Advocate for public policies, innovative programs and issues that benefit children and families.

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The sad and crying little boy in the photo above reminded me vividly of the scary times during my own childhood during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  Our family was torn apart by my father’s military experience during WWII and the Korean War.  As kids we lived in fear constantly.  We were scared of Dad because he was angry and often violent, especially when self medicated.  We were scared that Mom would be hurt, and worried that she was anxious and nervous all the time.   She yelled and screamed at us siblings as a daily norm…suggesting that we were at the root of all the trouble.  I think all of us wondered what it would be like to be happy and joyful…  We were at times afraid of each other because we became angry living in a highly toxic home circumstance…fighting with each other was a way to relieve stress and vent.  We couldn’t wait to get out of the house for school and play.  And we hated to come back home.

My description of our troubled family dynamic could be duplicated in thousands of homes in America at that time and today in the 21st Century.  The one thing different today that makes a difference is awareness, but we have a long way to go.  The stigma of mental health is strong motivation for children and families to be quiet about what happens at home, and suffer in silence.  Worse yet is that without mitigation or treatment all the emotional baggage sticks around with those who are abused for the next generation…the cycle of pain continues until the pattern of abuse is broken…

The best we can do to help abused children and stop the violence at home is to be vigilant.  As good Samaritans we must not ignore what we see as wrong doing.  All too often during my childhood, there was no place to go to be safe, no one to talk to, and worse we had the feeling no one else cared, even other relatives and family members…friends would stay away too.  Our teachers and coaches didn’t even know… We were silent for fear of the terrible consequences of telling anyone.

Heightened awareness today allows us to freely help as friends and neighbors, and a community as a whole.  Reporting is mandatory in schools and we are trained for intervention.  It is not difficult to recognize a child or a family needing help…  We can reach out and ask for help for ourselves and others in appropriate ways.  The trained mental health professionals and programs available are far more effective today than in the 20th Century.  By becoming educated and aware of child abuse and domestic violence, you can save the life of a child or even help an entire family receive the help needed to start the healing process.  Take a look at the references and resources provided in this blog post and get engaged in your own community doing your part to stop child abuse…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…   Click on the highlighted text for my author page, and purchase my book(s) as part of your awareness campaign and support in preventing child abuse and domestic violence…

April…National Child Abuse Prevention Month… Make a difference one child at a time!

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National Child Abuse Prevention Month of April Declared in 1983 by Congress…

April 2016…National Child Abuse Awareness…

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  My journey of healing and awareness has allowed me to thrive under some very tough circumstances while growing up in a post WWII toxic home with parents severely affected by the symptoms of PTSD…  I carried the emotional baggage with me as an adult for many decades before realizing it was time to reconcile the pain of my childhood and young adult life.  My work with children and families through writing books, this blog, and participating in appropriate forums as a spokesperson is a labor of love, and opportunity to make a difference one child at a time.

Following is a quote from my blog from April 2013, reflecting on the need to participate in your local community to build awareness during this time…

“In this link, Military Kids with PTSD, I posted about my own observations and experience as a military child growing up with parents who suffered severely from the symptoms of PTSD. As a military parent please take extra time to focus on your children. Use not only this month of April…take your increased awareness forward and help kids understand how war affects families of combat veterans, especially children. Use the resources to educate kids with love and kindness. Do not allow the children in your life grow up feeling isolated and alone with the memories that are often painful and misunderstood. As a parent or teacher you can make a huge difference in the lives of kids on this critical issue. We owe it to our children to give them the opportunity to grow up and live a healthy, happy, and productive life…”

Following is another quote from my blog that is worth repeating today regarding the critical need for local community support in the prevention of child abuse…

“Remember the military child! My own memories as a child of a US Navy veteran shows that we can make a difference by including the military families, especially children, in our thoughts. Children of veterans who are deployed for long periods of time often suffer from the challenges war and parental separation bring home. One parent cares for children for long periods while spouses are deployed. Kids often feel isolated and different from their peers.  Kids can also feel the emotional numbness that comes from the symptoms of PTSD.  Military kids are at risk growing up in a toxic home culture. We can help the children of warriors feel connected by getting them engaged events and activities with peer groups and adult mentors. After-school programs similar to www.neighborsforkids.org in Depoe Bay, Oregon.  Take advantage of special events like the Pinwheels of Prevention, which will go along way to make military families and children feel more connected to the community while parents are deployed and in life after war… It would have made a huge difference for me and my siblings during the 40′s and 50′s if we had felt more connected and a part of our community and schools we attended. It was often a confusing and lonely time growing up as a military child. The emotional baggage can stick around for a life time. Take the extra time to pay attention to the military children and families near you who need our support…”

Please become engaged in community events promoting awareness for the prevention of child abuse.  If there is not an event planned near you, create one using the resources and references in the links provided in this post…. National Children’s Alliance…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1&2 and Click the highlighted text for my author page to order books and other stuff on Amazon…Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Child Advocate