April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Unless you are a saint, there will come a time in your life when your patience runs thin with a child. Maybe it’s your child, maybe it’s someone else’s. But just like we tell our kids, it’s not okay to hit – NO MATTER WHAT! Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t control themselves and end up taking their anger and frustration out on children in their care. Here are some very sad and scary statistics about child abuse:
* Every year, more than 3 million cases of child abuse are reported across the United States – involving over 6 million children.
* Child abuse is a vicious cycle that is perpetuated by the children who have been abused – 30% of children abused will become an abuser themselves.
* More than 80% of children who die as a result of child abuse are under the age of 5.
As parents, it is our job to protect our kids. Make sure you are vigilant when it comes to who takes care of your kids. Make sure you know the signs of abuse and that you are watching for them. Make sure you aren’t the abuser.
Child abuse can be physical and/or verbal. Sometimes we can be abusive without realizing it, and while our behavior may not be severe enough to report, it still hurts our children. Take a minute to reflect on things that you have done or said to your child. Have you ever:
* Spanked, hit, pinched, yanked, or otherwise hurt your child while you were angry?
* Told them they were stupid or ugly or clumsy or berated them in any other negative way?
* Talked negatively about your child to someone while your child was listening?
Any disciplining done while you are out of control of your anger can have a negative affect on your child. If you feel like you need help, whether for yourself or someone you know, there are many resources. Here are a few to start with: www.childwelfare.gov, www.childhelp.org, or www.safehorizon.org. Protect our children.