April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Had a rough day at work? Dealing with car problems? Burned the meatloaf? Some days are just tougher than others, and parents and caregivers can get stressed out.
“Raising kids and managing a household can be a real challenge, and day-to-day stress builds up,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “Finding positive ways to rethink your reaction to frustration, anger and tension is important, because children learn how to deal with stress by watching the adults in their life.”
Find positive ways you and your family can manage stress as a team:
* A healthy sense of humor really helps when life gets complicated.
* Keep the lines of communication open and connect with your kids.
* Reach out for help or advice. Teachers, doctors, other parents and family members can be great sources of information and encouragement.
“Rethinking your reactions to stress can help your family be safe and healthy,” Reckling said. “You don’t have to feel like you’re on your own when you’ve run out of ideas or answers. In fact, reaching out for help or advice is good parenting.”
We can all reach out to parents around us who may be struggling. Be supportive, especially to new parents, offer to baby-sit, or donate your children's used clothing, furniture and toys to another family, he said.
There were 3,258 substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect involving 4,902 children in Nebraska in 2008. Any suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to law enforcement or to the DHHS toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999.
“Rethink Your Reaction: Laugh, Talk, Ask” is a public awareness campaign sponsored by the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Partnership, which includes the Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.