April is Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month

blue ribbon icon
Now, and in the month April and throughout the year, Just Add Kids encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Southeastern Wisconsin a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and our communities.

Consider the following five protective factors that protect families that are under stress:

1 – Social emotional competence of children

Children who learn how to identify their feelings, empathize with the feelings of others, share emotions appropriately and problem solve with peers and adults are more likely to succeed in school and have friends. Give your children many opportunities to talk about feelings and discuss positive ways of coping with their feelings like listening to music, play-ing sports, drawing or writing, etc.

2 – Knowledge of child development and parenting

Many know it’s normal for a 2 year old to have a tantrum, but fewer people know what be-haviors are normal at other ages. Parents with knowledge about parenting and their own child’s development have more appropriate expectations and appropriate discipline choices. If you are struggling with your child’s challenging behaviors, seek help from your child’s teacher, take a parenting class, find a book about it, or search for resources online.

3 – Concrete support in times of need

Concrete support covers many things families need. It can be the need for food, clothing or shelter. It can also be the need for a ride to work when your car won’t start, or having someone you trust to stay home with your sick child. When parents are in situations where they lack support, they find themselves making risky choices that may put them and their children in harm’s way. Children are more protected if the families get access to the re-sources they need quickly. Become familiar with the services available in your community for yourself or others in need.

4 – Social connections

When we are isolated from others, we think we are all alone and that no one else is dealing with similar problems. Parents tend to think no one else’s child is acting the way their child is acting. Releasing stress by connecting with others helps us become better parents. We learn from each other. Seek out other parents at school events, daycare, churches, baby groups, or organized social activities. Reach out to parents you know who seem over-whelmed.

5 – Parent Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties. Raising children is an overwhelm-ing task. Recognize that you cannot do it alone. Work to maintain hope and problem solve through difficult situations. Remember what gives you strength and what positive qualities got you through other difficulties.

For more information on Building Protective Factors visit http://www.strengtheningfamilies.net.

Also, please consider participating in these local events in recognition and support of Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month, then scroll to the bottom:

TTTB Walk_Run 4.23.2016

 Panera Flyer supporting SCAN 4.2016Turn the Town Blue 2016 anthologie-page-0 (2)Turn the Town Blue 2016 St Mary's flyer-page-0 (2)So, come on! Play your important role as a mom, an educator, member of the community, change-maker, a JAK-ie, whatever.  Join in on the campaign, attend the above events, and/or wear blue in April (a blue ribbon is standard and awesome) to show your support in the fight against child abuse and neglect. Be accountable…for the kids’ sake, please.

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