Child Abuse Prevention: Should You Call CPS?

Child abuse prevention is something we all need to be aware of. I know there were some days when I spoke too sharply, when I put him in his car seat too roughly, and when I said what I swore I’d never say. I assume that because I worry about those irregular episodes that I have been appropriate—not perfect, but appropriate– with my kids.

As a single parent, I wish I had a regular audience to flash me the thumbs-up when I doubt myself.

No judgment from me, ladies.

Few parents would define their behavior as abusive. We repeat our parents’ discipline style or we make such a point to avoid their style that we craft an extraordinary method.

As Brene Brown teaches, we are all doing the best we can, aren’t we?

Yet, there’s a line. Abuse is anything that results in physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm. No one plans on hurting their kids. If I were to ever hurt my kids I would hope that someone would call me on it because we need to be aware of child abuse prevention.

To Call CPS or Not

Sometimes I keep the neighbor kid at my house for almost 10 hours because I don’t know if he’s going to have lunch at home or not; the parent has never met me and has no idea the child is at my house.

Other times, I hear the yelling coming over the fence. I tell myself if it continues for a bit longer, I’ll call.

When in doubt, call authorities. It is against the law to ignore potential child abuse. The call is confidential; besides, the authorities decide how to use the information—not you. A call is a simple way to handle child abuse prevention.

Tame the Temper

“I’ve gotta go for a drive today,” said two of my friends recently since the kids have been home from school for state lock-down. They said that separately, both showing their need to get away from their kids for a minute. I get it: I know my signs that I’m going to lose my temper.

I know I’m about to lose it when I:

  • Furiously clean the house while muttering about the kids’ depravity
  • Pour an adult beverage before dinner
  • Feel I am not ENOUGH.

When I sense that Mama is going to lose her mind, I:

  • go for a run
  • call a friend
  • turn on a podcast
  • take a Mommy Timeout
  • breathe slowly

Most of all, I remind myself to take time to respond and not react; I don’t have to spout out punishment immediately; I give myself grace and hug my kids.

Child abuse prevention is something we all need to be aware of. To report child abuse, call 1-800-962-2873 or go online at:


Jackie is mom to Sydney (11), Landon (8) and Harper (4). They enjoy swimming and riding their bikes. Jackie earned her B.A. from Wheaton College. She’s originally from West Michigan and taught secondary language arts for seven years. She has lived across the United States and Canada, but she has lived in Tampa Bay since 2015. Jackie enjoys running the Belleair Bridge, writing and traveling. Follow her at IG #jackiesager1, FB Jackie Sager PrayWriteRun and personal blog