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: www.reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/