Since April was declared as Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983, it has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. Please join me in support of our children across not only Wilson County, but the entire state of Texas, by wearing blue this Friday. According to the Prevent Child Abuse America organization, here are a few things we can all do to support kids and parents that can help reduce the isolation and stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.
- Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.
- Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.
- Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another's children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.
- Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.
- Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families, such as parent support groups, child care centers, and our state chapters and local Healthy Families America sites.
- Advocate for public policies, innovative programs and issues that benefit children and families.