April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month! Child abuse is one of those sticky topics many people experience, but no one wants to talk about. We don't want to talk about it, because it means we have to get emotional + vulnerable. Becoming vulnerable is difficult for many of us. Another reason we don't talk about it is because we don't understand it. We don't understand how someone could abuse a child or we understand exactly how someone could abuse a child + that scares us. We might also be confused about what classifies as child abuse. Here is a link to the US Department of Health + Human Services which shares information about child abuse.
According to Child Help, child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. Child abuse is more prevalent than we (as a society) want to admit. We hear numerous stories about people who survived child abuse, but how much do we really know about it? Do we pay attention to the signs? Do we know the signs? As a Therapist (and parent), I feel it is very important to study + pay attention to your children so that you know when something is "off."
In support of this month's theme, I want to share resources with you. I don't want to throw a bunch of statistics your way (although you could get that from the National Child Abuse Prevention website). Instead I want to inspire you to help promote awareness! You raise awareness by gaining awareness of your own parenting style + examining your relationships. Once you have done this, there is a fair chance that you will talk to others about your observations. So let's just start with a bit of reading + hopefully you feel inspired by something you read from this list...
Imperfect Families - Nicole Schwarz
When you sign up for her mailing list, you get a free list of resources with 25 alternatives to time-outs, grounding or taking things away. In addition to this resource, check out these other great articles:
Sharon Martin writes amazing posts about relationships of all kinds, but I love how she accurately captures the perspective of both the child + the parent. Here are a couple of her articles:
I had the privilege of joining Mercedes Samudio's campaign to end parent shaming last year. I was so inspired by her bravery to stand up to this ugly habit we had formed as parents. Here is some inspiration from Mercedes:
I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I did. In the meantime, do you blog about positive parenting? Are you a real life super hero parent? I believe everyone has something to contribute, so don't be shy! Leave a comment below or send me an email about how you're raising awareness on child abuse prevention!