Here are some Ideas to Help Reduce Stress.
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- Be involved in your children’s activities.
- Notice when someone spends a lot of time with your child. Talk with your child about what they do, who else is there, what kind of games they play, etc.
- Believe your child. Listen seriously and sensitively to what your child says.
- Teach your child to say no, get away, and to tell someone, if anyone tries to touch him or her inappropriately.
- Teach your child: Your body belongs to you.
- Explain to your child not to keep secrets that feel scary or uncomfortable.
- Go through rules with your babysitter when your child is present.
- Bad things sometimes happen even when we do our best.
- Discuss abuse prevention in a constructive manner, just as you would other safety concerns. Fear does not keep children safe.
- If abuse occurs, it is not the child’s fault.
- Report the abuse immediately and seek medical help.
- Remain calm and take what your child says seriously.
Twelve Alternatives to Lashing Out at Your Child
The next time everyday pressures build up to the point where you feel like lashing out — STOP!
Try any of these simple alternatives. You’ll feel better… and so will your child.
Take a deep breath… and another. Then remember you are the adult.
Close your eyes and imagine you’re hearing what your child is about to hear.
Press your lips together and count to 10… or better yet, to 20.
Put your child in a time-out chair (remember this rule: one time-out minute for each year of age.)
Put yourself in a time-out chair. Think about why you are angry: is it your child, or is your child simply a convenient target for your anger?
Phone a friend.
If someone can watch the children, go outside and take a walk.
Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face.
Turn on some music. Maybe even sing along.
Pick up a pencil and write down as many helpful words as you can think of. Save the list.
Call for prevention information: 1-800-CHILDREN