1.    Know the warning signs of abuse and report it.
2.    Be a nurturing parent.
3.    Reach out to your neighbors.
4.    Take part in prevention efforts.
5.    Help strengthen your community.
6.    Protect your child from abuse.

Protecting children is everyone’s business and we can all play a part in preventing child abuse by strengthening families and communities. Research shows five important factors that protect children from the risk of child abuse and neglect.

  1. Nurturing and attachment: A child’s early experience of being nurtured and developing a bind with caring adults affects all aspects of behavior and development. When parents and children have strong, warm feelings for one another, children develop trust that their parents will provide what they need to thrive, including love, acceptance, positive guidance and protection.
  2. Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development: Discipline is both more effective and more nurturing when parents know how to set and enforce limits and encourage appropriate behaviors based on the child’s age and level of development. Parents who understand how children grow and develop can provide an environment where children can live up to their potential.
  3. Parental resilience: Resilience is the ability to handle everyday stressors and recover from occasional crisis.  Parents who are emotionally resilient, have a positive attitude, creatively problem solve and effectively address challenges are less likely to direct anger and frustration at their children.
  4. Social connections: Evidence links social isolation and perceived lack of support to child maltreatment. Trusted and caring family and friends provide emotional support to parents by offering encouragement and assistance in facing the daily challenges of raising a family.
  5. Concrete supports for parents: Many factors beyond the parent child relationship affect a family’s ability to care for their children. Parents need basic resources such as food, clothing, housing, transportation and access to essential services that address family-specific needs such as childcare, health and mental health care to ensure the health and well being of their children.

What It Takes To Be a Nurturing Parent

  • Make children a priority
  • Show and tell your children you love them everyday
  • Tell your children you’re happy to be with them
  • Give children a sense of security, belonging and support
  • Praise your children when they’re good

Really listen to your children.
Give children your undivided attention when they are talking. Be patient and remember children move at a different pace when telling a story about their day.

Spend time with your children.

  • Make special time for each of your children.
  • Keep your promises
  • Let them help with household projects
  • Tell them about your own childhood
  • Go to the zoo, museum or ball games as a family
  • Play a board game
  • Do a creative project together

Set a good example.

  • Use good manners.
  • Set clear, consistent boundaries
  • Consider how your decisions will impact your children
  • Start a savings account for college education
  • Resolve conflicts quickly and peacefully
  • Take your children to your place of worship
  • Allow yourself a time-out when needed and do something for yourself

Reach out to other family members, friends and neighbors.
Isolation is often a contributing factor to child abuse. Lack of a support system and the feelings of being stressed and alone can intensify problems. Talk to family, friends and neighbors about parenting. Or maybe join a parent support group. Ultimately, just getting involved in something where you can socialize with other parents.

Take part in Prevention Efforts.

  • Raise awareness
  • Become an advocate
  • Volunteer
  • Make a donation