Nurse helps parents counter child abuse
April 25, 2001
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering suggestions for parents to help prevent abusive behavior toward their children, and stressed that child abuse, even if unintentional, can forever change the course of a life.
“Whether the abuse is a wounding attack of words or a stinging physical blow, the act is permanent,” said Public Health Nurse Ann Irvin.
Irvin provide the following alternatives for parents to use the next time everyday pressures build and test their patience:
Stop and take a couple of deep breaths.
Leave the room to calm down and take an adult “time-out” to think about the specific reason for the anger. Make certain the anger is not misdirected toward the child.
Do not return to the child until anger is under control.
Remain silent and count to 10, then count to 20.
Telephone a friend; talk can help calm emotions.
When frustrated and angry with a crying baby, never pick up, shake or harshly set down the baby.
Instead, call for help. Ask a trustworthy friend, neighbor or relative to take care of the baby. Instead, call for help. Ask a trustworthy friend, neighbor or relative to take care of the baby and take a break. Then, go for a walk, take a hot bath, or turn on some soothing music.
Irvin noted that parenting is challenging, and like any long-lasting relationship, there will be times when a child is going to upset or irritate a parent, or the parent will upset or irritate the child.
However, she noted, it is the parent’s responsibility to unconditionally love their children and to exercise self-control by managing their emotions, and carefully choosing their words and actions.
For more child abuse prevention and parenting tips, call the nursing service at 824-8233, or visit the parenting web site at http://www.parentsoup.com.