Child abuse can happen in every zip code and in the most picture-perfect family. There are a variety of family risk factors that leave children more vulnerable to abuse and adults to make decisions that are harmful to children. Luckily, child abuse is preventable. Each one of us can take action to support parents and promote an environment where children can thrive. We encourage all adults to be advocates for children and help build-up parents and caregivers in the difficult job of raising children.
Parental resilience is the idea that a parent has the tools necessary to cope with the stresses of life, both every day and the occasional crisis. A parent who has resilience is able to roll with these changes and cope with stress. Research shows us that there are number of ways that parents can build resilience which promotes a healthier environment for children. Encouraging parents to seek a community through parenting classes, online support groups or parenting cooperatives helps mitigate stress and creates an outlet on difficult days. Social media, news outlets and daily life is full of negativity. Research shows us that limiting exposure to negative content and actively seeking moments of positivity helps build resilience. As supporters, we can help parents create more positive moments in their lives. [Reference]
Parenting does not come with a manual, yet research indicates that parental knowledge and competence is directly correlated to child safety and best outcomes for child wellbeing. Helping parents build skills and knowledge creates closer relationships between parents and child and ensures that children have a competent adult to care for them and keep them safe. [Reference]
Not knowing where your next meal is coming from or how you will pay your bills leads to stress, and stress can lead to abuse. Parents who receive consistent support from their community are better able to parent lovingly and effectively. As advocates, we have to equip parents with the ability to meet their basic needs as well as help parents provide for the needs of their children. [Reference]
Parenting is not easy. It takes a whole network of individuals to provide a healthy and safe childhood for children. Family isolation is a risk factor to unsafe situations for children and fostering connections with parents can be a huge protective factor. Parents that are connected to a positive network of other parents, helpers, or professionals are better are better able to navigate every day stressors and care for their children. [Reference]
About the Author
Molly Horn is the PR/Marketing Coordinator for Alliance For Children and has a degree in Social Work. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and two cats.