Being a Parent CAN be a CHALLENGE!
I had five kids in eight years and I wouldn’t change a thing. They were, and have been a blessing, but that is not to say that it has not been without it’s difficulties. This is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to address this very important subject.
Because of so many little ones and my very hard-working hubby, Stan, who traveled quite extensively during most of their growing up years, it left me in some demanding and humorous situations quite often. For example: My mom had called and insisted that I teach my kids this new technique of not just yelling if someone was trying to take/kidnap them, but to yell as loud as possible, “This is not my mom or dad!”
We had a family meeting and practiced over and over to make sure they each had it down. A few weeks later I took my kids to the store, being very pregnant with my fourth at the time. I had the two year old in the shopping cart, with the six year old pushing the cart and the four year old trailing along. As I put groceries in the back of the cart, the two year old managed to get it and started biting into the block of cheese. When I took that away, the six year old handed the two year old the carton of eggs to quiet the her down from hollering about the missing cheese to which the toddler now began poking her chubby little fingers which perfectly into the top of the egg cartons.
My four year old now decided to take a piece of candy from the candy isle. I said we didn’t have the money for it and he would have to wait for another time. To a little one, the word “WAIT” is a four-letter-word and he arguing began. I was very, very pregnant and the fourth one evidently wanted to make a showing also.
He began to kick which dislodged my maternity pants; the elastic was lose by this point of the game. The two year old had managed to poke through two or three eggs by now. The four year old was yelling and trying to open a candy bar so I would have to buy it.
I told the six year old to get the two year old out of the cart and follow me. Passing a store-worker that knew us, I said I would be back to pay for the eggs and cheese later that day.
I grabbed the four year old, while pulling up my pants as non-nonchalantly as possible and quietly said, ‘we are leaving, we cannot get candy today’. Oh, he knew he was in trouble, to which he started to yell at the top of his lungs as we departed the store, “HELP! This isn’t my mommy! Help Me, Help Me!”
Ok, so that day I wanted to give them all away, but thought better of it between the store door and the car. One of those mom moments……
As parents, most of the time we can laugh off our situations and it’s fine. Other times we can call grandparents or trade with friends to give us a much-needed break from the darlings to get our brain cells back in place. However, what if you don’t have anywhere to turn, you feel trapped and you yourself were abused as a child? What do you do?
There are places to turn to that are here waiting, willing and wanting to help!
If you need help, are overwhelmed, stressed out, afraid you will harm your self or your children, of any age; please do not be ashamed or fearful of getting help. OutReach has phone number of 800.394.3366 Parenting can be a test of even the strongest at times, and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for support and education. My state offers this amazing program and I’ll bet YOURS does too. This is what Utah (855.323.3237) has to offer -In Home: PREVENT CHILD ABUSE UTAH offers two in-home programs that educate and support parents as they experience the joys and challenges of raising children. PARENTS AS TEACHERS is a free, voluntary parenting program for first-time parents who are either pregnant or have just had their baby. In this program you will have your own Family Support Worker who provides information based on your questions and needs. Your support worker will be there to help you for the first five years of your child’s life. SAFE FAMILIES UTAH is a free and flexible program that provides in-home parenting education to families in Salt Lake County. Sessions and materials are available in English and Spanish. The goal of Safe Families Utah is to strengthen families by teaching important skills and providing the tools necessary to:
- Identify and prevent abuse
- Recognize cycles of family violence
- Strengthen parenting skills
- Access community resources
Now, what about preventing abuse in your own family or finding out if abuse if happening to your children?
First how do you talk to your child about what abuse even is? I found this very helpful sheet on the UtahChildPreventAbuseSite that I would recommend EVERY parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, caretaker to read through. Regrettably, a person we may never suspect may be a perpetrator of abusing one of our loved ones. Click HERE for Tips For Talking To Children About Child Abuse.
There was a Q&A titled: Learn How To Detect and Deal with Child Sexual Abuse that was very useful. You can link to it HERE 
An article on How To Talk to Your Preschooler About Private Parts can be found HERE 
Now, there are times that are much more serious and help is needed and that is where the National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness comes in. I found more useful Tip Sheets that cover so many subjects (also available in Spanish) – just click on the title you are interested in:
- Keeping Your Family Strong 
- Making Healthy Connections With Your Family 
- Feeding Your Family 
- Preventing Child Sexual Abuse 
- Managing Stress 
- Managing Your Finances 
- Helping Your Child Heal From Trauma 
- Human Trafficking: Protecting Our Youth 
- Bonding With Your Baby 
- Dealing With Temper Tantrums 
- Parenting Your School-Age Child 
- Connecting With Your Teen 
- Teen Parents…You’re not Alone! 
- Ten Ways to Be a Better Dad 
- Raising Your Kin 
- Support After an Adoption 
- Military Families 
- How to Develop Strong Communities 
- Parenting Your Child With Developmental Delays and Disabilites 
I pray for our families and those who cannot speak, protect, defend or care for them self; I know you do too. This is such a difficult subject, but we must do all we can to prevent malicious behavior of any type. And protect all the innocent, and those who are subject to evil in all of its forms.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today