Child Abuse Prevention Archives - Pickens County First Steps

How “The Basics” Support Resilience in Children

We imagine childhood as a carefree time of innocence, play, and curiosity. Sadly, far too many children are accumulating one negative experience after another. The effects show up in their brains, their bodies, and their behavior.

Professionals in mental health, education, and healthcare now recognize the affect of “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACEs) on brain function, mental health, physical health, and behavior. The more ACEs a child has, the more at risk they are for developmental disorders, adult diseases, and negative socio-economic realities.

As we care for our own children and serve children and families in our community, it’s […]

5 Things You Can Do Today to Support Resilience in Children

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You’re six years old. School started two months ago but you still can’t remember how to hold your pencil correctly. Sometimes you’re lost in your own world, staring out the window while classmates are waiting in a straight line, ready to go to lunch. Other times you’re startled by sudden noises like someone dropping their lunchbox or the teacher clapping to get the classroom’s attention. Your clothes are usually dirty and this has resulted in too many fights on the playground. 

School is hard but it’s better than life outside of school. Home is […]

How Loving the Kids & Families in Your Faith Community Helps Prevent Child Abuse

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Recently my family served in our church’s nursery. A weary mom dropped her two young children off in their appropriate classrooms on the nursery hall and then made her way to the worship service, with a baby on her hip.

I remember those days well.

If ever there’s a population who needs the rest, perspective, and renewal that their faith community provides, surely it’s the parents of young children.

Yet many churches are struggling to keep their nurseries staffed and provide the necessary childcare for summer programs like VBS. Parents with young children, the ones who most […]

How Your Everyday Generosity Helps Prevent Child Abuse

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Moms and Dads don’t begin their journeys as parents planning to abuse or neglect their children.

Any one of us may think we’re above taking out our stress on children until one day, we find ourselves strangled by external pressures and talking to our own children through clenched teeth and with a tone that’s harsher than we’d want anyone to hear.

Usually that’s where it ends but what about when it doesn’t? What about parents whose stress keeps unraveling until they strike out at their children in abusive ways?

Though we could take a […]

How Taking a Meal to a New Mom Helps Prevent Child Abuse

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A Baby Story

My first child came into the world believing that sleep was optional. She grew into a toddler who also believed that sleep was optional and is now a teenager who is the last one to fall asleep at sleepovers.

All of those baby books written by baby experts talked about how much sleep newborns need and how I should expect my precious new baby to sleep more than she was awake.

Sadly, the baby experts were wrong when it came to my particular child.

It didn’t take long for the chronic sleep deprivation to […]

What Can I Possibly do to Prevent Child Abuse?

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t abuse children so what can I possibly do to prevent child abuse?”

More than you think.

As modern-Americans, it’s easy to disengage because we’re already burdened with doing so much: balancing work and home, commitment to our schools and faith-based communities, extended family involvement, keeping up with overflowing calendars and kids’ activities, and keeping the pantry stocked and meals on the table {or passed to the backseat of your minivan — don’t pretend you’ve never done this.}

Where is […]