Weekly family rail, with tips on what to do if you suspect a child is being abused, a review of Mo Willems' new book and more.
Tip of the Week
You see a parent with a toddler at the store. The toddler misbehaves and, suddenly, the parent flies into a rage and screams at the child. The reaction only causes the child to cry louder, which leads to even more yelling by the parent. What can you do? Without knowing any of the family's history or its struggles, is it OK to step in?
There is an effective way to intervene to help a child who may be in trouble, says Dr. Darlene Silvernail, a professor of psychology at South University's West Palm Beach, Fla. campus.
"Approaching someone who is having troubles can feel daunting, and caution is advised," says Silvernail. "But there are ways to help save a child from mistreatment through brief intervention techniques."
How do you approach the parent of a child you think may be verbally or physically at risk? Silvernail offers these suggestions:
1. Start a conversation with the parent. "Let them know that you understand that little ones test our nerves, and while this is part of normal childhood development, it can be very stressful," says Silvernail.
2. Avoid negative remarks or looks. These reactions are likely to increase the parent's anger or embarrassment and make matters worse.
3. Offer the parent assistance or resources. Silvernail suggests saying something such as "Children sure can be frustrating, can't they? Can I do anything to help?" Another approach might be to offer resources: "Are you aware that we have wonderful resources in our area?" Even if you are not an expert in local assistance organizations, you can always refer a parent to the Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) parent hotline at 855-4APARENT (855-427-2736). The ACF is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In some situations, you may not be able to offer assistance, or your offer may be dismissed by the parent. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should report it to the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873).
Family Movie Night
“War Horse,” now on DVD
Length: 146 minutes
Synopsis: Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry. Albert's journey takes him across Europe as the war rages on.
Violence/scary rating: 4.5
Sexual-content rating: 1.5
Profanity rating: 2
Drugs/alcohol rating: 3
Family Time rating: 3. This is a great family movie, but because of the war violence, only for older kids.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?,” by Mo Willems
Synopsis: The Duckling asks for a cookie -- and gets one! Do you think the Pigeon is happy about that? - Disney Press
Did You Know
A study published in Pediatrics said that caffeine consumption by pregnant women did not affect their newborn’s sleep habits.
GateHouse News Service