Just 25 ways

Each April we guide our efforts toward Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness. The iconic blue pinwheel and blue ribbon, both serve as symbols for justice for children nationwide.

While parenting is never an easy job, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa publishes 25 Ways to be a Loving Parent:

• Help your child with their schoolwork.

• Giggle together — share silly knock-knock jokes.

• Bury a family time capsule and dig it up five years later.

• Have a backward dinner — serve dessert first!

• Look through your family photo albums together.

• Ask your child to draw a portrait of your family and then frame it.

• Schedule regular Family Meetings where everyone gets to share their opinion.

• Start a once a season parent/child date night complete with dinner and a movie.

• Give your child the gift of culture — take them to a museum, symphony, or play.

• Start a collection together anything from coins to seashells will work.

• Take family walks after dinner.

• Sit down at the table together to eat meals.

• Give your child choices about what to wear, eat, do, etc.

• Set realistic rules and expectations and make sure your child understands them.

• Be a good role model.

• Find time each day to talk one-on-one with your child.

• Praise and encourage your child daily.

• Give your children age-appropriate responsibilities.

• Put a funny note in their lunch box.

• Stick to your rules and be fair.

• Be patient!

• Let them know when you catch them being good.

• Tell them how thankful you are they are your children.

• Trust your child and let them know you respect them.

• Hug your child every day.

Besides being the best parent you can be, there are other ways to involved in Child Abuse Prevention. I would suggest volunteering for Child Abuse Prevention Services. Perhaps consider hosting “Blue Friday” at work or participating in “Blue Sunday” at your local church by wearing blue. Finally, become educated about Child Abuse in Iowa at http://www.pcaiowa.org/child-abuse/child-abuse-in-iowa

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Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.