Strengthening Families and Communities through Prevention
The Parent's Network was created to provide parents and parental influences with prevention tools as they walk through life with their families. Our goal is to provide monthly resources and increase awareness around the potential struggles our children face on a day-to-day basis. Each month we will update our Parent's Network page with articles, links, and videos, that will equip us with tips, tools, and information that can give guidance in our efforts towards being an informed parent.
April 2018 - Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention
FindLaw defines child abuse as “Inflicting or failing to reasonably prevent others from inflicting mental or emotional injury impairing a child's growth, development, or psychological functioning; physical injury resulting in substantial harm, or which is at variance with explanation given; sexual abuse, exploitation, use of controlled substance resulting in mental or physical harm to child.” statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-child-abuse-laws.html The Center for the Study of Social Policy says that “Parents are more likely to achieve healthy, favorable outcomes if they are resilient. Resilience is the process of managing stress and functioning well even when faced with challenges, adversity and trauma.” CSSP has also found that “Numerous research studies show parents can be helped to manage clinical symptoms and reactions to their own histories of poor attachments and trauma, to protect children from adversity and trauma as best they can and to provide more nurturing care that promotes secure emotional attachment and healthy development in their children.” https://www.cssp.org/reform/strengthening-families/2013/SF_Parental-Resilience.pdf If want to learn more about child abuse, the effects, signs of abusive behavior in yourself, and more, click HERE.
“Strengthening Families and Youth Thrive Frameworks” was created to “identify, communicate and apply research-informed ideas that contribute to the healthy development and well-being of children, youth and families.” (CSSP.org)
Rainn states that “The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.” https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault Sexual Assault can affect people in many ways such as, self-harm, STIs’, substance abuse, dissociation, eating disorders, pregnancy, suicide, etc. You can click on the resources below for more information around sexual abuse of children and different types of sexual abuse. ** If you are needing emotional support for yourself or someone who is or has been a victim of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, or mental), Family Ties is a great resource in our community. Please give us a call at 936-931-2299!
Many organizations will bring awareness to self-injury throughout the month of March. The more informed we are as parents, the better we can inform our children, and the more we are able to take the proper steps to help someone who may be self-harming. Center of Discovery has defined Self-harm as “the deliberate action of causing physical harm to oneself and is a very dangerous sign of emotional distress.” Center of Discovery also states that “The underlying causes of self-harm can be difficult to recognize without thorough assessment and therapy. Many adolescents who engage in self-harm behavior have severe underlying emotional pain and lack adequate coping skills.” http://centerfordiscovery.com/treatment-programs/mental-health/self- harm/ “Children as young as 7 years old report engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury. There is a grade by gender interaction for nonsuicidal self-injury, such that ninth-grade girls report the greatest rates of engagement and do so by cutting themselves”, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382916/ Below are some great resources on self-injury; the signs, reasons why, and ways we can help others.
February 2018 - Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
We're sure many of you have guessed it! February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. So, of course, we want to join in on the awareness, and help provide teen dating violence tools and resources to parents and youth. Even if our children aren’t experiencing these issues, we have found that by having age appropriate conversations with our children, and giving correct, reliable information, we can help our children know what to do if they are ever put in a harmful or dangerous situation. We will often refer back to the “Self-love and Respect” topic throughout the year. The reason for this is because self-love and respect help us t0 stay honest with ourselves, and can motivate us to remove anything that can be (or is) harmful to us or someone else. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence defines teen dating violence (TDV) as “a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occurring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures” (https://nrcdv.org/dvam/tdvam). According to Project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, “loveisrespect”, one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of abuse from an individual they’ve been dating. That means about 10 people in an average high school classroom are victims of TDV in some way. (http://www.breakthecycle.org/sites/default/files/student_faq.pdf). “It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence,” says the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (https://nrcdv.org/dvam/tdvam). The links attached below are great resources that can provide us and our children with helpful information about teen dating violence, and what a healthy relationship consists of.
On this resource below, look to the left of the website at the categories in pink. Click on the category you want to know more about. If you or someone you know is experiencing teen dating violence or domestic violence, Family Ties is another great resource in your community.
So for the many of us who may or may not have known, January is Mental Wellness Month. According to the World Health Organization, Mental Wellness is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4471980/). It makes sense that this may be what we'd all wish and hope for ourselves and our children. Unfortunately, when we are faced with life’s many challenges, disasters, heartaches, and so much more; our mind can become influenced in a negative way, resulting in negative consequences for ourselves, and those in our lives. Change may be difficult, but it is possible. Before we discuss further, let's check out this video and gather some inspiration.
Having trouble figuring out what our goals are or where to start? Start with self-love and respect! We've found that when we actually love who we are ,whether that means beginning to accept and love the things we can't change about ourselves, taking actions to make improvements in ourselves and in our lives, or just plain treating ourselves the best that we possibly can and accepting nothing less than what we deserve, we can actually start to see and feel the positive change in our lives and our children’s lives. Our children will get to experience, first hand, what self-love and respect look like, and the importance of it, through our example of loving ourselves. It is here where we can begin to see and achieve our wants and dreams. Attached are some links that may be helpful, encouraging, and inspiring on our journey to mental wellness through self-love and respect.