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Stopping Child Abuse    -    One Child at a Time

Parent Tips


Basic Tips For Safety:

Cyber Tips For Parents: Keeping Your Children Safe on the Internet

Tips on determining the level of trauma involved, if any, and whether or not a child needs counseling.

First of all, discovering that something like abuse has happened to your child has usually raised all kinds of red flags.

The problem is that most parents don't exactly know what to do after reporting the abuse and putting into play

whatever legal aspects apply.

It's wise to do a few things right away.

  1. Make sure you've got a handle on the situation and your emotions.  The more horrified you appear, and the more out-of-control you become, the greater the stress on your child.  If you appear confused, hurt, helpless, or lost, imagine what your child will feel.
  2. Assure your child that they are innocent of any guilt for what happened, no matter what they may have said or done with the alleged offender, and no matter what kind of rewards or gifts they may have received.
  3. Assure your child that you believe them and will do everything possible to help them recover from this event.
  4. Avoid telling your child that "everything will be all right" or "you'll be fine after a little time has passed."  For one thing, you can't promise that will be the case, as it may not.  It's preferable to promise you'll work hard to make things better.  At least you have some control over doing that.  
  5. Don't force your child to talk about the abuse, but be available to listen if they desire to talk about it.  If at all possible, avoid "interrogating" your child.

The importance of security and routine, particularly with very young children.


Among the most important things adults can provide for children, at any time, is an unbroken sense of security and routine. If your child has been exposed to a traumatic event, it's important to do as much as you can to keep disruptions to a minimum and to reassure him that he is loved, cared for, and protected. It can be helpful to:


Tips for parents who were abused themselves.


There are also occasions when there is an incident of child abuse where the ramifications spill over into the school environment.  At times, the victim may tell a best friend, who unfortunately, can't keep a secret and tells their close friend.  Before long, lots of children know something about what happened.  It is a good idea to talk to your son or daughter about this phenomenon and educate them to handle the topic with thoughtful caution.  In fact, when your child is questioned about the abuse or the subsequent trial issues, it's wise to have a standard spiel prepared.

"Well, I'm sorry, I can't talk about it" or "My Mom told me not to talk about it" will work fine.

 Also, because school issues can blow out of proportion pretty quickly, it's a good idea to contact the school counselor on your child's campus and explain (to some degree) what is happening.  Request that should your child come into the office or get into trouble with a teacher, the counselor can intervene on your behalf and help your child through the difficulty with a foundation of understanding about the matter.


You can help family members and friends cope with the effects of abuse by spending time with them and listening carefully.  Most people recover better when they feel connected to others who care about them.  Some people choose not to talk about their experiences very much, and others may need to discuss their experiences in detail.  For some, talking about things that happened can help them seem less overwhelming.  For others, just spending time with people one feels close to and accepted by, without having to talk, can feel best.  Here is some information about giving social support to other people.


Reasons Why People May Avoid Social Support


Other Negative Consequences of Childhood Trauma

Besides PTSD symptoms, children exposed to a traumatic event like abuse before the age of 16 had almost twice the number of other psychiatric disorders than children without a history of trauma. These other psychiatric disorders included mood disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Helping your child

Open, thoughtful communication with your child will help comfort and reassure her. If you feel this is not your strong suit as a parent, seek professional help to guide you.  If you do feel comfortable tackling such delicate issues like abuse, the following guidelines can help:


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For more information, check these helpful links:

www.NetSmartz.org    or    www.NetSmartzKids