Happy Father's Day

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear Friends,

No one knows the response of the first dad when his child was born, took their first steps, or uttered their first words. One can only imagine that pride and joy was on his countenance. From the beginning of time to present date, dads have been found loving, protecting and guiding their children and families through the stages of life. Every "ouch", teary eye and stumble was covered in his sturdy hands.

Our true thanks are not in a card, gift, or fancy dinner... but in the smiles and hugs we receive each day. So, on this weekend of traditional celebration, we offer you an extended salutation to last throughout your span of fatherhood.

Keep doing the good work you are doing and allow yourself the capacity to do even more.

May you have a very Happy Father's Day ... today and every day!

Brian Carter, Dads Inc. Director

Prevention: A Year-Round Effort

Monday, May 20, 2013

April was a busy month for Prevention Councils: pinwheel garden planting, conferences and other community events fill our already tight schedules. Child Abuse Prevention Month has become a time of hope—a time to remind people that everyone can do something to keep kids safe.

It’s easy to feel tired and perhaps a little let down once it’s over. “All this effort,” we wonder, “is it really making any difference?”

The answer is a resounding “YES!” Every time we bring up the issue of prevention, there is an opportunity to make a difference in our communities. Each time we invite our neighbors, friends and family to get involved, we change the world. Anytime we extend ourselves to support parents, kids and families, we touch the future.

This is why our communities need to hear this message all year. April is a terrific opportunity, since most people know about Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, though, our messages can be forgotten in the busy nature of everyday life. What do we have to say to our communities in May or September or February?

Advertising experts know that a message that is repeated is more likely to be remembered. While a Prevention Council may not have the big advertising budget of a large corporation, there are still many opportunities for sharing the message of prevention all year long. Some efforts don’t take a huge investment of time, but they keep the message in front of the public. Here are just a few examples:

• Write 12 articles on parenting issues and ask your local newspaper to publish one each month.

• Ask your local library to feature a selection of books on parenting and families. Place the books near the children’s area so parents and caregivers can read along with their children. Ask if you can provide a selection of brochures nearby.

• October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Consider partnering with your local domestic violence shelter or group to help people understand the connection between family violence and child abuse.

• Some Councils provide backpacks for children entering kindergarten. The backpacks may have school supplies and other goodies, along with information for parents.

• If your community has local restaurants that sell advertising space on their placemats, ask if they would donate space for an ad about prevention. People actually do read those ads while waiting for their chicken friend steak!

Want to find out if there is a Prevention Council in your county? Go to http://pcain.org/council_map.asp. If your county doesn’t have a Prevention Council yet, call Mary Armstrong-Smith to find out how easy it is to get started! Mary’s number is 317-775-6424.

Prevention Benefits EVERYONE!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Child abuse prevention is about more than the prevention of the negative. It’s about the promotion of the positive. Merely keeping children from harm isn’t enough.

Let’s say you have a garden, full of flowers and vegetables. Do you work to simply keep your plants from harm by putting up barriers to keep out deer, rabbits and other pests? Or would you rather have a flourishing garden, full of strong, healthy plants? Achieving the second result calls for a different kind of work, one involving nurturing and strengthening the plants as opposed to just protecting them. Yes, it takes more work. But the result of that work becomes evident in the harvest.

As a nation, we can work together to strengthen our communities, making them places where all children have an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. When we do this, we all benefit. Healthy, productive children grow into healthy, productive adults. They become workers and taxpayers, adding to our country’s economic strength.

And many become parents, raising the next generation. It is our responsibility as adults to steward the next generation. The future of our society depends on the opportunities we provide for kids today. If you’re not already involved in prevention, consider getting involved. Check to see if your county has a chartered Prevention Council. You can find out here. If your county doesn’t have a Council, contact us to find out how to start one. Call us at 317-775-6439!

The “Clean Break?” Divorce and Children

Monday, April 22, 2013

Can a divorce ever be a “clean break” for children? This is still debatable. Some experts believe that children may wrestle with their parent’s divorce, even through adulthood. But there is new evidence which also points out children may feel “relieved” once their parents separate, if tensions have been high.

Most experts agree that two factors influence how well children cope with divorce:

The level of hostility and conflict between parents


Parental acceptance and adjustment to the break up

Use these nine tips to help minimize the negative effects on your kids:

1. Don’t confide in your children about adult concerns, like disagreements or finances.

2. Don’t “bad mouth” your ex.

3. Don’t use your kids as “spies” on the ex.

4. Minimize other changes in your lives. Try to keep regular schedules.

5. Remain the parent you have been, firm and consistent.

6. Encourage the kids to call the other parent, for school updates, etc.

7. Be open to other resources, websites, classes, for you and your children about divorce.

8. Do get help for your child if they’re having difficulties. A therapist can be a safe neutral person.

9. Same for you and your ex. If you can’t talk without hostility, seek a therapist.

With all parties present, let kids know how difficult this is for everyone. Allow children to express themselves with tears, anger, or other natural reactions. Remind the kids that the divorce WAS NOT THEIR FAULT, as kids tend to blame themselves. Encourage the kids to always know that you’re available to talk about anything, but especially about this. Those younger don’t need long sessions, but simple explanations. All children will treasure time together, especially if you take time to enjoy the things that THEY are interested. Remind them they are loved by both parents, no matter what.

Carol Pool, MSW (Taken from Isolina Ricci, PhD,
a family therapist and author of Mom’s House, Dad’s House.)

March Into Literacy Month

Monday, March 4, 2013

March is “March Into Literacy Month.” This is sponsored by the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, whose mission is to offer our nation's most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to resources that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, over 16 million children live in poverty. Through the gift of a book, we can provide these children with the tools they need to help break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time. According to Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic, "Literacy remains at the core of academic achievement for all children, and it is critical that we work together to help every child have access and exposure to books at home and in their communities. By giving the gift of reading to a child in your life or a child in need, you are not only opening up a world of opportunity for them, but you are giving them a lifetime of joy.”

You can help. Every donation to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program helps place a book into the hands of a less fortunate child. One-hundred percent of your tax-deductible donation goes to support community literacy programs. More than $2 million have been contributed to the program since its inception, helping to deliver more than one million books to children across the country.

Consider helping in other ways as well:

• Donate gently used children’s books to your local youth organization or homeless shelter.

• Spend time reading to the kids in your life.

• Volunteer to read to kids at your local library or youth program.

Be a reading role model; show your kids how much reading means to you and how books have added to your own life.

Get A Gold Medal Smile, Kids!

Monday, February 11, 2013

No, I don’t mean gold metal braces for your teeth! This is the title from the National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Adults and children must realize how important it is for us to take care of our teeth. New research is showing how the mouth is a gateway to a person’s over-all health! An unhealthy mouth can be linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Children very often can suffer from unhealthy mouths and teeth, so we adults have to educate ourselves and help them keep their mouths healthy. As a Mom, I have a few tips here that may help with your little ones.

*Positive rewards for small steps…like brushing or flossing, on their own.

*We’d make “Picture Reminders” of a toothbrush or goofy smile hanging on the bathroom mirror, to remind us to brush in the morning or at bedtime.

*I found “floss sticks” easier to use, and more fun for the kids. So now we keep them either by the sofa so while watching TV we can floss, or in the car, or on the kitchen table, for after meal flossing. We’ve made it a “normal, daily activity” this way.

*I’ve learned that I can schedule our dentist appointments all at the same time. Then we adults set a good example, and are there for support in case someone gets cold feet! And it’s easy to keep a record of who has been to the dentist or not.

These are just a few simple tips. Hope they help inspire your family to share that Gold Medal Smile!

Carol Cochard Pool, MSW, Prevent Child Abuse IN

January ... National Mentoring Month

Monday, January 7, 2013

Think of the people in your life who helped you when you were growing up. Most of us had mentors who made a difference to us, whose care and concern set our feet on a productive path. January is National Mentoring Month. Maybe it’s time to pay it forward! Consider becoming a mentor. Someone is waiting for you.

There is an excellent website for National Mentoring Month, and they have three videos that are located at http://www.nationalmentoringmonth.org/video/