What Parents Can Do
Parents and caregivers are integral in keeping kids safe.
The responsibilities that come with being a parent are many. It can feel overwhelming, especially when stressors are building—but you are not alone. There are community resources available to support you in raising children who are healthy, resilient and ready to thrive.
Parenting is stressful. Managing your stress is very important for your peace of mind and the well-being of your child. The following tips can help you—and your child—manage stress:
Having a friend to lean on can make a challenging day of parenting a bit easier, but finding new friends as an adult can feel difficult. It often feels that way for others, too. Take the leap and reach out to someone you would like to get know better. Here are some ways to get started:
It takes a village to raise a child. Being needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week is challenging and overwhelming. Here are some ways that you can find help when you need it, as well as some things to consider when asking others to help you:
If you are relying on a family member, friend or neighbor to care for your child, help them understand basic child development and appropriate care and discipline.
Vanessa Behan, a nonprofit organization, defines a crisis as “anything that keeps you from taking care of your child as well as you would like.”2 Parents may need a break to catch up on sleep, get groceries, or go to the doctor, while others may need additional support to get back on their feet after illness, job loss or trauma.
Hormone fluctuations, lack of sleep and many other factors increase the risk of depression and/or suicidal thoughts after having a child. If you are thinking of harming yourself or your child, call 911. If you would like to talk with someone from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) or use their webchat.
From birth to age 18 and beyond, there is a lot to know about how children learn and develop and about how to raise them. Learning can be challenging, confusing and rewarding. Here are some resources to prepare you for different stages, no matter your child’s age:
Volunteer as a family! Kids love being involved with something bigger than themselves. Not only does it foster a sense of purpose, it can also reinforce the importance of giving when you are able. Find the right volunteering opportunity for you and your child by visiting Spokane Cares, which offers volunteer opportunities for many different interests.
Policies impact every aspect of our lives and you can make a difference.
Your generosity of home and heart is helping to keep kids safe and out of harm’s way. Taking care of children who have been removed from their families and who may have potentially been exposed to abuse and neglect is not an easy job. Learn more, get support and connect with other foster parents at Fostering Together.
If you are a family member providing kinship care, you know this situation can be both rewarding and challenging. Connecting with services and other caregivers can ease some of the challenges you are facing. See the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) site to learn about available home and community services.
1 “Fact Sheet: Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities,” Prevent Child Abuse America, last accessed September 10, 2019, https://preventchildabuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/maltreatmentofchildrenwithdisabilities.pdf.
2 “Parents,” Vanessa Behan, last accessed February 5, 2020, https://www.vanessabehan.org/for-parents.