While being a parent can be one of life's most rewarding roles, it can also be one of life's most frustrating. Infants are solely focused on their own needs and can only cry to let you know when they're uncomfortable, hungry, or unhappy. As children grow, they develop their own distinct personalities and often begin to behave in ways that are frustrating and upsetting.
As parents, one of our most important tasks is to teach our children the right way to behave. As anyone who has ever been a parent can tell you, however, this is easier said than done. All too often, we read about parents who have crossed that line between discipline and abuse. It's important to understand that there are many resources available to parents in Pennsylvania to help them learn about and develop effective disciplining skills and to avoid crossing the line into child abuse.
Parent Resources in Pennsylvania
No parent has all of the answers. There is always something else to learn, and Pennsylvania has many resources available to parents who want to learn better parenting skills or learn more about how to discipline their children effectively. Some of these resources are as follows:
Healthy Families America. HFA provides educational and outreach programs that help parents improve their parenting skills. Some of these programs address the physical and mental health needs of the family, including how to effectively discipline children. A directory of HFA programs can be found here.
Head Start. The Head Start program is funded mostly by the federal government and offers education, health, and social services to families with kids aged 3 to 5. There is a Head Start program in every county in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance offers some detailed advice on effective ways to discipline children, including a good brochure on alternatives to physical discipline. It also has a directory with county-by-county parental support and education providers in Pennsylvania.
General Advice to Avoid Discipline Becoming Abuse
The biggest thing you can do to make sure you don't mistakenly cross that line between discipline and abuse is to stop. Stop and wait for your anger to go away. Time and time again, parents who are found to have physically abused their children did so while they were angry – sometimes angry at their children, but also sometimes angry for another reason.
Giving yourself time to let that anger go away before you discipline your child for their misbehavior is the single best thing you can do to help yourself respond to that misbehavior in an acceptable, effective way.
The Lento Law Firm Team Can Help
If you have been accused of child abuse, you need a strong and effective advocate to help you understand and defend yourself against the charge. The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team have helped parents all over Pennsylvania defend themselves against these kinds of difficult and often frightening charges. We understand the law, the court process, and how to make sure their client's rights are respected. We are here to help you defend yourself.
So don't delay – call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686, or schedule a confidential consultation with the Lento Law Firm Team by using our online scheduling form. You need an advocate in this kind of situation, and we are here to listen and to help.