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prevention tips

Focus on what "good things" you want to develop within your child. Develop these by spending time together as a family and individually with each child. Show plenty of affection often and in a variety of ways. Make sure your child knows how much you love him/her. Use hugs, kisses, and lots of words of encouragement - pay attention to what you say as well as how you say it. Strengthen your child's decision making skills by providing choices. These can include where to sit at the table or what game to play.

Show your children how you want them to behave. Children learn by watching you. If you want your children to read, let them see you reading. If you want your children to stay calm when angry, then you stay calm when you are angry.

Nurture your own development as an adult, spouse, and parent. Young children are challenging and demand much time and energy from you.

Take part in activities outside of the home to enhance your own personal growth. You will find your self more relaxed and prepared to meet the demands of parenting.

Work together with your family, friends, and community. Reach out for support and share some of the parenting responsibility.

View discipline as a way to reach, not as punishment. Children learn from their mistakes, but they need to know what to do instead.

Establish rules and routines and follow them consistently. If you're at the end of your rope, ask a neighbor to mind your child for a half hour -- and repay the favor later.

Exchange your phone number with another parent and call when you need to talk to someone right away.

Hug your children to let them know you think they're special and that you love them without reservation.