1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Avoiding Child Abuse in Times of Stress


There are several risk factors that precipitate an abusive situation - so be aware and be smart about your limitations as a human and do what you can to avoid setting yourself up for failure. In this case - abusive behavior towards your children.

  1. Take a time out for yourself. Lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes - after making sure younger children are safe, of course.
  2. Don't pick up or touch your child when angry - count to 10 or more.

  3. Walk away when feeling the urge to strike out or boil over.

  4. Call a friend. Share your frustration.

  5. Go to a neighbor and ask for reinforcement or a short break. I have done this and it started a great new friendship that I now cherish with my neighbor.

  6. Look to your church for help when feeling overwhelmed with parenting.
  7. Look for a parent's day out program at your local church, school, or community center.

  8. Take time to be a kid again. Go to the park with your kids and run around. Let go of all adult responsibility for an hour or so. Take a mental break.

  9. Another great way to take a mental break is to read or get into a soap opera. Avoid reality for an hour.

  10. Look into parenting classes. Perhaps learning a few new techniques will help.

  11. Bind together with others who are struggling for strength and assurance. Talk openly with each other about stress and problems.

  12. Take turns watching the kids so that each parent can have time to break down, cry, reflect, or begin the rebuilding process in times of crisis.

  13. See a therapist regarding your issues at home, especially if you are having a difficult time walking away from your children when angry or have began to be abusive in any way. Remember that stress and depression can overwhelm the best of parents. Things can't improve until we are honest with our limitations and seek help.

  14. Seek inner peace through prayer and meditation. Whatever beliefs you hold that bring you comfort.

  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Adoption / Foster Care
  4. Parenting
  5. Avoiding Child Abuse in Times of Stress - Coping Skills for Parents

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.