How to Keep Children Safe from Physical Abuse

If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important to keep children safe from physical abuse. Sometimes abuse can escalate quickly. If you are trying to find a way to safely exit the relationship, you need a way to protect your children in the meantime. While you work on a safe way to leave, create a plan with your children. Practice a safe word and give them tips for protecting themselves. Teach them to not intervene. And finally, reassure them frequently that you will always believe them if they come to you with problems. Hopefully, you can find some support to help you find a safe way to leave your abuser. You and your child will be much better off, not to mention, much safer.

How to Keep Children Safe from Physical Abuse: Protect Them While You Make a Plan

Get Away from Abuser

The most important thing to keep children safe from physical abuse is to leave your abuser as soon as the abuse starts. If you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship and it turns violent, it’s time to leave. Emotional abuse is not okay either, but physical abuse puts you and your children at risk. Find somebody you trust to help you make an exit plan.

Have a Plan

Another thing to help keep children safe from physical abuse is to make a plan with your children. You should teach them a safe place to go if anything starts to happen in front of them. In addition, teach them to find a safe place in the house to hide. Make sure it’s a place that doesn’t have dangerous objects like a kitchen. It’s also a great idea to make a safe word with them so that if they hear it they know to go to a pre-determined safe place. Enlist the help of a neighbor or somebody you trust to be a safe haven for them. Make sure that they memorize their phone numbers.

They Are Not to Intervene

It’s also important to help keep children safe from physical abuse by making sure that they understand not to intervene. Witnessing violence can have damaging lasting effects on children. Not only does it scare them, but it can upset them to see you frightened. Teach them not to intervene under any circumstances. Instead, they should find a safe place to go. Make sure they know techniques to calm down, and of course, make sure they know how to dial 911.

Reassurance

Finally, one last thing to help keep children safe from physical abuse is to make sure that they know they can trust you with anything. Children need to know that you will believe them no matter what they say. If they come to you and reveal that your partner is abusive, you need to take them at their word and investigate further. They need to know that they can trust you. This is a difficult time for them and they need you by their side.

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you must make sure to keep children safe from physical abuse. The absolute most important thing to do is to get away from your abuser as soon as you can. However, it’s important to make sure that you do this in a safe way that doesn’t put you at further risk. Create a plan just for your child in case abuse starts when they are present. Have a safe word for them to either hide in a safe place or leave the house and get help. Make sure they know not to intervene. And of course, make sure that they know that you will believe them if they come to you with problems. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get some support and find a way to safely exit the relationship so that you and your child can be safer and happier.

COVID-Safe Activities for Young Children

With the Delta variant on the rise, you might be searching for COVID-safe activities for young children. It can be hard to know what is safe and what is a risk, especially with young children in tow. There is still so much unknown about the virus, especially when it comes to young kids. If you are trying to limit your potential exposure, outdoor activities or places where you can socially distance are key. For example, try picking up some food and taking it to a pretty outdoor spot. You can also try the airport overlook and watch planes take off. There are plenty of ways to have outdoor fun, even in the heat. And finally, if you can consider taking a trip or trying out camping with your children. Depending on their ages, there are still plenty of ways to entertain your children without risking exposure.

COVID-Safe Activities for Young Children: Stay Safe and Sane

Picnic

One of the easiest COVID-safe activities for young children is a picnic outside. Try picking up food from a favorite restaurant or ordering curbside takeout. Or you can just try making a special lunch. Then find a pretty place and set out a picnic blanket and sit together and eat. If the weather is nasty you can always do an indoor picnic. Just set up a blanket on the floor and put on a movie. Kids love it when parents switch up the routine, especially if food or movies are involved.

Airport Overlook

Airport overlooks and watching construction sites are other COVID-safe activities for young children. If your kids are interested in trucks or planes, these are great go-to activities. Most airports have a specific overlook where cars can park and watch planes take off and land. You can bring along a picnic, or even just stay in your car and watch. If your children enjoy construction trucks, try to find a site where you can park a safe distance away and watch the trucks working.

Outdoor Fun

There are plenty of COVID-safe activities for young children outdoors. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard with hula hoops or easy activities for them to complete. Or try out a water table with toddlers. If the weather is hot, set up your sprinklers and let the kids run through them, or let them play in a baby pool.

Camping

Finally, if it’s financially possible and feasible time-wise, traveling is one of the most fun COVID-safe activities for young children. You could rent an Air B&B someplace new and try some hikes or outdoor exploring. Many children really love camping as well. Roast s’mores and let them play in creeks and mud. Getting out of your house and just having a change of scenery can improve everybody’s mood. Even if you don’t go very far!

Covid-safe activities for young children are important with the virus still running rampant. If you are looking for ways to stay socially distanced, you can try some of these fun activities with your kids. Try a picnic outside or even in a new room of your house. Check out the airport overlook or a construction site if your kids enjoy watching trucks and planes. You can find plenty of outdoor activities and even water activities if the weather is hot. And finally, change the scenery and get out of town or take a camping trip to mix things up. Keeping kids entertained while staying COVID-safe can be difficult but in the end, it’ll be worth it if it makes you feel safer.

Ways You Can Support a Foster Family

If you are not quite ready to become a foster parent but are wondering how to support a foster family, there are plenty of meaningful ways to be helpful. You can help gather supplies before a new placement arrives. You can also provide food or organize meals. Being a good listener for the parents can be very helpful as well. And finally, you can be there to help welcome a new foster child into the family. Fostering is an amazing way to help the community and provide a meaningful relationship for a family and a child. However, it can be stressful. Foster families can use all the support you can give!

Ways You Can Support a Foster Family: Be Helpful

Help with Supplies

One way to support a foster family is to help gather supplies before a new placement arrives. Sometimes, a foster family doesn’t know that a new child will be living with them until the day before they arrive. They may not have all of the supplies that they need to take care of the child. For example, they may not have diapers, crib, correct size car seats, etc. You can help purchase supplies for them. You can also reach out to your community to see if anybody is willing to donate items.

Organize a Meal Train

Another way to support a foster family is to organize some food for them. Welcoming a new foster child can be a very busy time when it’s easy for parents to get overwhelmed. Cooking a full meal might be the last thing on their mind. If you enjoy cooking or can purchase some meals, drop them by the house. You can also prepare easy frozen meals for them to heat up. If there are other people you know who are wanting to help, organize a meal train where different people can sign up to bring food on different days.

Be a Good Listener

Being a good listener is a very helpful way to support a foster family. Bringing a new foster child into your home is a really exciting time. But it can also be very stressful and filled with difficult emotions. The parents sometimes can feel overwhelmed and just need a supportive friend to talk to. They may be feeling scared, stressed, frustrated, or completely frazzled. Be a sympathetic listener and ask them how they would like you to support them.

Help Welcome a New Placement

Finally, another way to support a foster family is to help them adjust. Invite them all over for a fun game night or group activity. Or you could purchase a new game or something that the family can all do together the first night. Foster children often have many appointments, so it can also be helpful to offer to drive them or to stay with the rest of the family while the foster parents take them. You can also investigate the requirements to be able to provide respite care or babysitting.

Becoming a foster parent can be a very stressful process. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a foster parent, you can begin by helping to support a foster family. You can help a family collect supplies for their new placement, or organize a meal train and food. It’s great to be a supportive listener if you have a friend becoming a foster parent. It can often be an emotional journey. And finally, you can be supportive by inviting the family to hang out or give them a new activity to do together. You can even get qualified to provide respite care which is a huge help for families. Fostering is such an amazing act of love and supporting foster families is a terrific use of your time and energy.

Budgeting for Adoption: Helpful Tips

Budgeting for adoption can seem daunting because the process can be very expensive in America. However, the ultimate goal is well worth the costs. If you are wanting to adopt, investigate all the costs that will be involved. Decide on a budget goal that you feel is reachable. Look into options for financial help like grants, loans, and employee benefits. And finally, always prepare for some unexpected expenses. The adoption process can be lengthy and expensive, but don’t let the cost deter you from completing your family.

Budgeting for Adoption: Helpful Tips to Reach Your Goal

Research Costs for Adoption

The first step to budgeting for adoption is to do your homework. Explore options for different agencies that you can use. Figure out what the total cost will be of the adoption process from start to finish. Shop around different agencies too and get quotes for what their fees are. Don’t necessarily go with the least expensive option though. You want to make sure that it’s a high-quality agency that will help you through the process.

Decide on a Budget

When budgeting for adoption, you’ll need to decide on a budget that you are comfortable with. Figure out if it’s best to go through state agencies or international. You might investigate agencies run through churches as well. When speaking with adoption agencies, ask about any hidden costs. Things like maternal expenses for the laboring mom, legal fees, and agency fees. You want to pick an agency that is fully transparent and upfront about all of its costs.

Look into Financial Options

When budgeting for adoption, investigate all of your options. You might have employee benefits for adoptive parents. Take advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit. There are also grants provided for adoptive families that you can apply for. You can also take out a personal loan to help pay for adoption expenses. Speak to a financial planner so that they can help you take advantage of any help you can find with subsidizing the costs of an adoption.

Anticipate Unexpected Costs

As with all things, adoption can come with its share of surprises. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate unexpected costs when budgeting for adoption. You might find that the cost of living and healthcare in some states is higher than in others. If you choose a pregnant mother in a more expensive area, or if her health insurance doesn’t cover the costs of birth, your expenses could increase. In addition, sometimes there are adoption plans that fall through at the last second. In these situations, it’s difficult to recoup all of the fees you’ve paid upfront. And of course, the cost of actually bringing a baby home and caring for it can surprise expectant parents sometimes.

Budgeting for adoption is important because the process can be quite expensive. However, if you speak to other adoptive parents you’ll find that the cost is well worth it. Investigate potential agencies and try to get an estimate of overall costs well in advance. Decide on a budget that you are comfortable with and choose an agency from there. Take advantage of tax credits, grants, employee benefits, and other helpful avenues to help cover the cost. And finally, prepare for some unexpected expenses. As with all things in life, adoption can come with its share of surprises. While the cost of adoption can be difficult for families to wrap their heads around, it’s important to not let that deter you from your goal. There are many options available to help you make your dream come true of welcoming a new child into your family.

Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce

Divorce can be incredibly painful and stressful, and can also be stressful on your kids. Helping your children through your divorce is so important because they may be feeling a lot of emotions and not know how to handle them. Be patient with them as they sort out how they’re feeling. Also, be a good listener when they come to you with fears or concerns. Be reassuring and continually make sure they realize that you both still love them. And finally, you and your ex should still be a team when it comes to your children. Divorce is hard on everybody, but it’s important not to forget that your children can be feeling all the stresses that you are.

Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce: Help Them Cope With a Stressful Time

Be Patient

Helping your children through your divorce starts with being patient. This needs to start from the first moment you tell them that the divorce is happening. Give them plenty of space and time to react to the news. Even after you’ve told them, it might take them several days or even weeks to fully process what it means. Their entire world is changing. They may have a lot of questions about what their lives are going to look like in the future. Try to be patient and give them as much time as they need to process their emotions.

Be a Good Listener

Some children react to divorce by becoming very quiet and inward. However, some children are the opposite and want to talk things over. If your children are wanting to discuss concerns with you, be a good listener. Helping your children through your divorce means hearing out all of their fears. They may get angry, or blame you, or feel hurt. Listen to what they say without getting defensive.

Be Reassuring

Helping your children through your divorce often means reassuring them that the divorce is not their fault. No matter how you phrase the reasons for your split up, many children are prone to blaming themselves. Even though it likely has nothing to do with them. They’ll need to hear those words from you frequently. Reassure them that things are changing right now but that they’ll feel settled soon. They will find a new routine that will seem very normal. And of course, always reassure them about how much you love them and support them. Remind them that you’re always there to listen if they are feeling afraid or sad about all the changes happening in their life.

Be a Team

Finally, helping your children through your divorce relies on you and your ex being a team. You may have trouble being around each other. You may even resent them or have all sorts of bitterness towards them. However, you both need to work together to establish a healthy routine for your children. Playing the blame game only ends up hurting your children in the long run. Set the same boundaries for when they’re at each of your houses and don’t try to win their favor by buying them gifts. Your children don’t need to hear about the problems you had in your marriage. Try to remember that they probably deeply love your ex and need to know that you’re supportive of the relationship they have with their other parent.

Helping your children through your divorce is so important because children experience big feelings. But they often don’t know how to process these feelings and can get overwhelmed easily. Be patient when they’re explaining how they feel and be a good listener. Reassure them repeatedly that they are loved and that they did not have anything to do with the divorce. And finally, you and your ex need to be a team, at least when it comes to your children. It’s important to set aside your differences and your bitterness in order to parent them the best way you can. They need your love and support at a time in their lives that is bound to be stressful.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent


If you are becoming a foster parent, you’re making an amazing decision that will improve your life and the life of the child you foster. There are so many children needing supportive foster families out there. However, the process of fostering does require some up-front work. Fostering agencies have to make sure that the parents they place children with are able to give them proper care. This requires training on the part of the foster parents. In some states, a license is actually required. Next, you’ll have an in-home visit where the agency makes sure that you’re prepared for a child. And finally, you’ll have to pass a background check. After you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and begin a relationship that will change your life.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent: Getting Prepared

Training

The first step to becoming a foster parent is taking a training course. This will probably cover an overview of the child welfare system and how the process of fostering works. It will help families decide whether or not this is a course that is right for them. It will also provide you with some understanding of what types of behaviors you might experience from foster children as a result of them being in the welfare system. Many children have been through the trauma of one sort or another, and the training program can help you be better prepared to help them.

Licensing

In some states becoming a foster parent requires a specific license. For example, in North Carolina, parents must complete a 30-hour course and then apply for a fostering license. Fostering and adopting are two very different things, although sometimes people get them mixed up. In states where you have to get a license, you often need a separate license if you are applying to adopt a child.

In Home Visit

After you’ve completed your training, the next step to becoming a foster parent is the in-home visit. This is when somebody from a foster agency comes to your house to check out how you live. They’ll ask you tons of questions about your lifestyle. They’ll also make sure that you have the essentials for bringing home a child. If you’re fostering a baby, you’ll need to show that you have a crib and have babyproofed. They aren’t trying to find fault with your home, but instead just getting a feel for how you live your life.

Background Check

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle to becoming a foster parent is passing a background check. Foster agencies must make sure that the children they place with foster parents are in a safe environment. Once you choose a foster agency you’d like to work with, they’ll likely order the background check. All in all, a background check keeps the children safer.

Becoming a foster parent is an amazing life-changing decision to make. It’s one that will probably be very difficult but even more rewarding. However, there is prep work to do upfront. You’ll decide which agency you’d like to work with and then begin training. Next, if you live in a state where it’s necessary, you’ll need to apply for a license. You’ll have an agent come to your house for a home visit after that. And finally, you’ll need to pass a background check. Once you’ve completed all these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and start providing some much needed support to a child in need.

Different Types of Adoption: Pros and Cons

Deciding to adopt a child is a huge decision, but a very exciting one! But the different types of adoption options can be overwhelming. You can choose to have an open adoption or closed adoption. There is also the option of semi-open adoption. Each has benefits and drawbacks. These will help you determine which is the best fit for your family.

Different Types of Adoption: Benefits and Drawbacks

Open Adoption

Open adoption is one of the types of adoption you can choose from. This form of adoption means that you and the birth parents will be in contact. For example, everybody knows everybody else’s identities. The amount of contact between parents can vary based on what everybody wants. However, one of the drawbacks is that there can be boundary issues. Therefore, it’s best to establish clear ideas about your future relationship at the start. One positive of open adoption is that your child can know both sets of parents. Also, you’ll be able to find out more about your child’s medical history.

Closed Adoption

Another type of adoption you can choose is a closed adoption. You and the birth parents will not have any contact at all. You’ll only find out information about the birth parents that is non-identifying. In addition, all your contact will be through a third-party mediator. One of the pros of this is that you won’t have to worry about anybody interfering with your parenting. Another positive is that if the child is from an abusive or dangerous situation, you will never have to worry about them having contact. However, you won’t know much about the child’s medical history, and the decision is permanent.

Semi-Open Adoption

One final option is a semi-open adoption. Of the types of adoptions, this is a little bit of a mix of all. In a semi-open adoption, you can have limited contact with birth parents. This would be through a third-party attorney or mediator. You can exchange mail or photos but you probably won’t know each other’s full identities. Or addresses. A positive of this is that you’ll have more access to your child’s medical history. But a negative is that it can be difficult to move on for the birth parents. Your child can also have some confusion about everybody’s roles.

The three types of adoption each have pros and cons. You can choose an open adoption, closed adoption, or semi-open. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to discuss first with your attorney. You’re making a huge decision for your family. Whichever you choose needs to feel right for you.

How-to Ask the Right Questions About Adoption

Whether you are unable to have kids of your own, or want to provide a home for a child who does not have one, adoption is a great option for many people. When looking into adoption, there is a lot to of things to consider. The adoption process can be confusing and overwhelming at times. This is a big decision for any individual or a family to make. Therefore, it is important to make sure you understand the the process from start to finish. Make sure you know how to ask the right questions about adoption.

How-to Ask the Right Questions About Adoption: Understand the Process

Adoption Types

First, you will need to know about the different types of adoptions. This is one of the first big questions about adoptions you should ask when starting the process. Children can be adopted internationally, through private agencies, the welfare system or even existing relationships. Understanding the different types of adoptions will help you decide which route you may want to go. There may be differences in requirements, rules and costs associated with all of the different types of adoptions.

If you choose a private or independent adoption, you will also need to understand the difference in an open and closed adoption. The difference in these are whether the birth parents want to select the adoptive parents, or even meet them. They could also choose to maintain an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family.

Cost

Another one of the important questions about adoption is about cost. Adoptions can be expensive, so you should find out how much money you will need to save up. Find out how long you have to pay the fees and ask about different payment options. Do not forget to find out about grants or tax credits to help offset adoption costs.

Preparation

When it comes to adoption, there may be some preparation work you need to do. This is another one of the questions about adoption that you should ask. There is not going to be a one-size-fits-all answer. However, there could be financial preparations you need to make. Also, you may need to find a living situation that is going to be appropriate for raising a child. Learn about the different legal, financial, medical, developmental, and behavioral issues related to adoption.

Adoption can be an amazing step in growing your family and providing a loving home for a child. Since it is also a big step, make sure that you ask all of the right questions about adoption. This way you know if this process is right for you.

How-to Handle Adopting Multiple Children: Siblings

You may feel a calling for adopting multiple children. This could come in the form of adopting siblings or just multiple waiting children. Adding one child, let alone more than one, into your family will bring many changes. Here are some steps to take while going through the process of adopting several children.

How-to Handle Adopting Multiple Children: Things to Consider

Why Multiples?

In some cases, a child in the foster system may have had their brother or sister as their only constant in their life. They will have had their entire world turned upside down at some point in their life, sometimes more than once. They will be separated from their parents and everything they know. Their sibling will be someone who can relate to what they are going through and understand them. As you can see, adopting multiple children by adopting siblings will help to keep these brothers and sisters together with someone they have a bond with.

Around 2/3 of all kids in foster care in the US have a sibling in foster care as well. Unfortunately, many of these children will end up bring separated from their brothers and sisters. The most common reason for their separation is because foster care workers can not find a forever home for all of the children together. By deciding to adopt siblings, you will be keeping this family together.

Things to Consider

One of the things to consider when adopting multiple children is if you are ready for this commitment. This will be a very big change, and you need to make sure that you are ready. Assess your home to make sure it is suitable for bringing multiple children into it. Really dig deep and make sure that if you are married or in a relationship, that you are both ready for this. This whole experience will have to be a team effort to make it work.

Another thing to do is to do your own research. There are websites that go over things you should know about adopting multiples. You can also connect with families who have adopted siblings on the AdoptUSKids Facebook page.

Adopting can be a difficult, yet rewarding process. You take this to the next level when thinking about adopting multiple children. Keeping siblings together could be very beneficial to your adoptive child, and can be one way of growing your family.

Children’s Hobbies Post-Divorce

Your divorce can be pretty rough on both you and the kids. For them, this can be a time where they feel a wide range of emotions which can impact their lives. Therefore, it’s good to encourage them to get into some children’s hobbies post-divorce. Doing so can help them in a few ways…

 Children’s Hobbies Post-Divorce: How They Help

Relieve some stress

One benefit of children’s hobbies post-divorce is how they help your kids relax. Odds are your divorce cause you a lot of stress throughout the process. However, it also probably placed a lot of stress onto your kids as well.

This stress can get worse for them as they try and adjust to the new way things are after the divorce. Unlike adults, children tend to struggle with managing this stress and this can cause them to act out in response. Having a hobby that they can get into and enjoy is a good way for them to relax and start to feel better again.

Make new friends

Another benefit of children’s hobbies post-divorce is the way they can encourage your kids to make new friends. Aside from stress, you kids can begin to feel sad and withdrawn as well. They’ll spend a lot of time alone in their rooms, not talking to others, and may even stop doing things such as their schoolwork.

A hobby can help your kids get back to being social and making new friends. Having a shared interest is one of the fastest and easiest ways for people of all ages to find friends. Once they start feeling more comfortable and happier with their friends, their mood around the house will also begin to improve.

Improve your connection

Children’s hobbies post-divorce can also be a way for you to improve your bond. A divorce tends to make kids question if things were somehow their fault. Spending time together via a hobby is a great way to show them that you still love them and that they didn’t do anything wrong.

For example, sports programs tend to be popular with kids and parents alike. Your kids get to play a sport they enjoy and make friends with their teammates, while you get to support and cheer for them at games. These are all great things for a child to have after having their parents divorce.