Here’s some suggestions from the Juliette’s House Prevention Education and Clinical Services teams, Child Welfare Information Gateway, community partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Alliance of Children’s Trust & Prevention Funds and others in supporting children and families.

This is just a start, please check back as more will be added, and we welcome your ideas!

  • Share links to webpages with positive parenting tips.
  • Compartir enlaces para consejos de crianza positiva.
  • Share how actively listening to a child’s stories is a sign of love.
  • Let someone know that asking for help is a sign of strength.
  • Share a support line number for someone needing help or someone just to listen.
  • Volunteer at an organization serving children and families.
  • Donate food or clothing to organizations serving families in need.
  • Ask for help and help others by communicating concerns or concerning behavior. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and model that, reaching out for resources. That also goes for rather than being a “bystander,” be an “upstander” — someone who’s ready that if they  “see something, to say something” and act in support of an individual or cause and intervene in an attack or bulllying.
  • Develop positive relationships with neighbors; create a Neighborhood Watch program. Check out these ideas from the City of Sheridan that can work almost anywhere.
  • Babysit for someone in need, giving parents an opportunity for self care.
  • Be a compassionate bystander: When you see a child having “big” feelings in public, show positive support for the parents.
  • Model health relationship boundaries.
  • Take a parenting course and encourage positive parenting.
  • Discipline children thoughtfully.
  • Help fundraise for a nonprofit that services vulnerable childr.en and families
  • Start a playgroup in your neighborhood.
  • Do something every week that tells your child they are special.
  • Create “safe houses” in your neighborhood where children can go in case of emergency.
  • Know where your children are and who they are with.
  • Encourage child abuse prevention activities through local youth groups.
  • Create a local parent support group.
  • In a store, reach out to a Mom who is trying to bag groceries and has a couple of kids who are tired of shopping and crying.  Offer to help sack the groceries and even help put them in her car.
  • Always find a word of encouragement to young parents. If they are sharing a meal out, compliment them on talking together or whatever they are doing. If their kids are misbehaving, offer those words of encouragement and talk to the kids for a minute, share a smile.
  • Take a plate of cookies or treats over to a neighbor to share.
  • Offer to draw with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway with your neighbor’s children.  The parent can observe their kids and yet have a few minutes to breathe.
  • In autumn, offer to rake leaves with kids in the neighborhood.
  • Take a few minutes to knock on your neighbor’s door and just simply ask: “How are you doing? Is there anything I can do to help you out?”
  • Create a safety plan with children. This can take form in many ways. Parents and children can agree on a phrase or saying that indicates the child is in an unsafe situation over the phone and wants to be picked up immediately. Create strong family boundaries around privacy and respect, communicate those boundaries to loved ones or those caring for your child. Role play what it might be like to tell a parent, teacher or family member when something has made a child feel unsafe. Identify with your kids a short list of who they can tell.
  • As always, a friendly wave and “Hello” is uplifting.
  • Keep some little cards or make a few and drop one in front of a door, complimenting and encouraging parents you know.
  • Read to a child on the front step or let the child read to you as part of their homework.  Offer to help with homework.
  • If you know of someone who has a child having mental health difficulties or troubling behaviors, offer to help find resources that could be helpful.
  • Use anatomically correct language when talking about bodies with children in your life. This gives children the language they need to ask important questions, and, especially, to be able to recognize potentially dangerous situations. Predators often use euphemisms for private areas, knowing proper terms give children credibility should they ever need to recognize or report abuse.

Have a suggestion for how we can support children and families in our community? Please send it to Maya Blackmun, Chief Communications Officer, at maya@julietteshouse.org.