Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that many parents seek out.
We’ve provided material we think would be helpful and links to resources that will supply more information about your question. Read through them all as some answers and their links will answer other questions you have. Thank you for visiting LBUnplug.org, a website of the Long Beach Child Abuse and Neglect Network (LBCANN).
Q: Toilet training basics: Is it time?
A: Potty training success depends on your child’s physical, developmental and behavioral milestones, not age. Many children show signs of being ready for potty training between ages 18 and 24 months. However, others might not be ready until they’re three years old. There’s no rush. If you start too early, it might take longer to train your child.
For more information click here.
Q: What is considered Safe Sleeping?
A: The ABC’s of Safe Sleep are Alone, on my Back, in a Crib! It’s that easy.
For more information click here.
Q: How do I establish healthy eating habits for my baby and children?
Making sure your baby is getting the nutrition she needs is one of the most important things a parent worries about. For specific ideas and tips, click here.
For nutrition support, please visit the nearest WIC location.
Q: How do I help my baby stop crying?
A: A baby’s cry can signal hunger, pain, or just general discomfort, but crying also follows the developmental stages of an infant’s life. There are certain times in an infant’s development when they cry more than usual. Infant crying peaks between 4-6 weeks of age and mostly takes place in the late afternoon or evening. For specific information visit Purple Crying.
Even knowing that a baby’s cries are normal, it can be extremely frustrating. If you feel you have reached a point when you might harm your baby, or shake your baby because of its crying, put your baby safely in their crib, and call this 24/7 hotline for help: CHILD HELP HOTLINE: 1-800-4-a-child.
Here are some reliable soothing methods that may help your baby: http://purplecrying.info/sub-pages/soothing/common-sense-and-well-tried-soothing-methods.php
Some methods to help you calm your own frustration: http://purplecrying.info/sub-pages/protecting/tips-to-deal-with-frustration-and-anger.php
Q: How do I talk to my child(ren) about good touch/bad touch?
A: Although this can be a difficult conversation, you want to keep the conversation light. Many parents approach this subject while bathing their children. They define the parts covered by a swimsuit as the private areas that should only be seen or touched by mom, dad, or a doctor for cleaning or health reasons. Talk to your children about saying something to them or another grown-up if they’ve been touched in a way that does not follow these rules.
These books are helpful tools when explaining appropriate boundaries to your children:
The Swimsuit Lessonby Jon Holsten
Red Flag, Green Flag People by Kecia Softing Freed
Q: Should I make my child kiss and hug friends and relatives?
A: The best advice is to allow children to decide who they hug and kiss. Giving them this responsibility empowers children to know that they make decisions about their bodies. Appropriate alternatives are to shake hands, high-five, or just say hello or goodbye. It’s really up to the child to decide. This practice may protect your child from sexual abuse or feeling obligated to be affectionate throughout their lives. CNN parenting writer shares more in this article.
Books that will be helpful to you are available here.
Q: How do I make my child behave?
A: Children need and want our attention, love and affection. When they receive our attention through our body language, words of affirmation, and eye contact for their good behaviors, they will behave well more often. As parents we want to create a safe space for children to make mistakes and learn, all while teaching good behaviors so children will become responsible and happy citizens. Children’s Home Society provides information regarding Positive Discipline strategies in several languages. See the attached links here:
The Children’s Home Society website has several languages, including Spanish and Khmer translation for all documents.
Some other resources:
Jane Nelson, Positive Discipline
Without Spanking or Spoilingby Elizabeth Crary
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Q: What do I do if I suspect child abuse?
A: Anyone can call to report “reasonable suspicion” of child abuse, and mandated reporters such as teachers, police, clergy, public safety, social workers, doctors, nurses, and therapists) must call. Reasonable suspicion is defined by Child Protective Services as: “It is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect.”
“Reasonable suspicion that a child has been a victim of child abuse or neglect does not require certainty that a child has been abused, and may be based on credible information from other individuals for the purpose of making a report.”
Your responsibility is to assess the situation, not investigate. Consider what the child told you, where and when the incident happened, who the alleged perpetrator was, and what other information led you to suspect child abuse (what you saw and heard).
If there is valid suspicion, call Child Protective Services immediately. The DCFS Child Protection Hotline (CPH) is: 1-(800)-540-4000
Contact local law enforcement (City Police or Sheriff’s Department), not school police,
in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
Be prepared with details such as your name (mandatory for mandated reporters!), name(s) and age(s) of the child(ren), names and addresses of parents’, alleged perpetrator, date, time and location of incident, present location of the child, location and description of any injury to the child, and if she or he is in the hospital. Other helpful information includes reporting any special circumstances or unusual behaviors of the child, any history of substance abuse, domestic violence, and/or criminal behavior, any witnesses to the incident, and the family’s support systems.
After calling hotline and receiving the 19 digit referral number, go to: www.lacdcfs.org
Q: What is normal in terms of discovery (playing doctor)?
A: You found your 5- year-old “playing doctor” in the bedroom closet with his 4-year-old best friend, underwear off. What should you do? Stay calm and get them involved in another activity- one with clothes on. You could say, “You are curious about your bodies, but we play with our clothes on. Let’s go bake some cookies (or direct them to some other fun activity.” It is a normal part of growing up for children to be curious about their own bodies and those of other children. When should a parent be worried about their child’s sexual interest or behavior? Help is needed when: there is big difference in age (3 years or more) or unequal power between the children (one is a babysitter, for example); when one child is much bigger and seems to be bullying the other child into this exploration; or when the sexual play looks too advanced for their ages and mimics adult sex acts. Understanding Children’s Sexual Behaviors: What’s Natural and Healthy? (available in English and Spanish) by Toni Cavanagh Johnson Ph.D. is a great little book on this subject. Parents can request a free copy at www.forthechild.org (specify language) or order additional copies at www.tcavjohn.com ($3.00 each).