Mason County News
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Child Welfare Board Plans Sunday Picnic!
Thursday, March 26, 2009 • Posted March 26, 2009

The community is invited to a hamburger picnic lunch on the west side of the square on Palm Sunday, April 5th, from 11-1. In addition to delicious hamburgers hot off the grill, we’ll have face painting and a jumping castle for the kids. The Sheriff’s office will be on hand to do fingerprinting and ID kits for children, as well. Also, we have a special surprise this year. The Easter Bunny and his helpers will be here, so children should bring their Easter Baskets for the egg hunt! The Easter Bunny has even agreed to stay for the whole afternoon and pose for pictures with the kids. This is a great family activity, and attendees are guaranteed a good time!

In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse had its early beginnings as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country, and many wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse. In other communities, special fundraisers are held to support prevention activities and treatment facilities for victims, and candlelight vigils are held as a remembrance. Most recently, the focus has shifted toward a more positive message of celebrating “blue ribbon” individuals, organizations, and communities who have done much to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Citizens of Mason will recognize “Go Blue Day” on Wednesday, April 8th. Please help us bring awareness to the issues surrounding child abuse and neglect by wearing blue next Wednesday.

Mason Elementary School students in Mrs. Searcy’s art class are helping to bring public awareness to the tragedy of child abuse by creating posters which encourage positive family ties. These works of art are hanging in store front windows downtown thanks to the volunteer efforts of some of Mason’s High School students who delivered the posters around town. Be sure to stop and see what the art students have created.

Responding to child abuse and neglect involves protecting children from harm and supporting families to reduce the risk of future harm to children. Reports from professionals and concerned citizens are received by child protective services (CPS) staff alerting them to concerns about a child’s welfare. CPS staff may initiate an investigation to determine if a child has been or is at risk of being harmed. Staff may also assess the child’s and family’s needs or engage in other interventions to support the family’s efforts to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children. CPS professionals may work with law enforcement, courts, other professionals, and community members to protect children and support families.

If you do suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect the child and get help for the family. Any concerned person can report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Some people (typically certain types of professionals) are required by law to make a report of child maltreatment under specific circumstances—these are called mandatory reporters. Examples of mandatory reporters include social workers, teachers and other school personnel, physicians and other health-care workers, mental health professionals, childcare providers and law enforcement officers.

Dealing with Temper Tantrums

What’s Happening

Two- and three-year-olds have many skills, but controlling their tempers is not one of them. Tantrums are common at this age because toddlers are becoming independent and developing their own wants, needs, and ideas. However, they are not yet able to express their wants and feelings with words. Take comfort in the fact that most children outgrow tantrums by age 4.

What You Might Be Seeing

Normal toddlers:

· Love to say “no!” “mine!” and “do it myself!”

· Test rules over and over to see how parents will react

· Are not yet ready to share

· Need lots of fun activities, play times, and opportunities to explore the world

· Respond well to a routine for sleeping and eating (a regular schedule)

· Like to imitate grownups and to “help” mom and dad

What You Can Do

It is often easier to prevent tantrums than to deal with them once they get going. Try these tips:

· Direct your child’s attention to something else. (“Wow, look at that fire engine!”)

· Give your child a choice in small matters. (“Do you want to eat peas or carrots?”)

· Stick to a daily routine that balances fun activities with enough rest and healthy food.

· Anticipate when your child will be disappointed. (“We are going to buy groceries for dinner. We won’t be buying cookies, but you can help me pick out some fruit for later.”)

· Praise your child when he or she shows self-control and expresses feelings with words.

· Take your child to a quiet place where he or she can calm down safely. Speak softly or play soft music.

· Some children throw tantrums to seek attention. Try ignoring the tantrum, but pay attention to your child after he or she calms down.

· Resist overreacting to tantrums, and try to keep your sense of humor.

When your child is having a floor-thumping tantrum, the most important thing you can do is remain calm and wait it out. Do not let your child’s behavior cause you to lose control, too.

If you cannot prevent the tantrum, here are some tips for dealing with it:

· Say what you expect from your child and have confidence that your child will behave.

· Remain calm. You are a role model for your child.

· Holding your child during a tantrum may help a younger child feel more secure and calm down more quickly.

This tip sheet was created with input from experts in national organizations that work to protect children and strengthen families. For more parenting tips, go to or call 800.394.3366.

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