There is no excuse for abusing and neglecting a child. Factors such as drugs and alcohol or a history of victimization of the parent/guardian substantially raise the odds of abuse in a home. But there is also a correlation between abuse and the inability or refusal to deal with the everyday stressors in life. Parents and guardians lacking the support systems and coping skills to handle the responsibilities and hard work that go into caring for and raising a baby or multiple children, regardless of their socio-economic status, can create high-risk situations for children in those homes.
Sometimes it seems like every door is closing in your face. That no one hears you or even sees you. That you are doing it all on your own and you are doing it all wrong. That you will never NOT feel like you do right now. This kind of despair in the adults of a household can breed devastating results in the home.
One small ray of sunshine. One breath of fresh air. One break in the madness. When faced with an impossible situation, one touch of hope may change your life. It could make such a difference why would you not run out your door and do one of these things Right Now?
HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON A FAMILY IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Random Acts of Kindness that won’t cost you much time or money but to someone they could mean EVERYTHING.
- Say “Good Morning” to the person standing next to you in line or on the train.
- Pay the toll for the driver behind you.
- Write a letter and put it in the mail to someone, young or old. Remember how great it felt to get mail that wasn’t a bill or ad.
- Offer to make a grocery store run for an elderly neighbor or the lady next door who has four kids.
- Give a homeless person your left overs when you leave a restaurant. Especially if you’re pretty sure it’s going to end up in your trash or trashing your diet.
- Put a coin in a meter that has expired or getting ready to expire.
- At the grocery store, don’t let anyone put back groceries because they are a dollar short if you have a dollar to spare.
- Hold the door for a mother/father with children or pregnant woman, even if it takes a really long time.
- Look someone in the eyes and wish them a good day like you mean it.
- If you see someone struggling with their children in public it is stressful for everyone around. You don’t want to offer to help with the kids. That can be either scary or insulting. But do offer to help with the task the kids are making more difficult. Help get the stroller through the door. Give up your seat so she can put a kid there. Carry her tray to her table for her so she can hold her kids hands or push a stroller.
- Say “Please” and “Thank You” and “Excuse Me” like you mean it to everyone. It’s not just respectful… it’s refreshing.
- Let a car in your lane. You are now one car length further from reaching your destination but you might have just prevented some road rage.
- Offer to baby sit for a mom.
- Stop what you are doing and concentrate everything on listening to someone who needs an ear.
- Use the comment/complaint box to compliment great service you received by name.
- Offer a hug without question or advice.
- Ask “How are you really doing?” when the usual response of “fine” doesn’t seem fine at all.
- Leave a really good tip for really good service. A lot of times 15% seems like too much but sometimes it is not enough.
- If you are able, pick up the tab of a person or family when you are out eating. (Someone did this for me once when I was out with my kids who were acting like miniature hooligans. I didn’t need it but thinking of it now feels like walking in soft sunshine which isn’t even close to how wonderful it felt at the time.)
- Smile at the people you pass.
- Donate food and items directly to food banks, women’s shelters and children’s homes. Goodwill is great but they sell your items to fund their efforts. A woman in a shelter could use your never-wear suit on a job interview. That crib will never be empty at the children’s home. And the green beans your husband won’t eat will sure be tasty to a hungry family.
- Say something nice to everyone you speak to today.
- If it seems like someone could use a chance to vent (friend or stranger), create an opportunity and a space for them to do that. You don’t need to solve their problem. Just let them get it out.
- Let people in line behind you go before you if it makes sense. They have one item or are obviously in a hurry. The kids are crying or you have a circumstance you know will tie up the line for a while. Things like that could be little to you and a lifesaver for someone else.
- Leave your change in the snack or soda machine. Finding a few coins makes it seem like good things are coming your way.