Parent’s Corner – Screaming Parents



Dear Sue Ellen,


“I have a 10-year-old son that plays baseball.  He loves it, but there is a Dad on our team that screams at his kid during practice and games.  Last week that kid messed up the play, and his Dad loudly made fun of him.   It upset all of the kids on the team and everyone felt bad for the little boy.  I really wanted to punch that Dad, but I know better.  What can I do?  Don’t tell me to talk to the coach because I have already done that!”

Frustrated Mom



Dear Frustrated Mom,


Wow!  He sounds like the same guy that screamed during my son’s games thirty years ago. Screaming parents definitely need help.  But how do you help someone that doesn’t see a problem?  When a parent is braying like a donkey during their child’s ball games, do they think they are being clever, or using good parenting that will magically motivate their kid to become perfect in all things?


Research shows that verbal abuse has the same negative effect as physical abuse.  In other words, when that Dad screams at his son and humiliates him in front of the team it injures his son as badly as taking his fist and slapping his face.  The more I think about this, the angrier I am getting.  Yeah….there is a part of me that would like to punch that Dad too, except for what I know about the cycle of abuse.


Parents will raise their kids like they were raised.  It is true.  Are you reading this, parents?  Chances are, the screaming Dad on your team had a parent treating him the same way as a boy.  In fact, it is possible that the sad little boy on my son’s team thirty years ago could very well be the Dad on your team today.


Here’s what you can do.   Take a stand against child abuse and family violence.  Parent education is the key that unlocks the door to healing for the broken parents that are raising broken kids.


Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner” in the Subject line.

April is Child Abuse Prevention month!

April is Child Abuse Prevention month!  In 1982, Congress resolved that June 6–12 should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week; the following year, President Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a tradition that continues to this day. The National Exchange Club honors Child Abuse Prevention Month through events and activities to raise awareness and support children and families.

Aware has a couple of events going on during the month of April. Check out our FB page and our website. Join us in preventing child abuse and family violence!

Parent’s Corner – What If’s



Dear Sue Ellen


I don’t have any children yet, but we are thinking about it.  What if we are bad parents or our baby is born with a handicap?  I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a parent.  Any words of encouragement?




Dear Alex,


It seems to me, the “what-ifs” in life can take us down dark rabbit-holes we have a hard time crawling out of.  “What-ifs” can lead us to depression, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness.  We can become defeated.


Life is full of uncertainty.   How we navigate through the twists and turns of our journey on earth helps to build our characters.  What are your strengths?  What is causing you to question your ability to be a good parent?  Good parenting usually passes from generation to generation.  We mostly learn how to be a parent from our own parents and grandparents.  How do you rate your own parents and grandparents?  The good news is, we can easily be taught better parenting skills if need be.  It just takes an investment of time and thought.  Parenting classes are available in most communities.


I have the privilege of knowing parents with handicapped children, and have learned so much from both the parents and their kids.  I believe the world needs children with special needs because of what they teach us.  I also believe parents are chosen by a higher power to be entrusted with the care of special needs children.  Does that make it easy to be that special parent? No.  If you are looking for a good time as a parent, you might want to get a pet instead.  Being a good parent isn’t for the faint of heart.  It can be the best and worst experience of your life.


Here are my words of encouragement for you. If you are a person of faith, rely on what you know about love to guide your decision.  If you aren’t a person of faith, find some.  You will need it if you decide to become a parent.



Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner” in the Subject line.

Volunteers Needed

If you are interested in being a volunteer for Aware Central Texas, please contact Nancy Jane Holder, our Director of Volunteer Services.

We are currently looking for :

Family Coaches- working directly with families and helping them access resources.

Education Volunteers – Teachers and Assistants


Please call – 254-702-0772 or email


Exchange Parent Aide Model

The evidenced-based Exchange Parent Aide Model is a family home-visitation model. Parent Aides are trained, professionally supervised individuals (paid and volunteer) who provide supportive and educational, in-home services to families at-risk of child abuse and neglect.

Exchange Parent Aides act as mentors and provide intensive support, information, and modeling of effective parenting — all in the home of the family. Services are family centered and focus on:
  • Parental resilience is developed through teaching problem solving skills, modeling effective parenting, providing 24/7 support and  referrals to services.
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development is encouraged and developed through sharing skills and modeling strategies. Individualized help is provided in the home with the parents’ children.
  • Social connections are developed and fostered through social support building the individual relationship and connecting the parents to others through group meetings, activities and referrals.
  • Social-emotional competence of children is developed through strengthening the nurturing capabilities of the family. Interaction of parents with the children is observed and modeling is provided for support of the children’s competence.
  • Ensuring safety of the children including attention to medical, dental or mental health care needs; safe housing; and freedom from child abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
The Exchange Parent Aide program has been replicated since 1979, in over 80 communities in more than 28 states and Puerto Rico.  It is utilized in rural, urban, and suburban areas serving diverse populations in a culturally responsive manner.



Parent’s Corner – Girls That are Mean to Boys



Dear Sue Ellen

I hear and see things on the internet and TV about girls that are mean to other girls.  But what about girls that are mean to boys?  My 14-year-old son is crazy about his first girlfriend but she is really mean to him.  He can’t see past her beauty to see that she is selfish and hateful.  Am I supposed to watch this mean girl break his heart and do nothing to prevent it?




Dear C.M


We all have regrets as parents.  One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t teach my son to beware of pretty girls with selfish agendas coming after him.  It has caused him a lot of trouble that could have been avoided if he had known that just because a girl is pretty, or smart, or smitten with him it would automatically be a good thing to get close to her.  Trouble and temptation often come wrapped in a beautiful seductive package.


There comes a time when we gradually let our children start making their own decisions. If you try to discourage your son at this point, will he listen to you?  Probably not.  Maybe you could sit down with him and express your concerns anyway.  He may not agree, but at least you would have warned him.  When this relationship blows up, don’t you dare tell him “I told you so”.  That would make you a mean Mom.  Be patient, loving and supportive.


Have you had the sex talk with him?  Mean girls sometimes use sex to control boys.  He should be aware of that.


If your son’s grades start dropping or his personality changes and he becomes moody or unpleasant you might consider taking a harder “tough love” approach and have a family intervention or demand that he break-up with her.  Mean girls like to create discord and strife.  They love the drama.  They also like to isolate their targeted victim from friends and family.  Did I mention that mean girls are sometimes abusive?


To all parents of boys:  Please teach your sons about mean girls.  They can destroy a good boy.  Teach your sons to stay away from girls that don’t show good moral character.  Teach them that abstaining from sex until the right time (preferably when they get married) is a good thing.  They won’t die from lack of sex.  To all parents of mean girls:  I am not hating on your daughters.  They are looking for love in the wrong way.  Please show your daughters love and direction.  Teach them the value of being a good person.  You may have to watch your son’s heart be broken by this mean girl.  Whatever direction you choose to go in coping with this situation, temper it with love, patience and kindness.


Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner” in the Subject line.

Leadership Belton 2017

Aware is so fortunate and thankful to have been selected as the project for the Leadership Belton  class of 2017. This project, upon completion, will provide a temporary relief house and a safe place for victims of domestic violence, assist agencies in providing comfortable and secure space while they begin the relocating process along with start up of services, and a place for our community to show its deep passion and love to this much needed service.

Please consider making a donation to this worthwhile project by going to our website and clicking on Donate button–





Parent’s Corner- Eaters of Strange Things




Dear Sue Ellen


My 2-year-old daughter eats paper.  The other day I found her digging in the garbage and eating newspaper.  She eats toilet paper, newspaper, paper towels and anything paper she can get her hands on.  I scream at her and tell her to stop, but she won’t.




Dear Lindy,


Children are eaters of strange things.  When my daughter was two I discovered her eating dog food out of the pet bowl.  I have been told by my older brother that I ate dirt when I was a toddler (with a spoon of course).  A friend told me her little boy would eat bugs.  I think grown-ups are eaters of strange things too.  I watched a man eat a spider once.  Kids eating paper isn’t that uncommon, especially in school.  Ever hear of spit wads?  I bet a few of them have been digested over the years.  I was in my granddaughter’s second grade class to read a story one time and I watched in horror as a beautiful little girl daintily put her finger in her nose and…. you know the rest of the story.


You might want to ask a nurse or your daughter’s pediatrician about it to make sure it isn’t affecting her health.  Will she grow out of it?  Hopefully because when she is in middle school and kids see her eating her test paper with a bad grade on it, they will make fun of her

and even worse, you will never see the test.


How often do you scream at your toddler?  There are times when screaming is necessary.  If your daughter is about to chase a ball into oncoming traffic, you must get her to stop and it may include shouting at her.  Screaming at children can be traumatic and put them at risk for emotional abuse.  The words we use to communicate with our children matter.  There has been a lot of research about child abuse.  Emotional abuse is defined as using hateful, demeaning, unloving or critical words.  People usually raise their voices when they are frustrated, afraid or angry.  Are you screaming at your toddler because you are frustrated?  I am not saying that you are guilty of emotionally abusing your child.  I am just suggesting there might be a better way to guide her without screaming at her.  Toddlers are impulsive and inquisitive.  They are learning boundaries and need the loving support of parents to teach and redirect.  If you feel that you are constantly having to punish your child, you may be the one out of control, and not your child.  I am not shouting at you when I say this.  I am lovingly trying to redirect your behavior.  Shouting at a two-year-old for eating paper is probably too harsh.




Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner” in the Subject line.