Support when needed!

Getting support for yourself and your children can help you move toward a healthier future-event the smallest step is something to celebrate.

While local and national domestic violence programs can help with safety planning and provide referrals to safe shelters, they also provide services for women who may not want or be ready to go to a shelter. Many programs have:

♦ Drop in support groups for women and programs for children.

♦ Classes to build confidence, plan for the future and support your parenting-  call Aware to find out what’s available.


How is your health, how are you coping? Ask your self:

Do I feel so sad that I can’t get out of bed? Or take care of the baby?

Am I smoking more to try to calm myself?

Am I using alcohol. prescription medications, or other drugs to make the pain go away?

Do I ever feel so sad that I have thoughts of suicide?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, it may be the result of chronic stress. Talk to a family coach about how to get help.

Exchange Club’s National Project Helps 691,120 families

The organization’s most significant and successful method of countering child abuse is by working directly with at-risk parents through its signature program, the Exchange Parent Aide home visitation model. Through coordination with a nationwide network of community-based Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Centers, the program has helped more than 691,120 families break the cycle of violence, thus creating safer homes for more than 1,727,800 children.

Exchange Parent Aide evolved from the knowledge and experience of the dynamics surrounding child abuse and neglect. It is based on the work of Sharon Pallone in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as research and concepts first introduced by Drs. Ray Helfer and Henry Kempe, 1960s pioneers in the field. Their leading research on the battered child syndrome expressed belief that most parents who abuse their children are not psychotic and were likely to have been abused themselves as children. Most abusive parents grew up without positive role models for good parenting and often have difficulty developing healthy and trusting relationships.

To ensure compliance and current practices associated with the model, Exchange provides training, accreditation, technical support, development and management guidance, and other supportive services to sites utilizing the Exchange Parent Aide program.

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 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 of 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, and mental health care needs, as well as safe housing and freedom from child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.

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.

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.

The NO Word




Dear Sue Ellen


I was at the park with my grandson a few days ago, and a little boy walked over to my grandson and pushed him down for no apparent reason. The boy’s mother saw the whole thing and I was shocked by her reaction.  She didn’t scold or correct her son, but looked at my grandson who was still on the ground as if he did something wrong.  She offered her son an ice cream cone as they walked off together.  Maybe I am out of touch, but it seems to me that his mother should have punished him for being bad instead of rewarding him with ice cream.  Am I missing something here?



Dear Nana,


I have a word for parents that let their kids get away with bad behavior.  The word is NO.  Here are some helpful suggestions for when to use that word:


No, you can’t be mean to other children.

No, you can’t always have your way.

No, you will not say hateful things to your parents, or other adults, or other children.

No, you’re not going to stay up past your bed time.

No, you can’t skip your bath.

No, you don’t get to color on the walls.

No, you won’t get away with accidently-on-purpose forgetting to brush your teeth.

No, you can’t run wild through the aisles of Wal-Mart


No isn’t a bad word.  It is a healthy word that teaches children boundaries.  We all need boundaries.  It helps us to understand there are limits in life, and to feel safe.  Did you know that not teaching your children good boundaries is a form of child neglect?  A lot of times it is easier to give in and let our kids have their way, but is it the best thing for the kids?  No.


It’s our job as parents and grandparents to teach our children to become responsible, productive and healthy adults.  It is one the hardest jobs we will ever have, and the most important.

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