Editorial:

When it gets too tough, get parenting help

Posted 4/27/21

The entire community of Park County was shocked and saddened by the recent death of a 2-year-old in Cody, who allegedly died from abuse-inflicted injuries.

There is never any defense for hurting a …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
Editorial:

When it gets too tough, get parenting help

Posted

The entire community of Park County was shocked and saddened by the recent death of a 2-year-old in Cody, who allegedly died from abuse-inflicted injuries.

There is never any defense for hurting a child. But anyone who is a parent, stepparent, older sibling or who has taken care of a child for very long can understand how they can push an adult’s buttons. 

Again, there is never an excuse for hurting a child. Ever. But sometimes it needs to be mentioned again that there are resources available for frustrated parents and caregivers.

In the immediate moment, when the situation gets to the boiling point, it is perfectly permissable to place a child or baby in a safe place — think crib or playpen — shut the door and walk away. Is that youngster going to scream his or her lungs out? Probably. Will that damage them in the longrun? Probably not, if they are not in a neglect situation or left alone too long. And it gives the caregiver a break they can use to get a drink of water, go sit on the porch or walk around the yard for a few minutes. Then, if the caregiver has regained their composure, they can once again work with that little one to try and move past the problem. 

Another solution to feeling like you are going to lose your cool with a child is to ask for help. Call a friend or relative and talk, or ask for advice. Maybe that person can come to the home and spell the caregiver for an hour or so and provide a longer break for a little “me time.” There has never been a parent who couldn’t use some of that, even if they just sack out on the couch for a nap or go for a cup of coffee.

If the situation is beyond that point, and there is no one like a grandparent or trusted friend to keep the child for a few minutes, overnight or longer, the parent should reach out for professional help. The internet is full of resources to access. Log on and chat or call a hotline.

Contact the Department of Family Services offices in Cody at 307-587-6246 or in Powell at 307-754-2245. Call or drop by the nearest church or call the ministerial alliance to locate resources and help.

 The National Domestic Violence Hotline is at 1-800-799-7233. The National Child Abuse Hotline can be reached by calling or texting 1-800-422-4435. The National Parent Helpline is available at 1-855-427-2736. The people who answer the phone at these hotlines are trained, caring and compassionate. They can offer help without judgment. There are resources to help and support parents or caregivers who are at the end of their rope.

There are also multiple sources of help available for drug or alcohol abuse, if that is driving the situation. Narcotics Anonymous is online at www.urmrna.org and Alcoholics Anonymous has a local call number at 307-272-4529. Or check the telephone book or online information sources. Both organizatons meet in Cody, Powell, Lovell and other locations across the basin, as well as having online presences.

If those avenues of help seem too far away, take too long, or it is all too overwhelming, call 9-1-1 rather than put yourself and your family in a situation they cannot walk back from. Again, the officers in dispatch or who come to the door are not going to judge, they want to help make sure the child remains safe. 

Or go to the nearest health care facility, hospital, even a school. Seek help, space and intervention before harm comes to the most precious gift of all, our children. 

Because there is never an excuse to hurt a child. Never.

Comments