You Are Here : Home Saturday, October 25, 2014
 The Power of Choice

Would you like to get your kids

to willingly cooperate?


Stop the daily battles? 

Teach your kids valuable life skills?


 If your answer is Yes, Yes, Yes, read on:


Do you sound like a drill sergeant?

There are so many things we must get our children to do and so many things we must stop them from doing!  Get up. Get dressed. Don't dawdle.  Do your homework..Eat. Don't hit your brother. It goes on and on.And to make matters worse - our  kids resist our orders and demands.



There is an effective solution!

We can get our kids to cooperate and at the same time allow them to learn self-discipline and develop good decision making skills. How?


Offer choices

Children love having the privilege of choice. It takes the pressure out of your request and allows a child to  feel in control, and thus be more willing to comply. This is a powerful tool that can be used with toddlers through teens.


How many choices?

Younger children can handle two choices: Milk or juice? Sneakers or shoes? You do it or me? Walk or run? As children get older we can offer more choices: Before dinner, after dinner, or in the morning? Wear your coat, carry it, or put on a sweatshirt? Teens can be given general guidelines and rules.


Be specific.

If you ask, "What do you want for breakfast?" and your child answers "pizza" you've set yourself up for a battle. Instead offer choices or options that are all good for her, "Do you want toast and fruit, cereal or waffles?"


Use time as a choice.

Often there really is only ONE acceptable choice. You wouldn't say, "Do you want to go to bed tonight or tomorrow?"  You could say, "Do you want to  watch 5 more minutes of TV or 10?" "What do you want to do first, brush your teeth or put on your pajamas?"


If your child won’t choose?

Offer a choice! (!?What??) Yes! It still works! "Do you want to choose, or shall I choose for you?" If your child gets stubborn, you can say, "I see you want me to choose".Then follow through! For example, what if you ask your child if she wants to do her homework before dinner, after dinner or in the morning and she "decides"  to go to bed without doing her homework. Just wake her [cheerfully] at 6:00 am with a gentle reminder that it was her choice to do it this way.


Giving choices ends struggles.

Offering choices is a peaceful way to encourage cooperation while avoiding the power struggles that so often erupt when a parent gives an order. When a child chooses his own plan of action he is more likely to follow through with a pleasant attitude, and learn decision-making skills that he will carry with him to adulthood. So, do you want to start offering choices today or tomorrow?

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”
© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley


 Stop Bullying

school scene

Fall is back and kids are back in school
As your children settle back into school, please remember to check in
with them on both their academic and social/emotional adjustment.
Children who feel safe, secure and supported are more likely to succeed academically.

One of the best ways to understand your child's experiences at school
and with friends is to keep the communication lines open.
As a parent,  be sure to set aside time at the end of the day to have a conversation with
your child about his/her school day and friendships.

Put aside your cell phones and listen to what your child says.
If your child has access to social media, be sure to ask him/her about what is  going on in that sphere as well. While most incidents of bullying or peer abuse  occur face-to-face, cyberbullying is one more 'place' where bullying can occur.

If you learn your child has been involved in bullying, either as a target,
a perpetrator or a witness, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening again.

For more information on bullying, go to, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HFA photo 2



 USCCB - Faith and Safety


There is a new website from USCCB for helping keep 

children and families safe online:


The website is a partnership  with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

and it is designed to be a place where families  learn to

see technology through the eyes of  faith and stay safe online.

The site offers guidance

how to use the Internet, cell phones and video games safely,

as well as protecting children’s privacy.


We encourage you to:

* Share the site with your networks
* Identify areas of the site that you believe could be expanded.




The site is less than a year old and the developers welcome input.
You can send comments to Dominic Perri,
consultant to the USCCB Communications Department, at






"Violence against women,
inside or outside the home,
is never justified.
Violence in any form-physical,
sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful;
often, it is a crime as well"

—U.S Catholic Bishops, When I Call for Help, 2002



The Catholic Bishops of the United States affirmed their stance against domestic violence, and their support for victims of domestic violence, in their 2002 statement, When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women, an updated version of their 1992 statement.


The statement:

Addresses abused women, men who abuse, and pastors and pastoral staffs

~ Offers updated statistics, resources and information about domestic violence

~ Includes practical suggestions for dioceses and parishes based on actual experiences





October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Child sexual abuse is part of the domestic violence spectrum. Often, multiple forms of violence occur in the same household, adding trauma to the child, making it harder for the non-offending caregiver to leave and decreasing the likelihood that any abuse will be disclosed or reported.

At ChicagoCAC, we address the intersection of child sexual abuse and other forms of domestic violence in multiple ways:
  • Our advocates screen each family for domestic violence (among other concerns) during their initial visit to the center.
  • When caregivers disclose domestic violence, we provide immediate and ongoing support, including connections to resources and our community partner agencies.
  • Our programs help families heal so they are less likely to be victims of child sexual abuse or intimate partner violence in the future.
  • We provide trainings for social service agencies on the overlap between child sexual abuse and other types of domestic violence.
Learn more about domestic violence from our community partners at Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network and Between Friends.
 Did you know?
34 percent of the families who receive advocacy services at ChicagoCAC report experiencing domestic violence in addition to child sexual abuse.
Animal abuse as a warning sign

Abuse or neglect of animals is a warning sign that other members of a family may not be safe. In Illinois, all animal control officers are mandated reporters, meaning they must call the child abuse hotline to report any suspicion of child abuse.

We were recently invited to give our Responding to Abuse training for officers at Chicago Animal Care and Control. Through our training, these officers receive additional information on signs of sexual and physical abuse, as well as an overview of how ChicagoCAC helps.



34 percent of the families who receive advocacy services at CAC report experiencing domestic violence in addition to child sexual 





Respect Life Month: Respecting the Dignity of Children & Young People




Imagine yourself pausing in front of a design of great

beauty. Your soul quiets and is filled with wonder and awe.

If art, created by man, can evoke such a response within us, how much more is

the same wonder, reverence and respect due to each person we encounter,

who was handcrafted by the very God who spoke the world into being?

Now think of an artist stepping back from a great work of art and admiring hisor her creation.

When God created each of us, He did so with precision and purpose, and He

looks on each of us with love that cannot be outdone in intensity or tenderness.

Moreover, the Lord invites each of us to behold ourselves and each other withthe same wonder and awe.

No matter how the world might view us or others, let us treat each person as

the masterpiece that he or she is.



“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the

poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to

live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”



Pope Francis’ Day for Life Greeting







Fall is a great time of year to be outside and have fun with your children.
It is the perfect time to gather leaves, attend festivals, and learn about the changing seasons. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter it is important to teach children how to be safe as they have fun.
Here are 20 ideas to stay safe and have fun in the fall


1. Play in the leaves with your child but make sure there is nothing in the pile that could hurt them.


2. Visit a local orchard and pick your own apples.


3. Go for a nature walk in the park to collect colorful leaves, pinecones, and acorns.


4. Cook hotdogs and marshmallows over a campfire. Be sure to teach your child about fire safety

and how to safely put out the campfire.


5. Talk to your child about some of the scary things they will see in neighborhood yards, in stores

and on TV. Let your child know they can always come to you when they are scared.


6. Watch the insects and animals around your house or apartment as they prepare for winter.


7. Let your child plan a fall party. Scavenger hunts, bobbing for apples, decorating pumpkins, and

making popcorn balls are fun fall activities.


8. Work with your child to rake leaves for an elderly neighbor or arrange a neighborhood clean

up, getting several families to work together.


9. Take a trip to the library and find books about Autumn.


10. Start a new family tradition. Bake a pie together, make a big pot of vegetable soup, toast

pumpkin seeds, visit the zoo, attend a fall festival, the options are endless!


If you celebrate Halloween:

11. Never let your child go treat‐or‐treating without adult supervision, even on your own street.


12. Help your child make their own Halloween costume. Make sure they can see well and won’t

trip over long or dragging hems.


13. Make sure your child’s Halloween costume can be seen in the dark. If not, add reflective tape.


14. Create your own “haunted house”. Be creative and let the kids help.


15. Build a scarecrow out of old clothes stuffed with straw, leaves or pillows.


16. Before trick‐or‐treating encourage your child to eat a healthy meal or snack, so they have

something to eat besides candy.


17. After trick‐or‐treating check your child’s candy to make sure it is safe to eat.


18. Let small children decorate their own pumpkin with paint or markers.


19. Monitor what your child watches on TV. Make sure scary movies are age appropriate. Even

talk to your teenage about scary movies. It is a great way to talk about being safe, making

good choices, and asking for help when you’re in trouble.


20. Spend time as a family having fun, enjoying nature, and building memories.

528 S. 5th Street
Suite 211
Springfield, Ill 62701
Phone: 217-522-1129
Fax: 217-522-0655

Prevent Child Abuse Illinois



For teens trick or treating without an adult, become familiar with each home your child visits and the people providing treats, teach them to be alert for & report suspicious incidents, and how to resisit potential attackers.

(National Center for Missing Kids)


 5 things to know about girls in STEM fields

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics



 March 2014

1. To combat grim statistics which indicate that women only
make up 24% of jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields,
more and more opportunities are popping up for girls in these areas than ever before.

2. Some toy companies, like Goldie Blox and Roominate, are steering away
from gender-based marketing and selling building
toys designed to stimulate innovation and creativity.

3. Historic organizations, such as the YWCA and Girl Scouts of America, which offers over 30 badges for
STEM-related activities, are actively encouraging girls’ interest in STEM fields.

4. Camps like Girlstart and Camp Reach make STEM learning fun by giving girls creative,
hands-on experience with scientific experiments and engineering concepts.

5. Check out the NSTeens video Attitude Overdrive to meet Becks, the ultimate gamer girl.
Video games are a great way to introduce more girls to STEM.


Articles and comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Any products or websites mentioned are not necessarily affiliate with, endorsed or licensed by NCMEC.

This email was sent by: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children,
699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA, 22314, USA




 Parent Magic
We want our children to behave. We want to keep our cool. We want a peaceful, loving family life.


How do we achieve these goals?


Through trial and error?


Hit and miss? Luck? Unlikely. 


Through knowledgeand skill? YES! Parents who use good skills have a magic power  to create more peace in their homes. Let’s examine some of the most potent magic skills:

Ask helpful questions.


The most important discipline goal we have as a parent is not to make our kids behave. Rather, it is to help our kids develop into confident, self-disciplined people. We can help children learn to listen to their "inner voice" and help them develop self-discipline by asking helpful questions. What makes this work is not just the type of questions, but the delivery: thoughtful and free from anger and criticism. When we yell, blame, and accuse, our kids focus on our anger and do not learn from the experience. When we guide our children by using helpful questions we point them in the right direction.


What's not helpful 

Why did you do that?
           What's the matter with you?                   
How many times fo I...
Why can't you ever....


What are helpful questions?

How do you feel about that?
What will you do now?
How do you think she feels?
How can we solve this?


After you ask the question, sit back quietly and listen. You may be delighted to see your child solving  his or her own problem. Parents become frustrated with their children for not listening to them.  Often listening is not the problem! Understanding is the problem! Instead of saying, "Be good!"  Be very specific: "Please sit still and use a quiet voice." Instead of, "This bedroom is a disaster area."  It's more effective to be clear and specific, "Before lunch today, please put your clothes in the closet,  books on the shelf and dishes in the kitchen."

Just the facts, please.

Parents clutter their communication with unnecessary and hurtful phrases.
"You always"... You never...
You make me... You are such a..."
Make an effort to state only the facts, 
so instead of bellowing, "How many times do I have to tell you to turn that music down. 

It's too loud. Why do you always ignore me?"Try this, "John, please turn the music down, or shut it off."

Follow through. Pick your battles. And when you pick one – win it!
Parents often make a request and then back off when the child becomes difficult. In the example above, If John doesn't turn down the music, how many parents would mumble, complain, yell, or nag about it? It is important in the parent-child relationship for you to win your battles. You can calmly walk into John's room, turn off his radio yourself, look him in the eye and say, "I expect you to listen to me." If John is a real stinker, you can take the radio with you and tell him he can have it back, along with another chance, tomorrow.


By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”
© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley










 Parenting Your School-Age Child


What’s Happening


Children ages 6 to 12 go through big changes. As they spend more time at school and away from home, they are working to develop an identity of their own. Their bodies are growing stronger and changing quickly, a process that will continue through puberty and the teen years. They are learning to control their feelings, use reason, and solve problems. Yet children in this age group still need rules and structure and, most of all, their parents’ love and support.


What You Might Be Seeing 


Normal school-age children:

  1. Mature unevenly. Their bodies may be growing, but they are still capable of having temper tantrums and need reminders to take baths and brush their teeth.
  2. See things in black and white. They are concerned about fairness and rules.
  3. Are capable of doing chores and homework more independently but may need you to remind and teach them (not do it for them).
  4. Get distracted easily and may lack organizational skills.
  5. Develop deeper relationships with peers and care deeply about "fitting in."


What You Can Do

  1. Model the behavior you want to see. Your children are watching and learning from you. Meet your responsibilities, follow house rules, and communicate with respect.
  2. Make a few important rules and enforce them every time. Remember, children want freedom, so give them choices in smaller matters (e.g., clothing, room decorations).
  3. Talk to children about what you expect. Post rules and routines where everyone can see them. Fewer "grey areas" means less to argue about.
  4. Support their growing bodies. Children this age still need nutritious meals (especially breakfast) and 10 hours of sleep each night.
  5. Limit time spent watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer. Monitor Internet use for safety, and encourage your children to participate in hobbies and sports.
  6. Be involved with your children’s school. Talk to their teachers and attend parents’ night and school conferences. Show that school is important to you by providing a quiet space for homework, volunteering in your child’s school, and celebrating your child’s hard work.
  7. Offer support and understanding when your child has problems with peers. Explore ways to resolve conflicts, but do not interfere. If your child is being bullied at school, alert school staff and work with them to keep your child safe.
  8. Don’t wait for your children to learn about sex, alcohol, and drugs from peers. Educate yourself and talk to your children about your values. Help them practice ways to resist peer pressure.


Talk to your children, and listen to what they have to say. School-age children may sometimes act like they don’t care what their parents say, but they still want your love, attention, and guidance!

This tip sheet was created with information from experts in national organizations that work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being. At parenting you can download this tip sheet and get more parenting tips, or call 800.394.3366.




 House Bill 5990


Amendments to the Children’s Advocacy Center Act



HB 5990 updates the Children’s Advocacy Center Act to accurately reflect how
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in Illinois operate and should be created today.
This bill benefits Chicago CAC by helping solidify its role in responding to abuse,
and the role of all child advocacy centers throughout the state.
The bill is currently waiting its third reading on the senate floor.

Show your support for HB5990

Help show your support for CACs by thanking the
senate co-sponsors of HB5990.


Click the button below to email them our customizable template email.

 Take Action

If you have questions or would like more information,
contact Trevor Peterson:
or 312-492-3728



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