Warning Signs

1_thumb.jpgWhen you choose a partner, you're not just choosing one for yourself. You're choosing one for your child.

But sometimes, when you're in love, you don't see the signs that could tip you off to a dangerous situation for your child.

The first thing to check when thinking about having your partner care for your child is the way your child reacts to him/her. While it's normal for young children to be upset when mom leaves, look closely at your child's reaction when being left with your partner. Does your child cry uncontrollably or shake with fear? Is this behavior consistent each time your child is alone with your partner? Has the child started to show new behaviors like bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, being clingier than normal or crying uncontrollably every time you leave the room?

If you see any of these behaviors, think about the potential safety of your child.

Your Partner's Behavior

There are other questions you should ask yourself about your partner before leaving him/her alone with your child.

Does your partner:

  • Get easily irritated or short-tempered when talking to the child?
  • Seem immature or have poor impulse control and need constant attention?
  • Deliver harsh punishments for minor rule infractions?
  • Show anger or impatience when your child cries or throws a tantrum?
  • Call your child names or put down your child?
  • Think it is funny to scare your child?
  • Stop you from bringing your child to his family's events?
  • Make all the decisions for you and your child?
  • Say that you are a bad parent and not strict enough?
  • Hurt your child and blame you?
  • Handle weapons or illegal substances around your child?
  • Call your child a nuisance?
If you have answered "yes" to even one of these questions, your child could be at risk.

Do the right thing. Choose your child over your partner.

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