While it’s hard to comprehend, experts are finding a link between the stress of the holidays and child abuse or neglect.
Local experts want parents to know there are people nearby to offer them a break or support.
Between unrealistic expectations and kids staying inside because of the cold, it can be too much to handle.
We know that snowy roads and busy shopping lines can add a lot of stress to the holiday rush.
Sometimes it’s just too much for parents.
Last year in El Paso County, 10 children died due to abuse or neglect, four of those during the holiday season.
Something that’s alarming for a Colorado Springs mother we spoke with. She tries to keep the focus on the fun.
"Just make every moment special. We love the holidays and baking and just doing all that stuff is special for the kids. That's what I try to do...if they're happy, we're happy,” said Holly, mother of two.
Experts suggest parents have a plan in place, so when the stress comes, you have a way to combat it.
Sometimes it’s best to avoid things you know are going to cause that stress.
"The only time I get really annoyed is when we have to go shopping and face the crowds. So we avoid that by going online, avoid the big rush,” said Holly.
Local experts want parents to know there is free help in our own community.
You can call KPC Respite Center at 719-634-5439 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free relief care.
The Not One More Child Coalition (NOMC) reminds all of us:
-Parenting is hard; it’s okay and normal to feel frustrated
-If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, set your baby down in a safe place and take a break. No baby was ever harmed from crying.
-Call a responsible, trusted friend or relative to come over and babysit to give you a break.
Local experts want parents to know there is help out there for when frustrations rise, and other ways to combat stress.
If you need a break and someone to watch for kids so you can get some rest, you can call to register your child beforehand so you can take a few hours for yourself.
“Everybody needs extra support,” said Shannon Ferguson, a family advocate at KPC Respite Center and also part of NOMC. “The most important thing you can do for your children and for yourself is just to reach out and find that extra support.”