Kristen Rector sees it all the time: parents or caregivers of small children at their wit’s end.
“They feel like ‘This is a tough situation. I’m not sure if I can do this on my own,'” said Rector, CEO of Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee.
“Every parent knows what it feels like to have those moments where you just think ‘ I just need help.'”
It’s the kind of frustration Rector helps parents work through before they go over the edge.
“We actually can go into the home of families and meet with them one on one.”
PCAT offers tips and counseling to parents in crisis.
Their goal is to prevent abuse or neglect by supporting parents who may be struggling.
“We will be there to talk you through any situation,” Rector said.
On Tuesday, a babysitter in Sumner County was charged with beating and abusing two-year-old Aiden Hale who later died from his injuries.
In April, a father in Hendersonville was charged with abusing and killing his four-month-old son.
Investigators are still looking for the body of five-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels whose father admitted to killing him.
Unthinkable situations of abuse, Rector says the non-profit tries to prevent.
“It’s perfectly fine to be frustrated with your child at times,” she said. “But you have to have a plan on what to do when you get to that point.”
She suggests using the 10-foot rule.
“You need to walk at least 10 feet away from your child in that moment,” Rector said. “Take a deep breath.”
She also says parents and caregivers should give themselves a “time out” when necessary.
“Give yourself some time to process and really calm down,” Rector said.
“If all else fails or if you need us, pick up the phone and call us,” she said.
PCAT’s 24 hour hotline number is 1-800-CHILDREN.