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Apr 27, 2017

I learned recently that April here in the States is the national child abuse prevention month. I had no idea that this was the case, until I saw a lady putting hundreds of blue pinwheels on the grass in a local park. The blue pinwheel has come to represent the commitment of legislation and the community to encourage educated and compassionate treatment of children. This is close to my heart(1), as I have four children. As I read through the literature on this movement, I was happy to find that since 1974, the government has passed laws and created funding to protect children. One of the most progressive ways is, of course, educating young people who have newborns. Often, teenagers lack the knowledge of how to look after a baby physically and emotionally. They might not understand the signals or 'cues'(2) that a baby gives that communicate its needs. One solution that offers tremendous support for the young parent is home visitation by parenting professionals. They can observe, encourage, and teach, as well as offer a listening ear(3) to the parent who might be frustrated. As the pinwheel spins in the wind, it has come to represent how we must change and adapt, and focus on prevention. I suppose it is just like keeping a person healthy. With the right food, sleep, exercise, and hygienic practices, a person can avoid a lot of illnesses. In the same way, forethought, education, and social support, can encourage young families, or those experiencing stress, to have a plan of appropriate and caring behavior for their children, no matter what. 

1. ...'is close to my heart'. This phrase creates an image of something being very important to someone.

a. She thought about her sister often, and kept the memory of her close to her heart.

b. Land preservation is something that is close to his heart, as he comes from generations of land owners.

2. A 'cue' is a prompt; it is like an action or sound made to communicate.

a. During the play, the director waved a white handkerchief. That was my cue to go on stage.

b. A baby will give a cue of being fussy or groaning when he needs to be burped.

3. 'A listening ear' really describes the person who owns that ear. This person is caring and interested enough to listen to a person who needs to talk.

a. The nurse was very professional, but also caring. She always offered the patients a listening ear.

b. I don't need a bossy person telling me what to do. Right now I need a listening ear.

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