adopt About the Initiative for Violence-Free Families in Hennepin County these family rules: No name calling, put downs or other messages that tell family members they’re not good enough. No using threats of violence as a way to make others do what you want them to do. No making fun of people who are different from you. No hitting—adults as well as children should follow this rule. The mission of Family & Children’s Service is building strong families, vital communities, and capable children. For more information about our organization, please visit www.everyfamilymatters.org. T he Initiative was formed in 1994 to mobilize people in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces of Hennepin County who want to act to prevent violence. By becoming involved in the Initiative, citizens can move from being isolated individuals concerned about violence, to being part of a community-wide effort. The Initiative’s Action Teams provide room for residents and professionals to debate, find common ground, and connect with others to act as citizens determined to live in and promote peace. how to be a violence-free family everybody can do it The Initiative provides practical ways for people to prevent violence in their immediate lives and communities (work, school, neighborhood, family) and works on a broader level to change systems that perpetuate or accomodate violence. Everyone can take a stand against violence in their community by joining their efforts with others. If you’re interested in learning more about the Initiative for Violence-Free Families/FCS, call us at 612-728-2093 or visit our website at www.ivff.org. IVFF’s mission is to mobilize individuals and the community to acknowledge and act to end violence. Family & Children’s Service how to be a violence-free family: tips for parents and kids Each person has strengths of his or her own. Identify them, and build on them. Give each family member a reason to feel important. When your feelings are escalating, and stress is getting the better of you, get the help you need—before you lash out at someone. Discourage abuse of drugs and alcohol. Use of drugs and alcohol has been associated with incidents of violence. Be a role model for responsible use. Carefully choose toys and entertainment that reflect non-violence. Learn about your family’s history, culture or race. Celebrate it. Learn about and respect the culture of others. Encourage play that teaches a child to be a good sport. Show children how to have fun without fighting and name-calling. Do not keep guns in your home—real or pretend. If you must have a gun, use a trigger lock, a lock box or other type of safe storage. Treat your pets kindly. Use alternatives to spanking. Do not hit. Nonviolent discipline strategies, such as time-outs, have been proven to be more effective than hitting. Negotiate—work out problems together by looking at alternative solutions and compromises. Make it your goal to defeat the problem, not the person. Build connections with your school, other families and friends. A positive student connection with school is an important protective factor in keeping kids from becoming violent. Teach your children the ways their religious tradition/spirituality promotes non-violence. If you grew up in a home where violence was common, make it your mission to break the cycle of violence. Get help...no one should have to do it alone. Examine your own prejudices and fears. Fear of homosexuality can lead young men to be violent in order to prove masculinity. Spend time together—talk, listen, and never stop getting to know each other.
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