Dear Readers: According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (www.HHS.gov), April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse is defined, in part, as the physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment of a child by someone who has trust or power over the child.

Kids are our future, and we need to ensure they are raised and cared for in a safe, secure and, yes, disciplined but loving manner. Children for sure need guidance, rules and boundaries. But if you get frustrated and to the end of your rope, hang on. There are solutions for you. Take a deep breath and reach out to a friend. Or call 211 or 311 for a referral to an agency that can help. Talk to your doctor.

Raising and caring for a child is difficult; no one is saying it’s easy. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals. But you, as the adult, have been assigned to look after the care and well-being of a youngster; it’s critical you get help if and when you need it.

— Heloise

Where to write: Email your tips and tricks to: Heloise@Heloise.com.