There is no question that we as parents love our children, but we're only human and there are times when our behavior does not properly reflect this. Most of us, however, know where to draw the line and reign in our emotions.

Unfortunately, there are instances when parents do the unthinkable and act out their frustration or aggression on their kids. This includes physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse, and can also result from a general neglect of a child's needs stemming from ignorance or financial limitations (i.e., the need to work, cost of healthcare).

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a good opportunity to take some time to make a plan that will ensure you can respond properly when the going gets tough. Keep in mind, losing one's temper can happen to the best of us. Being a parent is hard work, and it challenges us in ways that we never knew existed. Factor in the rigors of making a living in a climate of uncertainty, not to mention sleep deprivation and isolation, and all it takes is a moment of frustration to push even the most patient person over the edge.

With some planning and awareness, parents can take steps to ensure that they are prepared and can properly respond under these circumstances.

Here are 10 ways to help out.

1. Work as a team.

Parenting is a two-person job, and each parent benefits from the support of the other. It's a lot to ask one person to assume all the responsibility. Two parents are better than one, but only when they are both involved.

2. Know why your baby cries.

It is widely recognized that babies cry for five main reasons: they are hungry, tired, bored, in pain, or need a clean diaper. If you can identify and address the problem, it often helps to calm them down before getting to the breaking point.

3. Take care of yourself.

Having peace of mind will go a long way to ensure a calm response to any given situation, so make sure you get enough sleep and find a way to have time for yourself, whatever that entails.

4. Communicate to those around you.

Communicating what's on your mind is a first step to creating a workable situation that satisfies everyone. Remember, thinking about everyone else's needs but your own will lead to resentment and frustration, so let them know how you feel.

5. Know when to walk away.

Infants can be inconsolable, and the harder you try, the more your frustration can grow. Make sure your baby is comfortable and safe, and leave the room. Chances are they will calm down at some point, but if you need a break, you need to take it.

6. Have some fun and be silly.

Kids love having fun with mom and dad, so turn on some music and move around. Up to a certain age, young kids will not judge you, so throw away those inhibitions and be silly. It might be the only time you can pull this off with them.

7. Get outside.

Nothing amplifies frustration and stress more than being inside. The great outdoors provides countless distractions and will often calm a child down, not to mention give everyone some fresh air.

8. Be organized.

Parenting requires juggling many duties, and one of the best ways to protect your sanity is to be organized. Taking care of business helps restore our peace of mind and gives us a sense of accomplishment, which in turns helps our self-esteem.

9. Turn on the TV.

There are not many distractions as powerful and effective as a TV, though be aware that it can become a crutch. Movies or instructional videos are preferable to commercial TV, which inundate your kids with messages of consumerism.

10. Turn to family or a friend.

Parenting can be lonely, and isolation adds to frustration and despair. Find a community and build networks. Family members or other parents can lend a helping hand or at the very least be there to listen and offer support.

Remember, being a parent is the most important job a person can take on, not to mention the most rewarding, but it is also one of the hardest. No parent ever sets out to harm their child, but abuse happens. Rather than deny its existence, parents should acknowledge it and work hard to avoid it.

If you're a parent and feel frustrated or angry, don't keep it bottled inside. Talk to your spouse or a friend. For more information about child abuse, visit the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more about Child Abuse Prevention Week, visit the website for National Children's Alliance.