The topic of sexual abuse is sensitive and is often difficult to put into terms for younger children. Although it might be an awkward conversation to start, every parent needs to teach their children about the potential dangerous situations they may encounter. But how do you teach your child in terms that they understand? What is the most effective way to make sure that they can handle any situation or person that may approach them?
The following six steps will provide a deep understanding and coverage for your child to be equipped, safe, and ready to handle any situation.
Safe Touching vs. Unsafe Touching
I am the boss of my own body. At an early age, teach your child about body parts. Go over the correct names for these body parts and differentiate between safe and unsafe touching. Mom and dad are there to help them stay healthy and clean. This includes showers, changing, assisting with any health issues, etc. Tell your child if anyone ever makes them feel uncomfortable, to tell a parent immediately.
The Sympathy Rule
Teach your child that not all people are good. If a stranger approaches them asking for “help,” tell your child not to leave with them or attempt to show them where anything is. Give them examples of what the person may ask. Possible examples may be, can you give me directions? Or can you help me find my lost puppy? Let your children know that it is not okay to leave or go anywhere without checking in with a parent first.
The Attractive Rule
Teach your child never to take a gift from anyone they do not know or know fully. As nice as the gift may be, this person may not have the best intensions. Again, give them examples of what this person may offer. Do you want to go see my puppy? What is your favorite candy? “I have some candy in my car.”
If they get a weird feeling, find a parent right away. No matter when it happens, let them know that the right thing to do is leave the situation and locate a trusted adult. Explain what this weird feeling is and reinforce that they should always trust their instinct. Does something just not feel right? Is your tummy getting a bad feeling?
Type of Person
Remember it is not about what the person looks like, it is how they act. Don’t confuse your child by telling them to look out for “scary” people. Some strangers that may approach them may be approachable, and normal looking. Make sure they are aware of “tricky” people. Is the person being overly nice or friendly? Are they using tactics to lure them in?
There are no secrets. Let them know, “If you tell me, I promise I won’t get mad.” Make sure your child knows that what matters most to you is keeping them safe. The best relationship between a parent and child is a trusting one. You want your child to go to you if there is something wrong.
What to do?
Go to mom or dad right away. Let them know what has happened and they will help you. If your children feels uncomfortable going to a parent, tell them to talk to another trusted adult or school guidance counselor. These six precautionary steps are lessons to go over with your child to help make them more aware of dangerous individuals and circumstances. Tell them not only to look out for themselves but siblings and friends.
As a parent, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings and look out for the safety of your children. Kids Live Safe is a website that allows people to search their neighborhoods for registered sex offenders, conduct name searches, and provides helpful child protection tools. Screen your neighborhood today and find out if there are any sex offenders or worrisome people in your neighborhood.