Safest Kids Have These Two Tools
There are too many facts, statistics, and evidence-based research figures on the unforgiving table of data for child sexual abuse for any parent to remember them all.
You don’t need to know that nearly a quarter of our children will be sexually abused before reaching his or her eighteenth birthday. There will be no quiz on what age group of children is the most or least likely to fall victim to a predator. No one is going to hold it against you if you can’t quote the latest research indicating that children disclose abuse between nine and eleven times before they are believed, and that some never tell. As a parent, you don’t have to commit every fact and every statistic to your memory bank.
Just remember this – children who possess the language and the permission to talk about sexual abuse are the safest children. Then ask yourself, “Do my kids have both?”
Permission to talk about abuse means exactly that- permission. Create an open dialogue with your children about what’s appropriate and inappropriate, and the importance of trusting one’s instincts. Talking about sexual abuse is not a one-time event; it is an open, ongoing discussion that you and your children feel comfortable with. Give your children the permission they need to talk to you by talking freely and unashamedly about protecting their bodies. Simple enough, right?
Onto the second tool in this combo- language.
Children need to know the proper terms for body parts. Perpetrators often use “silly” names for private parts as part of the “grooming” process. Make sure your child knows the difference between a secret (something to be hidden) and a surprise (something to be revealed). Tell your child it is okay to say “no” if someone makes them uncomfortable in any way.
So forget all the numbers. Never mind with the most recent data. Give your littles the tools they need to be safe- language and permission. It really is that simple.