The news of children as young as five( and scarily younger) being sexually assaulted foliages me cold.
But whether it’s happening more or simply being better reported under, it’s no amaze that mothers are getting worried.
After the Daniel Morcombe case up here on the Sunshine Coast, I don’t accused parents for being super overprotective of their children. Hell, I am- I don’t allow my sons to stay with anyone but their grandparents because I don’t trust ANYONE these days.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep an eye on our children 24 hours per day- as much as we’d love to. And we need to teach our children- both boys and girls, skills to help them to be informed of and avoid sexual piranhas that could be anywhere. The fact that a primary school teacher was recently charged with rape makes me even more protective of my boys, and to teach them what they need to know!
However, I feel that it needs to be said that we aren’t trying to spark fear here. Children shouldn’t have to live their lives in fear that’ someone’ might be out to get them. In my eyes, horror and awareness are two different things. As my sons grow and start to do more things on their own, I’ve been trying to construct them more aware of potential threats. Kids can be totally oblivious, so stirring them a little street smart really is the key to success.
1. Their Body is Theirs- and Theirs Only
Take your children somewhere quiet and comfortable where they will open up and am speaking to you. Tell them openly that their body is theirs. Nobody is allowed to touch them without their permission- ever! The first things my kids said was’ but little Johnny grabbed my limb yesterday’- then clarify what is an appropriate touch, and inappropriate touch. Teach them about their genitals and bottom being’ no-go’ zones, and that if anybody stimulates them feel uncomfortable or tries to touch them, to run, scream and find another trustworthy adult to’ dob on them’. What you want to get across to them is that if something is building them feel’ weird’, it’s worth recount person about.
It’s also important to impart to children that no secret is ever big enough not to tell Mum and Dad. And that they can come to you anytime to discuss any issue, even if it makes them feel’ yucky’. Kids don’t start continuing secrets until they’re a bit older, and some secrets are ok( like what they’re getting for your birthday ). But others, especially if they’re keeping a secret for someone older, or if someone told them it might get them into hassle, should be told to Mum or Dad.
FACT: Every 13 minutes, small children suffers mistreat or forget, often by someone they know and should be able to trust, most often in their own home.
2. Adults Should Never Ask a Child for Help
Grown ups don’t ask children of providing assistance, they ask other adults. This is something that kids is certainly know, because requesting help from a child is often how predators get into conversation, and get their’ in’ with children. You should tell your children to be wary of grown-ups asking for help, and never to go anywhere with a grown-up, even one you are well aware, without talking to a parent firstly. If they aren’t somewhere where Mum or Dad is close by, let them know that it’s ok to refuse to help someone, and to walk or run away. Some kids to pay attention to being rude, so give them some training on a strong, but polite, repudiation, and a plan of action on what to do next.
FACT: 1 out of 3 girl children and 1 out of 5 boys is likely to be sexually abused before they reach persons under the age of 18.
3. Abusers Don’t Look Scary- They Search Normal
Teaching children that people that are bad to children are large-scale creepy ogres is just an outright lie and won’t help them distinguish between who is trustworthy, and who is not. An abuser is usually someone the child already knows, person that expends time with them regularly. For years, we have drilled the lesson of’ stranger danger’ into children, but it’s just not how the nations of the world runs. While kids do get grabbed by strangers in some cases, abuse by a familiar person is more common. It’s hard to tell your kids that there are people they can’t trust, so only make it clear to them that Mum and Dad are always there to help and to listen, and they aren’t even going to get in trouble for coming to you with an experience they didn’t like.
FACT: 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. 68% are abused by a family member.
4. Don’t Let Other Parents Change Your Mind
There’s a lot of pressure on parents, and there can be criticism if parents feel you’re being too overprotective, or too paranoid. At the end of the day, it’s about how you feel, so don’t let other mothers bully you into being less watchful if you don’t feel comfortable. If you don’t crave your kids to go to the toilet alone, go with them, or use a disabled toilet and guard the door until they come out. My boys are 8 and 9 and I still take them in with me- no way will I let them go into the men’s lavatories on their own without their daddy! The same travels for sleepovers. If you don’t feel comfortable with your child going to someone’s house, specially a residence you don’t know, then just say no, and don’t mind people who would tell you otherwise.
FACT: Many children who have been abused grow up to abuse alcohol, illicit drug users, suffer depression and induce suicide attempts.
5. Teach Your Children’ What to do if …’
For example, if your children get lost, teach them what the hell is do, where to go and who to seek. I personally tell my children to find a member of the police, and if they can’t find one, find a mummy with kids. I likewise write my mobile phone number on my kid’s arm when we are going out in public with a lot of people only in case we get separated.
Talk to your children about cyber safety, and what to do if someone they don’t know tries to contact them over the internet, or if someone calls on the telephone and they answer, what to say if they ask about when Mum and Dad will be home.
Parental self-controls on machines is a really good idea as we as parents can’t watch our children all the time. Look at a system like Family Zone to protect your kids at all ages.
6. Teach them to Fight Back
Finally, teach them what to do if they do get grabbed — to holler and scream and fight like crazy. Enroll them in martial arts or a defensive course, clarifying to them that they may never need to use these techniques, but it ever good to learn just in case! We don’t want to scare them, but prepare them in case the worst might happen.
7. Who do I Call if I Suspect My Child or Another Child I Know Has Been Abused?
Child Safety Services Queensland 😛 TAGEND
Ph:( 07) 3235 9999 or 1800 177 135
Department of Human Service( Victoria)
Ph: 13 12 78
Department of Child Protection and Family Support( WA)
Ph:( 08) 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008
How do you teach your child to be street smart about sexual piranhas?
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