Protecting Your Children from Child Abuse Is Easy

Protecting your children from child abuse is easy

Parents have many responsibilities when educating their children about life. One of the most important conversations to have with your child is a conversation about body safety. What is body safety you ask? Body safety is teaching your children that their body is their own and if anyone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable you want to know as soon as possible. This one piece of information can save your child from childhood sexual abuse and is key to child sexual abuse prevention. I think parents overthink this topic, get scared and then do not say anything to their children. This is the worst thing a parent can do. The best way to prevent child abuse is to talk about it before it happens not after. The steps to prevent child abuse are easy. Know who is watching your children, educate your child about body safety rules, respond quickly if your child self discloses information that someone has harmed them. Most children are harmed by “loved ones”, contrary to what the media feeds family’s children are harmed by people in their own family. This is one of the downsides to talking about body safety because it can get real difficult real fast because kids intuitively know this is wrong. If you give them permission to self-disclose, they usually will, 9 times out if 10 children are harmed by someone they know. One in 10 are random events outside of the family. 90% of children are raped by someone they know. This means as a parent you probably introduced your child to the person harming them. Anyone is capable of this act. If you have suspensions about a family member it is okay to say to them, “I have spoken to my children about ways to prevent child abuse. In our family child abuse is discussed and we have open dialogue. My children will be reporting to me if someone they know is making them feel uncomfortable.” You don’t have to say this but it goes a long way to aid in child sexual abuse prevention.

When talking to children they will understand this information at a very young age. Most parents wait until their child starts to go to overnight sleepover before they share this information. This is way too late. The average age that most children are first harmed is 4 years old. Children need to be educated as soon as they can grasp this information. The longer you wait to talk about child sexual abuse prevention the more at risk your child is. I do not think 18 months is too young to begin this discussion with your children. You want to be the first person to talk to your child about child abuse prevention not the perpetrator. I say 18 months because my daughter was around 18 months when I got my first proof of my land mark children’s book Some Parts Are NOT for Sharing a child’s first book on body safety. I read it to my daughter awhile later we were carving pumpkins she asked me, “Mom do pumpkins have private parts?” I thought I am really onto something here she gets this! You child can get it to. Parents struggle with how to prevent child abuse; it is really very simple. Read my book to your children, have conversations about people who are in a care giving role in their life, talk about your family relationships and that it is okay to tell if anyone in our family hurts you. Tell them that you will not be angry but that you do want to know as soon as possible. As your child gowns their questions will change; you will know when it is time to include more information that what was in the book. Some Parts are NOT for Sharing is a child abuse prevention book for children 0-9 years old. It is also available in Spanish. To order discount copies visit: www.juliefederico.com Another valuable body safety resource is, I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Privateby Kimberly King. This book is a A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient. The book provides an easy-to-use system to help children rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe. https://www.kimberlykingbooks.com/

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There is no greater gift a parent can give a child than the gift of safety.

Julie Federico

Child Abuse Prevention Expert

juliefederico@gmail.com

Audio Link to listen to Some Parts are NOT for Sharing: https://tinyurl.com/y95dxpok

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