Category Archives: Growing up

New Book for Preschoolers on Race Relations

On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we are all pausing to ask. “Has anything changed in the last year?” Each person you ask will have a different answer to this question based on where they have sat in the last year and watched the racial reckoning that has swept the nation. It has been a year that begs more questions than answers. As I start to think about racial problem-solving I think globally. God has given everyone skills, these skills were just given with no test, form, download, or request worksheet necessary. They were just given to everyone at birth. I challenge everyone today to use the skills that God gave them to combat racism. Some people sing others speak publically, some create art, some are good at changing policy, some are involved in the media, some are educators. It will take everyone in our society to change this problem so many different and all skills are needed. Do not discount your skills, they are supreme and so, so needed. Please step up and use your God-given skill to stop the madness. It is more than time. God gave me the gift to write. I never took any classes or watched any YouTube training videos I have just always wrote. Last summer I was deeply depressed by all of the events and adults’ reactions to the events. I decided to leave the adults alone and begin talking to the kids. I thought this audience was an easier sell to have positive race conversations with. I wrote God Made Me Black Because He is Creative and Blackness is Creative as a way to try and intervene. I finished writing the books in August 2020 it has taken me until today 5/25/21 to get both of the books formatted, illustrated, and in publication. I am proud to say that as of today both books are for sale on my website www.juliefederico.com and Amazon. This is my small part to help end racism. These books are the same book I just took God out of the title in Blackness is Creative. I know not everyone is cozy with God and I also wanted to sell the books to public schools. These books are the tip of the iceberg they are not the end of race relations discussion but the beginning. These books are for children ages 18 months and up. They offer young children an important introduction to the topic of race. As children grow you will need to find other more in-depth books. But my books offer a start and are significant to engaging children in the crucial discussion of race. In the book, I tell children things they can do to help end discrimination. I want to gather children and adults together to combat racism. We are stronger together. Conversations of race can be so divisive, I hope to change this. We need to have the strength of the greater community to make an important change. I know this is something everyone can agree on. Discounts are available to agencies and schools for book orders over ten copies. Please join me as we create new chapters for our country.

God Made Me Black Because He is Creative: On SALE NOW!

Order your copy of God Made Me Black Because He is Creative: A Child’s First Book on Race Relations here!

A Child's First Book On Race Relations

 As the summer of 2020 unfolded and I saw so many adults moving to the wrong side of the fence on appropriate race relations views  I was taken back.  I thought our country was a lot further down the yellow brick road of race relations.  I was deeply wrong.  Rather than try to talk to adults whose minds would not be moved despite moving material being presented  I started to think about the kids.  I thought of parents struggling for a common language when trying to talk about these issues with their children.  I thought of the children trying to make sense of issues that just don’t make sense.  I imagine they were left feeling scared and insecure. If they were children of color I imagine there are no words to describe how they felt.  Vulnerable, at-risk, hunted to name a few.   I believe our country can heal from the wounds of racism.  I believe this younger generation will be the last generation to tolerate systemic racism.   At a peaceful demonstration, I attended in July 2020 for Elijah McClain one of the teenagers’ speakers said, “Change is coming and it is beautiful!”  Amen.  Please join me as we create a safer world for all children.

“God Made Me Black Because He Is Creative truly belongs in every elementary school. Equity begins with educating our children about the beauty of diversity.  This book is a unifying plan for a lifetime.”

                     ~Julie Reilly Licensed School Social Worker

Steps To Prevent Child Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Child Abuse Prevention

This is a copy of an interview I did for my blog talk radio show with OABI with artist Michal Madison.

What are some prevention tips for parents to protect their children from child abuse?
Julie, you and I are both huge advocates of teaching Children how to keep themselves safe from sexual abuse – and that’s extremely important for them to learn – but it’s no substitute for adult responsibility. We make sure children wear seat belts. We walk them across busy streets. We store toxic household cleaners out of reach. Why, then, would we leave the job of preventing child sexual abuse solely to children? Parents need to learn the facts about child abuse — learn the signs — listen to and believe their children!!! So many children are screaming out for help about what is going on & parents are ignoring it because they think “this could not possibly happen to my child!”
Children tell us in a lot of different ways that something very wrong is happening to them. If they don’t tell with words they will tell through behavior: wetting their beds, or peeing their pants during the day; being terrified to go to sleep, waking up screaming from nightmares. They often regress to more babyish behavior. They don’t want to be left alone. They’ll develop asthma or stop eating, start crying hysterically about going to the babysitter, or develop a precocious interest in sex. They may act seductively to get things they want and this is only the beginning of the list for young children!
So please, if you are a parent — educate yourself! There are many websites, books, and resources available to you! Don’t dismiss what is going on with your child! Really listen! It may not always be sexual abuse — but finding out the reason behind their behavior as soon as possible can save your child from years of pain! Please always believe them! The percentage of children who make up abuse stories is so minuscule it’s hardly significant.

What age should parents begin to talk to their children about this issue?
As soon as they are born! If abuse can start at birth, as it did with me, so can prevention! and Julie, your book “Some Parts are Not for Sharing” is the perfect book for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, to start reading to infants! Every time you teach your child about protecting themselves, you are empowering them to face an abusive world! You are empowering them to Tell! To Break the silence immediately!

Is anyone completely safe from childhood abuse?
Absolutely Not! No one is safe from Child Abuse! Child abuse has no boundaries!! It happens in wealthy, middle class & poor families; all races & nationalities, in every country, in every part of the world. It happens in alcoholic homes & sober homes. Homes that DON’T believe in God and those that are very conservative and religious! It Can happen to Any child, Anytime, Anywhere! No one is immune to child abuse! No child is immune to sexual assault!

What are some thoughts around silence and childhood sexual abuse?
If we break the silence — we break the spell and put the abusers out of business! Like you’ve said Julie — abuse can only continue in silence! If we Break The Silence — The Abuse has a far greater chance of being Stopped!

What advice do you have for someone who is being abused and is under the age of 18?
Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk until someone believes you! Find a trusted adult & do not stop talking about it until you have been helped! No matter what the abuser threatens you with, find someone safe you can tell & Talk! & Tell them exactly what is going on! This is NOT your fault!

Domestic Violence is a cousin to child abuse. Do you agree?
I totally agree! Child abuse grooms you for domestic violence! I grew up in child abuse & domestic violence was the most natural next step! It’s not what I wanted, but it’s what I was used to — & we naturally gravitate toward what we know & are comfortable with! whether we like it or not!

What has been the most surprising aspect of domestic violence for you?
It’s prevalence! It’s everywhere — just like child abuse! Happening to people you would never imagine! & not just women — men are also victims! Oh my gosh and the horrifying effect it has on children! Children should never have to witness Domestic Violence & what is that crazy number? 8 million 800 thousand that do every year? That’s out of control!

Give some reasons why women do not tell?

Survival! When you are in that situation you are truly in survival mode — fighting for your life. Often telling is the last thing on your mind. Brainwashing is a major part of all abuse & you start to believe there is no way out, that you will be killed if you tell or if you leave! You don’t think you’ll be able to survive on your own and you’ll put up with things, you would never accept in any other situation!

There are other reasons: not wanting to admit that you chose the wrong person, etc… but to me even that is a survival tactic. Domestic Violence so destroys your self-esteem, it’s so hard when you are being treated like scum & told you are nothing, that realizing you are brave enough to say, “Gosh, I made a mistake. I’m going to pick myself up & move on…” Just isn’t in your psyche… Not telling is purely survival!

Describe the cycle of domestic violence?
There are three main phases: Tension Building; The Explosion & The Honeymoon. The Tension Building Phase is a time when in a normal healthy relationship things like emotional upsets or financial issues would be talked about & dealt with — but in an abusive relationship there is no equality & the tension just escalates, a lot of verbal abuse happens during this time. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells, holding my breath, because, well, if he doesn’t like the way I was breathing it could cause an explosion!
The Explosive Phase is where most of the Physical Abuse Happens & often if you don’t get out in time this phase can eventually be fatal! Seriously!
If you survive that phase, the abuser starts dating you again — The Honeymoon — apologizing profusely & giving you gifts, promising you it will never happen again! They can sound so convincing and you desperately want to believe it! Not a good combination! But inevitably the tension builds & the cycle begins again! For me, the honeymoon never even lasted two weeks!
What is the best way to deal with domestic violence if it is happening to you?
GET OUT! Leave! Walk away! Just Get Out!

Give some tips or advice for someone who is thinking of leaving a domestic violence situation?
Be careful! You need to make a plan if you can! This can be the most dangerous time!
The YWCA in a lot of states has great confidential guidance and plans, to get you out safely!
But sometimes, the only thing you can do, is what I did. in a moment when you are alone, pick up your purse and your children and walk out the door! Get to a safe place! & DO NOT GO BACK!!!
I promise you can make it on your own! I know it sounds impossible at this moment — but you will find angels reaching out to help you get back on your feet! You do not deserve to live in hell! You are worth so much more than all you are being put through & if you have children — please think of them! Please get them out of this mess as soon as possible!!!

Is it possible to heal from childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence?
Absolutely! It takes work — first we crawl, then walk, run, and finally learn to fly! You must believe in yourself & take the healing process into your own hands! Only I can heal myself! I remember just before leaving my 2nd abusive husband, visiting with a friend, who was single, free, confident and happy! I thought what am I doing to myself — staying in this horrible situation where I am not loved and I’m miserable! It’s not like I was just instantly healed, but a light turned on inside me!
Child abuse & Domestic Violence tell you, you can’t make it on your own — which is a HUGE lie! Healing comes when we embrace ourselves, start taking care of ourselves, & doing for ourselves what we’ve always wanted someone else to do for us, but have never received! Every day I tell myself, Michal Madison, you are stronger than you think and braver than you feel — embrace life — embrace the healing!

If more people were educated about domestic violence would it be less prevalent?
Absolutely! I believe that the more we are educated others and ourselves about Domestic Violence & Child Abuse, the less power it will have in society. The more we will be empowered as individuals to walk away & not spend years getting beat up emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically, sexually! Julie, That is why I believe in what you are doing so very much with your books! Educating children is one of the best places to start! But we as adults must educate ourselves as well! Education & Prevention go hand in hand!

Have you talked to your child about body safety?


School is back in session, have you talked to your child about body safety yet? If you have not I am offering a digital version of Some Parts are NOT for Sharing to anyone who emails me. I am doing this because I am holding life preservers for children with the knowledge in this book. I want every child to have a copy. I want this to be the last generation of children that encounter unwanted touch. The ramifications of childhood abuse last a lifetime. It is so much easier to prevent child abuse then clean it up afterward. Many times children are harmed by “loved ones” so parents are willingly putting their children at risk by leaving them with family members and they do not even know it. Become alert, educate yourself and your child about child abuse prevention. A little prevention goes a long way. You can find me at: juliefederico.com then Contact us.

Further reading: https://lnkd.in/eDAhgDshttps://lnkd.in/eZEU-uz

Domestic Violence Interventions

Blog Talk Radio with host Karen Allyn with guest Julie Federico discussing domestic violence and resources for children. She discusses her landmark book Anger is OKAY Violence is NOT which is a lifeline to children living in homes where domestic violence is present.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lafemmedeprose/2018/11/08/anger-is-okay-violence-is-n

Single Parents Guide to Child Abuse Prevention

This column will be addressing the challenges single parents face when handling body safety and child abuse prevention with their children. Although this information is valuable to everyone.

Why is it important that single parents in particular talk to their children about personal boundaries? According to the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse: “Living with married biological parents places kids at the lowest risk for child abuse while living with a single parent, and a live-in partner increased the risk of child abuse to more than eight times that of other children” 8 times. The number is a little overwhelming, to say the least. First do not beat yourself up over this static. Single parent homes can be superior to having children raised in a horrific marital environment. I believe that knowledge is power and with the knowledge, I deliver you can keep your children safe from unwanted touch. The most important words I have to say to you today are prevention, prevention, and prevention.

Reasons why single parents need to be vigilant about this topic are obvious. Your children are not always under your watchful eye. In two-parent families, one person may take on a chief child care role. In a single parent family, this role is usually provided by a nanny or other childcare provider. Children spending large periods of time at daycare and need this information months before they arrive at the daycare. Many time this is impractical as some children enter daycare at six weeks of age.

Parents who are divorced have a more difficult time monitoring who comes into their child’s life than a parent who is not is not divorced. Children whose parents are divorced spend time at both parents’ houses and are not always under the same level of supervision at each house. Divorced parents send young children out of state at times for extended holidays and summer vacation. It is not possible to do background checks on all of the people your children will be spending time with. You are not there to observe your children with these other people and have no way of knowing how they interact with your child, or even if they should be interacting with your children.

Both sexes are in danger when discussing child abuse. Boys often thought to immune to these issues are not. Boys are at risk for childhood sexual abuse almost as much as girls. According to From Darkness to Light a child advocacy foundation. 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18 and 1 in 6 boys. It is imperative to have conversations with boys as well as girls around body safety. No child is safe from unwanted touch.

What should parents say to their children and at what age should these conversations begin? It is easy to talk to children about these issues because they do not have the same feelings that adults do around this subject. The message you send to your children is “Your body is your own. It is not okay for anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.” Keep it simple and straightforward. What most parents are completely shocked about is how early you need to start talking about this topic. I say babies as young as one month old can have the body safety book Some Parts are Not for Sharing read to them. I say this because the average age kids are first approached is at the tender age of 4 years old. Four is not even formal school age yet so parents cannot depend on school officials to introduce this to your children. Many parents protest at this point and say “This is too young I do not want to talk to my baby about this!” I can tell you with 100% certainty that prevention is fun and easy. Spend your time protecting your child from this awful crime. It is much easier and less heartbreaking to do prevention than remediation. It is also important to repeat this message to children multiple times. Once is not enough.

In conclusion what parents need to remember is it is never too early to start talking to children about body safety. When I “talking” I mean even just reading Some Parts are Not for Sharing or another body safety book. I wrote Some Parts are Not for Sharing to help parents keep their kids safe, it also gives parents age-appropriate language to use. The book is for children age’s 0-8 years old. My personal goal is for every child everywhere to have the book read to them. Keep talking about this topic because kid’s brains are always changing. I believe most child abuse is preventable if kids had the necessary information before they were approached. Most children are harmed by someone they know. 90% of kids who are raped know their perpetrator.

Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to kids about this. The only thing to be fearful of is if you choose to say nothing. The key to success is to remember prevention, prevention. If you are a single parent remember prevention, prevention, prevention.

To read Some Parts are Not for Sharing visit: www.juliefederico.com

Kindle Link: goo.gl/gpgwDn

Order paperback Some Parts are NOT for Sharinggoo.gl/FiAAkr

Spanish editon:  goo.gl/j5dy9D

Spanish-version-with-sticker-400Some-Parts-are-NOT-for-Sharing-with-sticker600

 

Holiday Gift For Children With An Important Message

The Most Important Holiday Gift for Children

Are you still seeking one more present for your little one?
Some Parts are NOT for Sharing is a children’s book for readers 0-9 years old. This is probably the most important holiday gift that a parent can give a child, the gift of safety. This book teaches children in a non-threatening manner what to do if they encounter unwanted touch and what parts of our bodies we share with others. This book is a lifeline for children navigating the world they live in. The book is simple and uses straightforward language, it offers vital information that every family needs.  This book is also available in Spanish. To order visit: goo.gl/oto5Mb

Recent review by Kaycee666

“Short story, very important content that children need to know!

It is a short story book; it is direct and to the point and I love the way it is worded. I feel it is very easy for my four year old to understand and am grateful for the content of  the book as I had no idea how I would explain the subject to my toddler                                                                                                               otherwise.”

Fall is here, protect your children

As school is back in session and your children are meeting new teachers and people it is important to review body safety rules with them for the upcoming year. You may be asking, “What is body safety?” Good question. Body safety is teaching children that their body is their own. No one should touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Most importantly if someone does touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable you want to know about it. By reviewing or introducing this information it does two things. Firstly and most importantly it opens the door for your child to confide in you if something happens. If you say nothing, they will say nothing. Child abuse is built on silence and is like a house of cards. Without the silence one card falls, then the whole structure collapses. Many parents do not say anything out of fear. Fear that if they say something somehow this will invite the abuse. This thinking is flawed but permeates our society. See no evil, hear no evil. Meanwhile, children are being abused at an alarming rate. This static is from the Huffington Post: “Every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. That means every single day more than 570 people experience sexual violence in this country.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexual-assault-statistics_us_58e24c14e4b0c777f788d24f

I could not find an accurate breakdown for children and sexual assault because this information is under-documented. Most children do not tell an adult about being harmed. If you give your children this information chances are that they will talk to you if something happens. If you open the door to this subject with children it will go along way to keeping them safe.

“The primary reason that the public is not sufficiently aware of child sexual abuse as a problem is that 73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year. 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. Some never disclose (Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007” http://www.cachouston.org/child-sexual-abuse-facts/

The second reason this information is so crucial is that when sharing this information with your child you are reinforcing with your child what they already know to be true. When children are touch inappropriately radar goes off blaring, “This is wrong, this is not safe.” By you talking to your child about this before something happens you will be present in their mind and will be with them in thought if something unsafe does happen. They will say to themselves, “Mom and Dad told me this wrong. They told me what to do. I know what to do.” With this scenario you and your children are golden. Your child will only be encountering unwanted touched most like once before you intervene. Child abuse is very simple. It is built on fear and silence. Parents can go a long way to keeping their children safe by doing preventative education. It is not hard to protect your children from unwanted touch; it is very hard to clean up after long-term abuse has occurred.

I worked as a middle school counselor for over a decade and heard awful stories of trauma and abuse. One day it dawned on me, “Is no one talking to the little people?” I wanted to begin talking to the little people for all of the children at my school that I could not protect. My students were 11- 14 years old. The abuse they encountered happened from 2-8 years old. I could not help them; I could not do anything but remediation work. One afternoon I wrote Some Parts are NOT for Sharing in one sitting. I believe it was God inspired. I am just the vehicle to send out this message. My first draft was my last draft. The first publisher I sent it to picked it up and published my work. If you have ever tried to write a book or known someone who has, you know God completely drives this story. It is never this simple. It was ten years ago in August that I wrote the book. I am getting my message out to young people but there are always still so many, many children I have not reached yet. Hoping to spread some prevention information this fall to the children of Denver. There is no greater gift that a parent can give their child than the gift of safety. To order Some Parts are NOT for Sharing visit E bay: goo.gl/77fStV
This book is also available in Spanish.

Thank you for protecting your children!

Julie Federico

www.juliefederico.com

Denver, CO.
Spanish-version-with-sticker-600Some-Parts-are-NOT-for-Sharing-with-sticker400Coloring Book Cover Some Parts are NOT

Book Signing at Fireside Books

Award winning children’s services author Julie Federico will be signing copies of her landmark children’s books at Fireside Books.

Spanish-version-with-sticker-400Anger is OKAY Violence is NOTSome-Parts-are-NOT-for-Sharing-with-sticker200A Friends are Wonderful Book Signing:

  • Event Date: December 13, 2014
  • Event Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Fireside Books and Coffee      410 W Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80110
  • Phone: (303) 761-9191
  • Contact: store manager, David