My son is very inquisitive and I encourage it as much as possible. Starting from an early age people always noticed that I would take my time to answer each and every one of my his questions. They were surprised at both my patience, being that I was a young parent, and the depth of his questions. I had a lot of reasons for encouraging his inquisitive behavior. I wanted him to be informed. I wanted his mind to run wild with that the possibilities of this new world. I wanted him to explore new things. I wanted him to imagine without limits. But most importantly I wanted him to feel that if he had a question he could ask me or any other adult, without being reprimanded or chastised.
Children naturally choose someone to look up too. This is especially true if there is a parent missing from the household. In all cases you want the individual they choose to be you. Not only because you are protecting them from a predator but for countless other reasons. Remember predators rely heavily on opportunity. Don’t allow your child to admire any single adult so much that that adult has unlimited influence over your child.
Unfortunately we can’t just stop there because child predators won’t. I would suggest the below statements and questions being discussed with your child on a regular basis.
STEP ONE- Parent to child (follow as age appropriate):
1. These areas of your body are off limits to everyone but you.
The only time mommy and (or) daddy will touch these areas are when we are bathing you, and even then it should be brief.
When you are in a public or school bathroom, no one should be in the stall with you.
It is definitely okay to ask for privacy and if you don’t get it walk away or pee on yourself. Let’s be honest I rather my son pee on himself if an adult is forcing him to toilet in front of them. Keep in mind he is 6-years-old and is fully capable of using the bathroom without incident and should not be supervised under regular circumstances.
2. Your hands, mouth, and buttocks should not touch the special areas on another person, adult or peer.
- If you are asked to do so you should _ _ _ _. Fill this in with an action like scream help! Or scream you’re nasty! Run and tell another adult nearby! Demand that they call your mommy or daddy right now! etc.
If all the preventive measures fail, it is still your job to equip your child with what to do if they are abused. I know this is tough to imagine but what would be even tougher is knowing that your child has just been violated and remained silent.
STEP TWO- Teach your child to:
1. Get away as fast as possible. Run to a crowded place and scream for help.
2. Look for the closest adult and report what happened.
3. Look for a phone to call 911, if even to just dial the number and disregard the phone if needed.
4. Memorize their home address as well as important phone numbers for family and friends.
Now, it is time to say the scary things to your child that predators might say to them.
STEP THREE- Teach your child to ignore these things and tell you or an adult anyway
1. I will kill your mommy if you tell anyone.
2. I will kill you if you tell anyone.
3. Your mommy or daddy will be alone forever if you tell.
4. They’re not going to believe you; I will get away with it even if you tell.
I hope these tips helped. Share your advice on how you keep your child(ren) safe below. Let’s keep our children safe and develop a zero tolerance attitude toward child abuse of all kind.