Talking to our kids about big things like protecting their bodies and safe versus unsafe touching can be a pretty heavy, uncomfortable, and overwhelming task. As parents, where do we start? How far do we go? How much do we share and what age do we even begin?
I’m overwhelmed with the uncertainty of all those questions but you know what? The answer is now. We begin right now.
According to statistics, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have been or will be sexually assaulted in their life. 15% of those assaulted will be children under the age of 12. Pretty alarming numbers, right? I read those statistics and think about my daughter’s kindergarten class of 30 children- according to those numbers, 6 of her peers are at risk. 20%. You know what? That warrants some tough conversations.
Our children only know what they know. Their understanding and awareness of this great big world they live in will come primarily from the talks they have and the events they experience. If we don’t teach, guide, and educate them through these tough topics, who will? How will our kids know what is unsafe or inappropriate if we fail to talk with them about it? The more we talk, the more knowledge our children acquire. The more knowledge they acquire, the better equipped they are to handle situations. The better equipped they are to handle situations, the more likely they are to have a plan and know what to do if or when something happens. So despite our potential discomfort as well as our perception of our children’s innocent and naïve nature, we need to start the talk….Whether your child is 3 years old or 13 years old, equip your children with knowledge.
Literacy is one of my favorite ways to teach my children about lessons and life. I recently purchased the book, “God Made All of Me” via the recommendation of a friend and found it to be a really great tool for parents to introduce such a tough topic, especially for younger children (as the book’s intended audience is ages 2-8). Though Christian connections and gentle information, this book teaches children that their body is theirs and something to protect. It teaches them about safe vs. unsafe touching, the difference between secrets and surprises, and what to do as well as who to talk to if or when something makes them feel uncomfortable or unsure.
It’s mom approved guys. You can find it on Amazon for $11.99. Check it out.