The world is a sick place, FACT! As a parent, I am constantly looking for ways to equip my toddler to best handle this very sick world. Everywhere you turn online, there’s constant news about someone sexually abusing a child. That’s why I decided to write this short post to remind parents of how to arm their children against child sexual predators and reduce the risk of someone sexually abusing your child.

If you haven’t read the post I shared a little while back on the subject, click here to do so now. Here is another post on how to create a safety plan for your family.

Now that we are on the same page, today’s reminder post is to tell you that you need to teach your child(ren) what to do in case someone attempts to touch them inappropriately.

 

 

1 Identify out of bounds body parts

Does your child know what parts of their body no one else is allowed to touch? Do you use proper names of body parts? You should start doing so now if you don’t already do so. Do you actively encourage your children to wash their private parts themselves so that they know that even you the parent is not allowed to touch them there?

A little song for girls I just thought up (possibly similar songs are out there) based on heads, shoulders, knees and toes:

Breasts, Bum Bum and Vulva are my own,

Breasts, Bum Bum and Vulva are my own

Feel free to run away with the song to suit your imagination. I possibly might have read it somewhere and maybe that’s why it was in my head. Anyhoos, you get the drift of the song; to help you daughter know that those body parts are hers and no one else should touch it (until she’s 30 but that’s a conversation for another day ehehehhe).

PS: I have a daughter, so I talk from a daughter’s point of view. Feel free to insert son if you only have a son(s).

 

2 Regularly remind your child what private body parts are

At least once a day or once every other day, remind your child that their private body parts are their own. Remind your child that they shouldn’t touch other people’s private parts and they should not let anyone else touch their private parts.

Do this in a positive way so that they don’t feel their private parts are taboo.

For instance:

Don’t let anyone touch your breasts, don’t let anyone touch your bum bum and don’t let anyone touch your vulva.

You also should not touch anyone’s breasts, you also should not touch anyone’s bum and you also should not touch anyone’s vulva.

Repetition is key here.

 

3 Self-defence is key

It is one thing for a child to know that some parts of the body are private but it is also important that a child knows what to do if someone attempts inappropriate behaviour.

You should teach your child that irrespective of who it is, no one should touch their private body parts. If someone touches them there, they should scream as loudly as they can STOP! Don’t touch me there! whilst hitting the person’s hand away. This way, hopefully, someone nearby would hear the child, especially if you the parent is not around.

Remember, predators are not always strangers but those closest to us (sadly).

 

4 Be approachable

It is important that your child knows that there is nothing he/she cannot talk to you about. If your child feels safe talking to you, you are, more likely than not, going to be the first person your child confides in. Also reiterate to your child that if anyone ever says to him/her that he/she should not tell you (the parent) something, that he/she should always tell you. If someone threatens to hurt you if they (your child) do not do what they (the predator) wants, it is important that you have already told your child that as the parent, it is your job to protect your child and not theirs. Make sure that your child knows that if they keep no secrets from you, that it would enable you to protect them better.

 

5 Always believe your child

If it ever came down to his word against my word, you should ALWAYS believe and take your child’s side. If any facts later come up that shows without a doubt that your child’s account of something was inaccurate, make sure you tell your child that they did a good job in coming to you in the first instance before talking through what had happened and what as a family you have learned from that series of events.

 

Bonus Tip: Difference between needs and wants

Does your child know the difference between a need and a want (for older children)? Does your child know that you will provide their needs to the best of your ability? Does your child know to come to you first for anything they need or want? Do you take the time to explain what you can and cannot provide and why? This is extremely important as you would not want a predator to use material things to lure your child.

How in tune with your child’s emotional needs are you? A predator who is close to your family may use that to lure your child if that predator feels that the child is lacking love from his/her parent(s).

 

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I hope you found this reminder post useful (and hopefully you don’t develop a brain fart like I did when my daughter asked me why private body parts are private).

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