What your kids need to know to say “NO”

Happy April everyone! Can you smell what the Spring is cooking. I figure I would start off with a joke before I hit you with some very important information. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child Abuse Prevention month started in 1983 as a way to bring awareness to child abuse epidemic in the US.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services in 2014 in the US an approximately 646,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect. I believe through educating the community and families we can support those to keep our children safe. Abuse comes in many forms, but the trauma from abuse has implications more far-reaching when abused children become adults. That is why I believe and that is FACTS!  Here are three quick tips I want to share to help parents, caregivers and loved ones.
Tip#1
As parents we are all busy with our day-to-day lives and sometimes that includes being stressed and often times overwhelmed. When you feel stressed and your child or children are coming at you with whatever they coming at you with, don’t lash out. Remain calm, if you can, and address that child. It would not help the situation if you lash out physically at that child and you end up hurting that child. If you taking out your stress on a child and you’re trying to discipline them it can end up crossing that line from disciple to abuse. If you angry and trying to discipline your child, you are not helping and could end out hurting your child and leave marks and bruises, which should never happen. According to Psychology Today abuse includes ,taking any other intentional action that poses a threat to your child’s life or physical well-being, or that results in significant physical or emotional harm to your child. Remember! Love doesn’t hurt.
Tip#2
Child Sex Abuse is a topic many people don’t want to talk about. However, I believe that this conversation must start at home . As parents we must start by teaching our children about the proper names of their private parts. This way if anyone is touching your child inappropriately then they can communicate that to you and describe what part of their body was touched. We should not give our children these made up names or names that should not be associated with their private parts. For examples, girls vagina should not be referenced as a pocketbook or butterfly. A boys penis should not be referenced as a sausage or pole. We should give the correct names as vagina or penis, breast, and buttocks. Plain and simple. Done!
Tip#3
As a parent of an adult and a child I have always talked to my children about inappropriate touch and safe touches. Through conversation from as soon as a child can speak we should teach our children and empower them to know what is right and wrong. Children should know when they are in uncomfortable situations where someone is touching them that they should say “no” or “stop”. Please teach your children who and who are not allowed to touch them. Parents or caregivers are allowed to touch these area for bathing when age appropriate . A doctor can exam your child during a medical exam or parent if a child has something wrong with that particular area of their bodies. We should also teach our children that under no circumstances should they be made to touch the private parts of an adult. Abusers can force children or manipulate them to touch their private parts. Educate your children that they must come and tell you because as parents we must guard are children. Remember great parenting is an informed parent.
Thanks for reading!

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