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April is Child Abuse Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
3 SIMPLE TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD
I facilitate safe environment classes in my church. An attendee recently inquired, "What is the best thing I can do to protect my child when I'm not around?"
This is a great question!
- Validate your children when they sense you are upset. If it's obvious you've been crying or that you're angry, telling them that you're just tired or have a headache causes them to doubt their God-given intuition. They learn to second guess themselves and dismiss what their "tummies tells them."
No need to give them inappropriate details. It's easy enough to say, "Thank you for noticing. I'm feeling a littel sad today. But it will pass. How was your day?"
If your child senses that a person or situation is unsafe, you want them to trust their intuition. And you want them to trust that you will listen and not dismiss them.
2. Let your children do little things for themselves. When you can, supervise with your eyes, not your hands, Moms. Pull the chair up to the sink. Let them wash dishes. Help fold laundry. Dump the dogfood in the bowl. I know it's hard when you're in a hurry. It goes so much faster when you do it yourself. But trust me, you will instill confidence in them. Children with low self-esteem are more likely to be targeted by abusers. (More on this in days to come--with cite references.)
3. Let your children do BIG things for themselves. We made a game out of this one: My youngest son would find the gate at the airport. (Ticket in hand with a parent by his side, directing him to look at the flight monitor.) He loved it!
If his bicycle needed fixing, he held the tools and his father talked him through it. Do activities like this take longer? Yep. But it will pay dividends in self-confidence.
I encourage you to consider each suggestion. What are some simple ways you can put these into practice? Take spirited initiative.
Published on Monday, April 6, 2020 @ 6:05 PM CDT