Keeping Our Kids Loved and Safe
By: Hannah Rials
Nothing is solved, nothing is prevented with silence. Communication in our society and in our families is absolutely necessary to keep improving the world we live in. And many parents might be holding onto a stigma about having conversations about sex with their child. Teaching children healthy boundaries is a discussion that should be had very early on in child development.
Children should have developmentally appropriate information related to sex. They are exposed to it daily on television, radio, and social media. Therefore, it is important for children to understand what healthy boundaries look like and know what is inappropriate. Most importantly, they need to hear that from you. Teach your children what parts of their bodies are inappropriate for other people to touch. This includes family members, not just strangers. As your children get older, start to have conversations about internet safety since that is such a pervasive part of our culture. Internet safety includes not giving out personal information (email, home address, phone numbers, where you go to school, etc.) to strangers online and being careful about what you post!
But don’t just talk to your children, talk to other adults too. Share your knowledge. This may enlighten someone who knows a child who is abused or it may let potential abusers know that parents and adults are aware. Invite someone to attend a Stewards of Children Training with you.
If you’d like some more tips on how to talk to your child, please visit this website: http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6292283/k.C1FD/Tips_for_Talking_to_Children.htm
Your children might be uncomfortable with these conversations, but let them know you are talking about this because you love them and want them to have the safest, happiest life possible. We all know that all children want is to be loved, even if they don’t show it. The love a child receives helps to develop them into their adult years and eventually to the love they will show their child. Love can be seen in a hug, a smile, a high-five, or even just listening to a child. Listening and understanding. Make them feel important, brilliant, funny, charming. Now is the time to boost up their confidences so that it may shine through the rest of their lives.
How will you show love and understanding to the children in your lives this month and restore hope in our community?