I have something that might help you talk with your children about keeping safe, and it might help them protect themselves. More than a year ago I read this blog post that talked about not keeping secrets and how the author talks to her children about body safety. She had “body safety” rules posted in her kitchen for all to see. I was super impressed.
I adapted the rules a bit (because I can’t help myself from editing, really), printed them out and hung them in my kitchen. My kids and I read through them one by one and talked about them. They asked questions. One time recently, before a sleep over, we read through them again as a reminder. I point out the body safety rules to babysitters and ask them to read through them. Here they are:
And while we can’t always prevent bad things from happening, we can educate our children on what is appropriate and not, when they need to say no, or tell a trusted adult. Statistics say that most of the time, it’s not strangers who try to violate children, it’s people they know – teachers, coaches, friend’s parents, relatives. We talk about how even sometimes adults we really like might be acting “tricky” and ask or tell us to do something that goes against our safety rules.
A couple of friends have seen our list in the kitchen and asked for a copy. A former babysitter wanted a copy to share with other families she works with. It’s a simple, yet powerful, list of rules that can help children feel empowered and have boundaries of their personal space and bodies.
Please feel free to use these or adapt them as you see fit. But talk with your children – often.
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