The words to use to teach your child about touch?

           Recently, most likely due to the Penn State sex abuse scandal, we have seen an increase in information online about how to talk with your child about touches to prevent child abuse. It is wonderful that parents realize that they MUST talk with their children about their bodies and touches because that is one important way we are going to prevent children from harm.

           But we are disappointed to see that much of this information is outdated. Although that might sound strange – what it means is that the language we teach children to help them understand different types of touching has changed over the years as we have realized the complexities of sexual abuse. Many of us were raised with the “good touch/bad touch” verbiage. That verbiage is decades old and should stop being used because it may be very confusing to children as sexual abuse can physically feel good. This might be shocking to you, but it is very reasonable if you think about it…as our bodies are programed to respond to touch.

        Please use the words SAFE and UNSAFE Touch or appropriate or inappropriate touch. If you are unsure how to discuss this with your child and/or feel any discomfort (subliminally your children will feel your discomfort) please visit our website www.kidsafefoundation.org for information and take a look at our 2011 award winning children’s book – My Body is Special and Belongs to Me! A fun yet educational book for children to be read with their parent – it is the conversation all parents want to have with their children to open up those important lines of communication about personal safety and might not know how to start. The book also provides an extensive adult section to help provide important answers to questions children might ask and most importantly how to continue the learning the book offers.

         We hope you don’t misunderstand what we are saying by writing this blog. We are thrilled to see that through Twitter, Facebook, Blogging etc. child safety is being talked about and organizations are able to spread their missions and the work they are doing to keep children safe, it’s amazing! We admire anyone helping to break the cycle of silence that surrounds child abuse. It makes us feel wonderful to know that there are organizations out there like ours trying to prevent child abuse through education. We just want to make sure, in the best interest of all of our children, the most up to date information is being shared.

 

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

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