Trigger Warning. This article will be discussing Body Safety as a Preventative to childhood abuse.
Coming from a family and culture that has direct ties to Native American Residential School and the effects that it has had on generations known to me – teaching accurate and honest body safety to my children is a crucial tool for me to exercise as a mom. Our children are innocent and a vulnerable population – something I hope to share with other moms to help prevent our children being hurt or taken advantage of sexually.
In an effort to earnestly teach my children about body safety and appropriate behavior a few years back, I stumbled across an excellent video and resources about children and their bodies staying safe. As a parent I worry about SO many things including the people my children may come into contact with. Teaching body safety can equip children to report or avoid being taken advantage of straightaway. The following information is from https://e2epublishing.info/ an organization that has free posters/printables and literature all about children and empowering body safety. Body Safety Poster is attached at the end of the article.
Check out this video below; it was and is a great tool that I have used to teach my children about their bodies and body safety. It is succinct and super kid friendly. https://youtu.be/u03EHVf-7vI
It is statistically proven that using anatomically correct terms for all body parts can be a prevention to sexual abuse. This is something we have done since we began speaking to our first born as a new born.
Recent research shows that knowing the correct anatomical terms enhances kids’ body image, self-confidence, and openness. It also discourages their susceptibility to molesters. When children are abused, having the correct language helps both the child and adults deal with disclosure and—if necessary—the forensic interview process.
According to Laura Palumbo of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “We need all adults to be partners in teaching healthy childhood sexual development, and square one is body parts. Educators and parents should communicate accurately, without stigma or shame.”https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/going-beyond-intelligence/201703/call-children-s-private-body-parts-what-they-are
In addtion, we practice a “family code word.” Our family code word is a word that our children know so if there is ever an emergency and earnest dad or I need to send someone to pick them up, that designated person will know our code word. When they hear that word, they will know that this person is a safe person sent by mommy or daddy to take care of them. We actually used it when my oldest was in Kindy, my mom was in town and she and my sister went to pick him up. He knows them and loves them but when he saw it was not me picking him up, he immediately asked for our code word; when they told him the right word, knew he was good to go with them.
Also in the earnest home, we press that there are no secrets between us. None. Surprises are okay, especially if at least one adult in the home knows about them but secrets we do not keep. We try to keep a safe and open relationship with our earnest littles, always pressing that we will love them no matter what. If someone is pressuring them to keep a secret from us, we need to know to be safe for everyone.
Remember, it is never to early to teach about body safety with your children (staying age appropriate in information and practices). Doing so empowers them to be the boss of their own bodies and can help in preventing them being taken advantage of. This is an extremely sensitive topic for some and I want to acknowledge the hurt or pain that may come from reading this and let you know, moms and dads you are seen, loved and not alone; teaching safety can help and heal.
x. earnest mom.
Body Safety Poster mentioned above, from https://e2epublishing.info/posters#postersus: