A topic that most children’s books don’t tackle is setting personal boundaries of safety. This responsibility could be yours. However, it doesn’t have to be scary. We’re here to help you navigate this tricky topic and keep things positive and empowering. Every child should know that they are a precious gift from God and deserve to be treated with dignity and care.
Don’t be disheartened to be hearing these stories of sexual predators coming out in the news. The fact is, they’re coming OUT. Predators only succeed in shadows and secrecy. We have the power to shed some light.
Don’t worry, you can do this without instilling fear in the kids in your life. This is very much about self-confidence, owning our own bodies, and you establishing a trusting open relationship to talk about these things with them. It should all be done with a healthy dose of love. That is a key ingredient.
But, you do need to begin the conversation at a very young age–2 or 3. This is when children may hit, kick or bite each other, maybe just over possession of a toy. But, this opens the door for helping them understand that their bodies are their own territory. They are the ones who decide who can touch them. If someone is hurting them or making them feel uncomfortable, they need to put a stop to it and have every right to tell an adult about it. This applies beyond the playground and can carry over into any scenario.
This is also about having them feel comfortable talking to you about possible uncomfortable and private moments. They need to know that they can come to you about any doubts and curiosities they might have. No one should tell them that they should keep secrets from you.
Also, reinforcing self-worth in them is essential. This will help them feel the difference when they are being treated disrespectfully. It should give them the confidence to not consent to things that are against their instincts. Let them know they should leave any situation that makes them feel trapped or threatened. Teach them that they can trust their feelings of doubt and distrust. They will gain a sense of empowerment as they grow up, and that should keep them from abusive dynamics in encounters and relationships.
They need to feel loved and valuable. This is something you can easily do. Shower them with it, and remind them that God and their angels love and look after them. If they can quietly tune into their guidance, they will know what to do in any situation.