Have you seen the “Me too” posts going around on social media? It’s a post designed to bring awareness to the prevalence of sexual abuse. Anyone who’s status says “Me too” is indicating that they have been the victim of sexual abuse or harassment. And sadly, these posts are popping up by the thousands!
I have worked with young people, male and female, that have been victimized sexually and it’s nearly impossible to heal from such acts, and many don’t.
You can never guarantee 100% that you’ll prevent your own children from falling victim to this type of heinous act, but there are definitely things you can do that will give you the best possible odds for preventing such a tragedy.
Please read and share these tips with your friends because knowledge is only power when it’s applied and shared!
Tips to prevent your child from being sexually abused:
1 Focus on the relationship you have with your child MORE than your expectations of your child. In other words, your relationship comes first even if they get bad grades, disappoint you, make a bad choice, or are misbehaving!
2 Call body parts by their proper names! It’s a penis, breasts, and a vagina, not a wee wee, pee pee, ding dong, boobies, or a hoo haw. These are body parts, call them by name because the more secretive you make them, the more you program your child to believe they are “unspeakable.” You WANT them to be able to talk about their body parts and understand fully who is allowed to touch them, see them, and talk about them…. mommy, daddy, or the doctor when mommy and daddy are in the room!
3 Choose babysitters VERY carefully. Bear in mind that 7 out of 10 sexual assaults happen by someone they victim knows…. usually a relative.
4 Have a plan in case your child get’s lost in the store. I used to tell my kids that if they ever got lost, find a woman and ask for help… never a man. Yes, I know that seems sexist. I don’t care. The facts are clear and most sexual predators are men, not women. I also used to put a small laminated card under the sole of their shoe with their phone number and address on it in case they ever needed it and couldn’t remember their info.
5 Don’t force kids to be around adults they don’t like. This one kills me!! If a child is uncomfortable with an adult, there is probably a reason!! Don’t force kids to “be polite” or “he’s your uncle, don’t be rude, just give uncle a kiss!” Gross. Kids should NEVER be made to show affection if they don’t want to, and they should know it’s OK for them to say NO… even to an adult!
6 Talk about secrets with your kids. Let them know that adults don’t get to have secrets with kids unless mommy and daddy are in on it! Abusers always use the “it’s a secret” card so be sure your kids know that secrets are not OK!
7 Make it safe for your child to be open and honest. Encourage them to talk to you by talking to them and being available without distractions! Let them know that no matter what they tell you, they won’t get in trouble! Talk, talk, and talk some more!
8 Know who they are spending time with! Get to know their friends AND their friends parents too. I am a huge fan of having kids over to MY house so I know exactly what’s going on. My kids always knew they could have friends over!
It’s absolutely heart breaking to see all the “Me too” posts on Facebook, let’s do all we can so that our own children never have to say “Me too.”
For MORE on this topic, please be sure to get my book Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness which includes all of my best advice for parenting, and navigating the chaos of life!
Please reach out if you need help. <3
With love, gratitude, and inspiration,
I know this goes against what most people say, but I don’t believe in forgiving everyone!
Some things shouldn’t be forgiven because if you do, you run the risk of softening your convictions.
Convictions are fuel for purpose and help you take action that could make positive change in the world!
Forgive a child molester, rapist, or murderer? No freakin way!
I don’t want to soften how I feel about people who pose real and actual danger to myself or other people!
You don’t owe forgiveness to anyone but yourself!
In fact, it’s not YOUR responsibility to forgive anyone BUT yourself.
I have found that most people are more upset with themselves than with the person who hurt them. They blame themselves for not “saying no,” for “not being strong enough to fight,” and even for “being stupid enough to fall for the lies.”
The real forgiveness is only owed to yourself! Stop beating yourself up for being a victim! The most empowering thing you can do is to forgive yourself and find ways to not be the victim again!
The other person can work on his or her own forgiveness.
I would encourage you to understand instead of forgiving. So maybe you understand that the person who hurt you was abused as a child and learned to hurt others. It’s not an excuse, and no forgiveness is needed, but you understand that “hurt people hurt people.”
Forgiveness is a deeply personal act of sacrifice because you are agreeing to override your feelings to give absolution to another. This is something that should be honored and reserved for people who are truly sorry, have made amends, and will not repeat what they have done.
Everyone else can have compassion because you are able to understand how they became so damaged, but not forgiven.
What do you think about today’s post? Hit reply to this email and let me know!
With love, gratitude, and inspiration,
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My answer: “Stop telling them you are proud of them every time they do something!”
No really. Just stop. Here’s why.
When we over praise, we teach kids that they should be doing things for us, for the validation, and not for their own self satisfaction.
It also teaches them that their worth is equated to what they do, produce, or achieve.
Trade your praise for love and affection and ask your child how they feel about their own performance instead.
The picture shown here is the inside of a card that I sent to our daughter Madison. She is 22 and just got a great job! I am proud of her…. but not because she got a great job.
I am proud of her because she’s my daughter and I love her.
It may sound like such a small distinction but when your child fails at something, and they will, they will believe they have let you down, and that they are not worthy of your affection or love if you only praise achievements.
I see it every single day and it breaks my heart.
So instead of praising your kiddo all of the time, try this instead.
Ask them: “How do you feel you did?” Then respond to their feelings.
There is definitely a time and place for praising your kiddos! I like to praise them when they do acts of kindness that you wouldn’t normally expect. Like seeing a woman in the grocery store dropping items and running over to help, or offering their own money to someone in need and so on.
Even then, be sure to ask them how those acts made them feel! Allow them to grow a sense of pride in themselves by advocating for their success without over praising. Then, instead of praising, try saying something like “That was beautiful to see, thank you!”
Let me know your thoughts or please do share your story at the bottom of the page!
Experience has made me wise, coaching has shown me how to share that wisdom.
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You can use your experience, combined with the skills you learn to help your children, students, friends, family members, or your community!
Love and inspiration,