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,
Heather Paris inspires people all over the world to create happier lives through talks, workshops, blog posts, and her book, Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness. For more information about transforming your relationship, family, or your life, contact Heather today!