TeachableMoments – Body Safety Basics
The two questions are the same if our family knows a person or doesn’t know a person:
- How does this person make me feel?
- What is this person asking me to do?
- If anyone makes a child’s uh oh feeling go off because they are either making them feel uncomfortable or worried or if they seem too good to be true, check in with an adult who knows the rules. If anyone is asking a child to do something against their safety rules, check in with an adult who knows the rules.
- Tell your children they may meet people in their lives who don’t know the rules about safety. If they meet someone who doesn’t know the rules about body safety, tell them it is not the child’s fault, you want to know about it, and you won’t be angry. Remind them that most people DO know the rules about safety and DO want kids to feel safe.
- Use “What Ifs” to talk about safety. After teaching safety rules, follow it up with age appropriate “What Ifs” to check the level of understanding. For example:
- We check first before going places with people.
- “What if a family friend asks you to go with them to get ice cream?”
- “I tell them I have to check first with you and then I go check.”
- We talk about touches. In our family, touches are never a secret. We know the proper names for our body parts. If someone wants you to keep a secret about a touch, wants to touch your private parts, or asks you to touch their private parts, check in with an adult who does know the rules about bodies and safety. There are times when adults touch kids’ private parts to keep them clean and healthy, but in those cases, we still talk about touches. You can always ask questions or check in about any touch.
- As a parent, help your child build their safety net of 5 trusted adults. Every person should have 5 adults that they can talk to and ask questions about safety. If someone in the net forgets about or is ignoring safety rules, reach out to someone else in your net. As a parent, pay attention to anyone trying to separate a child from their net. Healthy adults want to be a part of a child’s net, and unhealthy people want to separate and isolate a child from their net.
Every child is special and deserves to be safe.
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