The world can be a scary place for some
children. Learn everything you can
about keeping yours safe.
A couple of weeks ago I went to hear a presentation by Pattie Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After. Pattie is a mother and widely recognized and respected children’s advocate. She has made it her mission to empower families through her innovative and non-fearful safety programs for parents and children.
A False Sense Of Security
Pattie began by lecture by reminding us that what was going to protect our family is not where we live, but what we know.
Empowering your children makes them
feel strong, smart and brave!
Predators know what is most enticing
to your children. Teach yours to check first.
Watch your child for cues and clues about
they feel. Don't force their affection.
Photo credit: Milk Photo
I wanted to emphasize that first point about being the boss of their bodies. We should never force children to be affectionate to everyone. By doing so, we are telling them that they're not really the boss of their own bodies. There are may reasons a child may not want a kiss or hug from a relative. My grandfather used to lick his lips before he gave kisses. It wasn't inappropriate, it was just gross! Instead of telling your child what to do, simply ask him or her, "Do you want to give Grandma Betty a hug?" If the child still feels uncomfortable, show them that you have their back. If the person in question is pressuring you, or doesn't agree with letting children make this decision, try saying, "We've been working really hard with the kids teaching them the 'I'm the boss of my own own body' rules. Can you help me with this?" This way you are bringing the other adult into the fold, the child doesn't sense any aggravation between you which could lead him or her to decide not to say no next time.
Safely Ever After
There was so much more information that Pattie gave us including details on boundaries, red flags and common lures, but I feel as though this post has gotten really long. If there is interest, I will do a follow up post with more information, but I highly, highly recommend contacting Pattie at Safely Ever After to have her speak at your school, your group, even your home. As street smart as I am, I came away from Pattie's lecture realizing how much I really didn't know and how much I really hadn't spoken to my children about!
How about you? Do you already speak to your kids about keeping themselves safe? Do you have any tips to share? Was any of this particularly eye opening to you? I love your comment, let me know your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!
The Twin Coach
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