It’s time for We Got Kidz to get serious for a second and discuss the craziness that has been happening lately in reference to children and molestation. From dirty man basketball coach Bernie Fine to the recent and unfortunate sexual assault and stabbing of 7 year old Jorelys Rivera in Canton Georgia – Things seem to be getting out of hand and down right depressing.
In an interview, the family members of little Jorelys talked of how friendly and trusting she was. “She would’ve gone with anybody”, they said.
In this current day and age of self-gratification and entitlement, being overly friendly and prone to “going with anybody” are unfortunately not positive or desirable attributes for any child to have. Although it’s okay to be friendly, it’s important more so now than ever that we teach our children how to do so cautiously. The alternative has proven to be devastating.
I think that many parents are confused about when it’s okay to begin “socializing” their children. The fear of having them “grow up too fast” becomes paralyzing, and that inaction can be more detrimental than having a single uncomfortable conversation. The reality of it is that if you don’t decide to talk to your children about certain issues such as sex and relationships, someone else will. It may be little Tommy from across the street, or it could be a creepy college basketball coach. You have the power to decide. Let your voice be the first that your children hear on the subject and it’s guaranteed that they will listen. Let them know what are appropriate adult/child interactions and what are not.
Here are some great tips provided by childrennow.org that can help you begin that dialogue with your children:
Explore your own attitudes:
Studies show that parents who speak openly with their children about sex and relationships, and who actually listen yield teens who are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
When our children are toddlers, we’re inclined to stop body part identifications at nose and toes. Including other body parts in your talks allows you to have a gradual continuous flow of information so that they understand the subject well.
Talk about more than the birds and the bees:
Knowing the biology behind sex is great, but as far as teaching your children is concerned, that’s not enough. Extend your discussions to the emotional aspects of a sexual relationship, and you’ll be equipping your child with the tools that they need to make informed decisions later on in life.
Stopping sexual abuse, possible molestation, or any type of risky sexual activities often begins at home with your kids. Don’t be afraid to take that first step, and have a constant open dialogue with your child. Any uneasiness or discomfort that you may have will be worth it.
For more tips on how to talk to your children about all sorts of tough issues, visit www.childrennow.org
Article first published as We Need to Talk to Prevent Sexual Abuse by Kesha Chisholm on Technorati.