If you've ever taken the time to read pretty much anything about parenting or know someone personally that has been abused, you fully understand the importance of keeping kids safe from sexual abuse is for their overall well being.
Maybe you've even helped a parent whose child was hurt or you were the child that was hurt.
So why does the idea of talking to your own kids about sex, abuse, and porn have you quaking in your boots?
Let me guess…
>> You know you need to talk to them, but you just don't know how much to share with them and at what age.
>> You are very careful your in your own home but you don't know how to keep your kids safe when they go to a friends house.
>> You use anatomically correct words for private parts and good touch bad touch… however you're not sure how you will explain some of the crazy modern issues in a way that is in alignment with your faith.
Busy parents (like you and me) don't have a second to waste on fear mongering.
We want to have the facts, we don't want to be judged and doggonit we want to be able to relax and have fun with our kids (and sometimes without them). If you have ever quickly checked the news on your phone before going to bed, you know that sinking feeling that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there is no way to save our kids from it. (Ugh! It's the worst, isn't it?)
In my experience, I've found that four major myths are to blame for kids still being abused even in our helicopter parent culture.
I'm going to debunk those myths for you and show you how to replace them with truly effective practices that will not only keep your kids safe, but give you 100% more conference in your parenting decisions.
Myth #1: Telling kids how they were “made” is a good way to explain the ‘Birds and the Bee's'.
What most parents think is a perfect way to explain sex and reproduction is often the reason kids WON'T talk to their parents when they have sex-related questions.
I think it's safe to say that no one (and I mean NO ONE) want's to hear about their parents having sex.
A truly effective way to raise kids that are safe from sexual abuse involves 5 Key Stages (training, repetition, freedom, and conversations), all of which must be done in a harmonious way that keeps kids from clamming up or forever being haunted by the thought of their mom and dad getting “Jiggy With It”.
In short, sexual abuse prevention (A.K.A body safety), sex positivity (a healthy perspective on sex) and sex education all need to be taught together in small conversations that build on each other. And one of the biggest “talk stoppers” is sharing TMI (too much information). Your kids will piece together that their parents are sexual beings at some point (to their absolute horror), just do your best to steer clear of that topic… let's just say forever.
P.S.A !!!! We are about to dive into the deep end!
If you have wine, or a stiff cocktail (an old-fashioned does the trick for me) take two chugs, a deep breath…and know that by potentially stepping out of your comfort zone to learn this stuff is not only changing the course of your kids life but your grandkids, great grandkids and even your kids friends lives. You are creating a legacy of abuse prevention!!!! CHEERS TO THAT!!!!!
Myth #2: “We use anatomically correct names for private parts…”
For the boys, you might be.
For the girls, most of the time their private parts get the broad sweeping label of…vagina.
Vulva, labia, and clitoris are words most girls won't hear till they either have a baby or go to college. I know, I know… who cares???
Well, look at it this way, calling the female genitalia vagina is like calling the male genitalia urethra.
Here are the three reasons the (real) proper names should be used.
- What is unnamed is unmentionable and if our goal is to have our kids come to us with questions let's give them the facts from the start.
- If they hear those words they will look to the Oracle (no not Warren Buffet) but Google to get their answer. And we all know they are going to find quite a bit more than a medical diagram there.
- One of the ways an abuser will keep a child silent is by convincing them that they wanted and enjoyed the abuse because their bodies showed signs of pleasure. This can be avoided by including the fact that our bodies autonomic nervous system (that controls goosebumps sneezes and other things) responds to stimulation in ways that are out of our control. This is a deep conversation to have, but naming the correct anatomy from the start will make it much easier down the road.
PLUS… From a feminist perspective, the least we can do is teach our kids the details of female anatomy is important as the male. 😉
Myth #3 – I'm fine; I have heard everything I need to know from friends who have taken body safety courses.
While I love that parents are sharing information, mostly what gets shared is just scratching the surface of what parents need to know. Issues with kids change fast these days. We are now dealing with a generation that can easily access pornography and have friends that have been influenced by it. (Yeah!!! Isn't parenting in the age of free porn a blast!!! You're welcome to have another gulp of your wine now).
Child on Child abuse is on the rise (in a massive way). Check out this article.
Exposure to violent porn is almost guaranteed by the age of 12. Read this.
Abuse survivors often confess the drama after telling their parents was more traumatizing than the actual abuse. (This was revealed in the many interviews I have done personally)
Recognizing a sexual predator has changed! (Yes, they read the same things you do and are amazing at fooling EVERYONE.)
GETTING kids to tell you when abuse has happened is the trickiest of them all. Most never tell.
Hint: It's not enough to just talk about “good touch and bad touch” with your kids and hope they get it. There are very specific things you MUST do to not only make sure they understand but have the ability to stand up for themselves and others and report back when necessary. (Click here to download my freebie and discover what I do to ensure my kids are safe and feel comfortable telling me anything.)
So when it all ads up there is a massive chunk of priceless info you are missing out on which could be detrimental to your kiddos.
Which quickly helps us dispel our next myth…
Myth #4 – It's too early (the kids are too young) or it's too late (the kids are too old).
Sure, you might have missed out on talking about Body Safety while the kids take baths…
…but there's so much that your kids need to hear from you!
You know the saying “assuming makes an ass of me and you”? Well, that truly is the case here. Often divorced parents just assume the other parent has been talking with the kids about abuse prevention and sex in general. It ‘s NEVER too late and no conversation to educate is a waste.
On the other hand, it's never too early, to start learning to become comfortable screen caregivers, using anatomically correct words and talking about sex.
Parents who wait until the child is older often fear they will destroy their kids' innocence. Which I agree, there is a good way to do it a bad way. But it's VERY important that you educate yourself and just do it.
Keep reading…now that you know the 4 myths about keeping your kids safe from abuse, I've created a DETAILED, free cheat sheet to help you with the conversations that will keep your kids safe for a lifetime…
My wish for you is to sidestep the countless traps that make sex and sex abuse conversations awkward for both you and your kids.
I have made EVERY mistake in the book when it comes to talking to kids about sex and sexual abuse. You don't need to do the same! I've compiled a list of my biggest mistakes over the years and how to avoid them before you have the Birds and Bees Talk (or the next). Click here now it get that list.