The Ultimate Checklist On How To Teach Your Child To Be Safe In Any Environment
You won't see this issue thoroughly reported in the news as the media (tv news, newspaper, web resources...) is controlled by those (founders/CEOs of giant corporations, heads of movie studios/entertainment and music industries, prominent religious and political figures...) at the core of masterminding and executing this global crisis. Children, primarily between the ages of 2 and 6 years old (can be younger or older), are being trafficked (the use of, oftentimes, 'sophisticated' approaches (the promises of gifts, favors, money, fame) to force, or coerce) for sex acts.
One of the most effective ways to assist the healing of this crisis, and protect children is to remind or teach them self-trust, and self-empowerment.
* Teach them to trust their intuition – their inner guidance that supports them to navigate life safely. If a situation or person (NO MATTER WHO THAT PERSON MAY BE – friends, family members, strangers, neighbors) feels a bit 'off' or they feel incredibly uncomfortable around them, and that they may be in danger, encourage them to trust that feeling, trust themselves, and remove themselves from the environment - IMMEDIATELY - and tell someone – anyone who will support them to feel and be safe.
* Create an open, honest, and emotionally-safe relationship with your children so they know they can comfortably speak with you about their emotions, and life experiences. When there's a foundation of safety within their home, children feel more free to stand up for themselves, in general, and if presented with potential danger.
* Do Not tell your child to be a ‘good girl’ or a ‘good boy’, especially when you leave them in the company or supervision of others. It can be perceived that ‘good girls’ and ‘good boys’ do as they are told, and aim to please others, so they may comply with harmful situations or people out of fear of being a ‘bad girl’ or ‘bad boy’.
* Support and nurture your children's beliefs to reflect feeling positive about themselves. When they feel good about themselves, it's easier for them to move confidently in the world, and remove themselves from or deflect toxic situations.
* Teach them about appropriate touching versus inappropriate touching. Share with them that appropriate touching feels calm, comforting, and safe, while inappropriate touching feels uncomfortable, scary, confusing, and can happen on any area of the body, including genitalia (and please refer to their body with the appropriate names – vagina, breasts, penis, etc - no nicknames). Helping them to understand the difference in touching also supports children in taking an authoritative stand about their bodies – how they view it, and allow it to be treated. Express that if any touch feels bad (as described above), to IMMEDIATELY tell a parent or any adult(s). Let them know that their safety, protection, and being heard are the utmost priorities, and that they'll never get in trouble for telling.
Start to teach these from in-utero (while you’re pregnant, start to speak with your baby about how to engage with, and navigate the physical world). You can start at any age.
Teach these from a place of love, and not fear. If you do it from the latter, you may convey that life is a fearful journey, and it’s not. We are the embodiment of, and surrounded by love, at all times. Still, danger can present itself, and these are strong ways to approach it.
There's a difference between teaching children to be fearful versus teaching them to be aware of, and express their strength, power, and voice.
Parents, all of these steps can be more effective if you mirror back your own ease with trust and safety. If these areas are challenging for you, perhaps due to past trauma, I highly recommend that you address them.
The more you are at peace with knowing how to be safe and trusting in yourself, the easier it'll be for you to teach these to your children. p.s. It’s ok to ask for assistance on how to teach your children to be safe.
Over to you: What some of ways you teach your children to be safe in the world? I'd love to know, and other families would love to know too. ~N