How do I teach my child how to keep safe from abuse?
Last Updated: 07/02/2018 at 11:02am
Amy Justice, BS, MA, LCMHC
Licensed Professional Counselor
My passion is to help people overcome feeling "stuck" in unhealthy patterns by facilitating real, healthy changes through self-discovery and practical applications.
Top Rated Answers
First of all, the child will have to know,what abuse is. He should be able to avoid situations where he'll be more prone to abuse. You will have to develop a kind of freedom between you and your child so that the child feels like sharing any kind of situations with you. The child will have to realize the hidden dangers in this beautiful world. Even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away the one's intelligence. He should be taught what is good and bad.
The best way is to teach them what is healthy and what is harmful. Instilling that information in them will help them be able to determine if they are experiencing abuse, in a toxic relationship, being bullied, etc.
Show a good example, as a parent/sister/brother show a good example don't bring a kid into the abuse area.
First off, I want to commend you on your love for your child- the fact that you are worried about this shows just how much you care for him/her. It should be said, also, that there are many different kinds of abuse. It's important for them to trust themselves and their instincts. If something doesn't feel safe, makes them feel hurt, or makes them uncomfortable, let them know it's okay for them to walk away or ask for help. Establishing "safe touch" is another major component. Show them that only trusted adults should be allowed to wash or dress them, and that privates are not to be touched by or shown to others. In addition, no adult should show them inappropriate things either. Every child, naturally, is curious, and may engage in play with friends, siblings or cousins of the same age. In most cases, try not to respond with anger or fear- they will rarely understand. If it's other abuse you're concerned with, for instance physical or emotional, be sure to also teach your child that if someone they trust hurts them, it's not okay, and they should ask for help in that situation as well. Depending on the age it might be hard for them to comprehend, and may have to come later in life when they begin to engage in relationships with others or experience bullying. It also largely depends on the gender of the child. Statistically females are at more of a risk than males, so it's important to teach young girls to be cautious when socializing where alcohol is involved and to respect herself and her body. Males however, are just as susceptible, and self-respect is important with them as well. If your child learns to love him or herself, and trusts you, that's the best thing you can ask for. Unfortunately it's impossible to aways keep safe, but there's many things you can do to minimize risk. Just make sure that they are aware of the dangers, and adjust your methods as they grow to be older and more independent. Hope this helps. x
In terms of sexual abuse, It's a good idea to be open and honest with children from a young age about all things sexual and concerning their bodies, you want to foster an open relationship where they feel there is no taboo and nothing "bad" about talking about sex and their bodies so they feel they can come to you with such issues. For very young children, It is best to start by simply telling them the names of their body parts, and that it's only ok for them to touch them, and only mummy or daddy if they need to (bathing, health reasons) but if they aren't comfortable with anyone touching them, including you mummy/daddy, they should always tell you or someone else they trust. To not put emphasis on strangers, as most abuse occurs by family members or trusted people in their life, and to not tell them that you'll be angry or that you'll hurt anyone for touching them. Be very very mindful of saying things such as "I'd kill anyone who hurt my kids!" in conversation, often children won't tell their parents because they're scared their parent will get in trouble, be upset or angry if they knew.
I think it's important children know boundaries. Speak to them openly about body parts and that if someone touches them in private parts that they need to tell you very quickly.
Talk openly and honestly with your child about their body, it's important that they understand that their privates are just that, make them aware that their body is theirs and no one should touch their private parts apart from themselves. By being open and honest with your child from a young age keeps the lines of communication open, it gives them the stepping stones to open up and tell you if any abuse is happening and also develop a healthy attitude towards sex when they are older. I have always recommended the P.A,N.T.S system. You can find more information about it on the link below. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/underwear-rule/
I think having an open line of communication is the best way to make sure your child remains safe. Truth is, everyone has the possibility of enduring abuse. Having open communication will allow you to explain that abuse exists as well as allow you to be a part of the healing process if necessary.
Teaching your child to be honest and open with you so they know they can immediately tell you when something feels wrong would be a great start point. Teaching them about personal space - private 'swimsuit' areas that no one can touch, the stranger danger message too but mainly teach them to trust their instincts and talk to people they trust without fear or shame.
Its good if you can be open with your child and tell them what is wrong and right. What kinda things are considered as abuse is also important to share with them in their language of cause.
Regularly talk with them about what how to react to a situation they are not comfortable with. Explain them what is and what isn't abuse (appropriately to their age), but also ask them what do they think about it. Ask them what situations make them uncomfortable or scared. Make sure they feel comfortable with sharing their good and bad expearienceses with you. Inform them about how and where to seek for help when you are not around.
I think you could try establishing a more personal connection with your child and be his/her best friend. Maybe then you could have a more open communication with him/her. The child would then discuss everything with you and you could guide him better about the people in his/her life, where he/she goes, how does he/she interact... hopefully, the more your child is under your guidance, the safer he/she is
By being honest and direct about the dangers out there and hope that when the time comes they will exercise good judgement.
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