Teaching our kids about their sexuality can be very intimidating, Right?! Kids are so keen to learn that they want all the information at once. Obviously it will depend on their age and maturity but it is scary that now we have to address even more into the specific. Specifics that maybe they are not mature enough but with how fast society is moving they need to be knowledgable.
During the past months I’ve seeing posts, news etc. etc. about how adults and even other minors have sexually assaulted kids, exposed their private parts to children or kidnap fails!!!! I’m furious. I have little ones and it is not that I don’t want to teach them about their sexuality or to be careful with strangers. It is just that I don’t want to do it for these reasons!!!!
These situations are happening more and more and becoming the normal when it should not be.
And to top it off you read the complete stories and in most cases they have to protect the name of the perpetrator or the place where it happened. WHAT!! I can understand if they are under an investigation and want to protect the minors, but not the perpetrator.The only people they should protect is the kids that are exposed to this type of crime or could be in the near future. I understand sometimes it is easier to look the other way because it wasn’t me or I don’t want the attention. Face it! Sometimes we think that by looking the other way it will never happen to you. The only thing looking away will bring is, unfortunately, more assault crimes.
As a mother of three I am quite aware that I am responsible of teaching my kids about their body, sexuality, how to respect themselves, respect others and don’t let anyone else disrespect them. You would think that you would start 2 to 4 years old and evolve the conversation as your kids mature. But noooo!! Now you have to also add to the mix that they need to learn for the simple reason that there is the rising possibility that adults and others kids will try to hurt them. They need to know how to identify a bad guy or see everyone as a bad guy, all at the same time as they are learning their ABC.
In my house we are very open about sexuality with our kids. We explain to them and we use correct words; we do all this for their knowledge. It is part of their development and there should be no shame. But to think now that my conversation has to turn into a defensive mechanism it is sad. I would have preferred to let them be kids, play, learn but mostly don’t be scared to meet new people just because the… possibility.
Here are some resources that I’ve stumble upon and have read or plan to read so I can give my kids all the tools they need to be aware.
A. private parts
Learning about their body, private parts, sexuality, change is important. Starting early and with accurate anatomy terms will definitely give your young one and even older a great tool.
B. Personal Boundaries
Teaching kids about boundaries can be challenging, because face it.. kids don’t really know what that is! There has being countless times where I’ve had to remind my kids of personal space, keep their hands to themselves etc. etc. The following books teach them about the importance of the word NO in reference to their private parts and that their body belongs to them and no one else.
C. Keeping secrets
Something about keeping secrets is always fascinating and fun for kids but it is very important for them to understand that there are secrets that should not be kept. They need to know that if a secret makes them feel bad that it is ok to tell an adult.
D. Lauren’s kids
“The Lauren’s Kids is based in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curriculum, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and the world”. This resource arrived to my home when it was time to renew my license plate. I had never heard of it but did a research through their webpage and learned about their mission to educate, awareness and advocacy to protect children from abuse and provide support for survivors.
I understand this topic is very sensitive but unfortunately I feel responsible for my kids to have all the tools because they will be in a very different world that when I was a child. Let me know what other books or resources have you found that have helped you teach your kids the importance about self respect.