Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Talking to your kids about sexual predators

Hello there,

I know it's been a loooong while since I've posted, but I felt this was an important enough topic to come back online.

With the whole Sandusky trial, as well as my own experience with sexual abuse, I wanted to see how parents out there were discussing the dangers of sexual predators with their children.  I'm not one of those mothers who sees peodophiles lurking around every corner, but I do want my children to have the information they'll need should they ever encounter one.  After searching online for a bit and finding nothing terribly helpful, I ad-libbed the following while in the car with my children.  The Sandusky verdict had just come on the radio and I wanted to explain it to them in an important, but not scary way.  Here's the gist of what I came up with.  What would you have done differently.

1) There was a man that lots of people really liked, and they all thought he was a great guy.  They thought he was a good coach and a good friend.
2) It turn out that when he was alone with children, he was touching them on their private parts. (I use the anatomically correct words, but don't want to trip up any blog post censors)
3) Your private parts are yours and yours alone. 
4) That is never okay for older people to do this to younger people. 
5) It is ALWAYS the older person's fault.  Never the child's.
6) These people will lie to children, and tell them that bad things will happen if they tell anyone.
7) When this happend to me, it was my brother's friend, and first, he told me that if I told anyone I'd be in big trouble.  The next time I refused, he told me that he would tell my parents, and they wouldn't love me anymore if they found out.  That's when I knew he was lying, so I just stayed away from him and he stopped coming over.
8) If anyone tries to do anything like this to you, or anything you're not sure about, you come talk to me.  I'll never be mad.
9)  If you have any questions about anything, your private parts, your feelings, your fears, whatever, you can always always talk to me.
10)  I will love you no matter what.  That never goes away.

Would love to hear from other parents on what this script should have been, or if I left anything important out.

Thanks for the ear everyone.  We're all in this together.

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