Even great parents have to ask hard questions about child abuse. It’s important to keep our kids safe with both those we know and those we don’t. And it’s an open-ended conversation that we should all be having even though it seems to be a taboo subject.
This is all about tools to think about abuse, know the signs so you’re equipped to handle it if needed, and resources for your kids. All to help guard your family but not to scare you as a parent.
Extremely Good Parenting Podcast EP. 011
Paula from Beauty Through Imperfection discusses why good, even great, parents have to talk about child abuse and what questions we should all be asking. She’s a child abuse survivor and passionate about spreading awareness and empowering parents so they’re informed.
A closer look at Child Abuse in order to protect your kids
Who is the most likely offender?
Typical abuse behavior is that they build trust with the child first. This is why statistically it’s someone within the family and why we’ve seen this happening in churches and with babysitters. We have to realize it can come from anywhere, but it’s worth discussing for our kids and their safety.
Train your kids & yourself to trust intuition.
If we start asking our kids how they feel about situations immediately as they happen, we can teach them to recognize their feelings in situations and also how to vocalize them.
Advocate for your kids.
In all situations we can be our child’s biggest cheerleader and strongest advocate. Building trust with them is the most crucial way we can advocate for them from an early age, but speaking up for them in tough situations or giving them a voice when they don’t have one is huge.
Your kids don’t have to hug even someone in your family. Let your child choose a way to connect and acknowledge others.
Teaching Anatomically Correct Terms.
In the episode we talk about this and for the first time I realized that it’s not just about kids being able to tell you about something if it happens, but also that abusers typically use other terms and it’s identifiable as something you didn’t teach them.
A great way to talk about anatomically correct terms is by first opening the door of discussion about their bodies. Whether is through bodily functions or books designed to empower and educate kids about their bodies.
Respecting boundaries and wishes even when it’s playful.
The good people in your kids’ lives respect their wishes. So when you’re tickling your child, the moment they say stop and you do you are creating trust.
What are good touches?
Be more aware of what types of touches versus saying things like “doctors are safe”. It creates a gray area when kids role play with each other or if an adult “pretends” to be a doctor. The idea is that you can focus on touches that keep us clean and healthy.
Other child abuse questions and topics addressed in the podcast episode
- Why informing yourself is not just about your kids, but their/your friends too.
- Is “Stranger Danger” something we should teach?
- What happens if you suspect a significant other is abusing your child?
- Ways to look for red flags and what to be aware of in others.
- How do I stay vigilant without anxiety and worry?
- What can I do to spot signs of abuse in really young or non-verbal kids?
- Abuse Prevention Series #EndBeforeItStarts
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!