More on Predation..

shower picture

Discuss sexual predators often.  Every month or so, casually ask, “Remember when we talked about how no one is supposed to touch you on parts that are covered up by your swimsuit? Has anyone touched you there?” Play it cool.  They will likely say, “Nope, Mom” and move right along. A natural time for this is at bath/shower time.  My kids are 11 and 8.  I still pop into the bathroom randomly and just ask the question.  I try to make it funny and comfortable with my 11 year old daughter.  “Hey girl, since you are nude right now, I just want to remind you that private parts are private and off limits to everyone.  Has anyone approached you?”  She is behind the shower curtain and always pops her head out with a “Seriously, Mom, you are going to ask me right now?!” Unashamed, I relentlessly say, “Of course!”  I have also been known to randomly bring up menstruation in the tampon isle at Costco.  Weave all of these conversations into your daily life.  Revisit all boundaries before sleepovers or even before staying with family.   We didn’t do very many sleepovers but when we had friends keep our kids so my husband and I could do special occasion overnights, we continually told our kids that only the mom in the house can help you in the bathroom.  Most of your friends are safe, but kids think that anyone who knows them by name must be safe.  Predators know your kids by name too. Our pediatrician frequently reminds our kids even before he “doctors” them, that no one touches them, even the doctor, without Mom or Dad in the room.  Sexual predators prey on the ignorant so continue to teach your kiddos the correct scientific names of their special private parts.  Most importantly, remind them over and over, to tell you if somebody does touch them and that they won’t be in trouble for telling.  You will be proud of them for telling you.  My husband says, “And Daddy will help that person understand that touching you was wrong.”

TIP-Discuss sexual predators every month or so. Remind your kids to tell you if they are touched inappropriately.

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