It is important to rehearse predator situations with your kiddos. Here is one my sister rehearsed with my nephews when they were young: “If someone brings a puppy to the park and lets you pet it and then they tell you that they have more puppies in their car and to follow them to their car, would you go?” My nephew answered, “Well, maybe just for a little bit but then I would come right back.” WRONG! I tried a similar scenario with my son: “If someone at a park or at Water World offered you a piece of candy and then told you that they had more candy in their car for you, would you go with them?” My son answered, “Maybe I would go, but just for a few pieces like one or two.” My son totally missed the boat! He thought the trick was the amount of candy, never getting that the person might swipe him from the park!! Before you head out to the park or public pool or even on an airplane, be sure to cover bathroom situations too, especially now that anyone can use any bathroom. (We will talk more about that in later posts.) Protectyoungminds.org is a fabulous website that goes through several scenarios that you can discuss with your kids. You need to go over these scenarios with your middle school kids for certain. The author of the article, Kimberly King discusses 3 big red flags and gives examples of each. You need to visit the site for yourself but here is a quick recap….#1 Bribes: “If you show me your private parts, I will give you money.” #2 Threats: “If you tell, nobody will believe you.” #3 Normalizing Abuse: “It’s just a game that feels good.” Or “All the cool kids do this. It’s no big deal.” A friend of mine was coming out our local King Soopers grocery store when a stranger approached her kids and tried to convince them to go with him to see a goose sitting on the road. She nearly opened a can of you know what on him. Make sure you have a plan in place which is especially important when you have a several little duckies in tow and you don’t have a hand for each kid. Strangers tend to approach a mom with several kids where one might have fallen behind. Have conversations with your kids about predators. Use every opportunity.
TIP: Practice scenarios with your kids. Warn your kids of creepy men who might try to show them a goose on the road! Visit protectyoungminds.org ! (They are same authors of the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures, a book on teaching your kids about pornography which we will cover the end of the month on the blog.)
By Amy, Posted in Sex Education