The holiday season fast approaches. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza all bring the opportunity for family get togethers, travel, parties, hanging out with friends both old and new. All such exciting and happy prospects, but also potentials for dangerous situations for our children. How about some tips for keeping our littles safe from child predators this holiday season:
Set boundaries. When a child doesn’t want to be tickled or hugged or otherwise touched, parents need to step in and make sure the boundaries are understood and respected. This means not forcing our children to hug or kiss people they are not comfortable with – including Grandpa and Grandma in town for a visit.
Minimize Opportunity. One on one situations should be limited or better yet, AVOIDED.
Talk openly with your children about appropriate and inappropriate touching. Let your kids know that they have your permission to say “NO!” and to talk about anything and everything with you.
Recognize your child’s signs for being in distress or feeling uncomfortable. Step in when needed! Be okay with your own level of discomfort or inconvenience when setting healthy boundaries for your children.
Trust your instincts and teach your children to trust theirs. If it feels wrong or odd or off, it’s most likely because it is.
If we all take these simple steps, we could stop the ripple effect that abuse inflicts for countless children. And if we could stop the source of ripples from trauma for even one child, imagine the impact on the world around us.
Editor, Ask Lala
Laura Fogarty writes “Ask Lala” for the Stop Abuse Campaign. She is a mother, an advocate and the author of two children’s abuse prevention books: I’M THE BOSS OF ME! and WE ARE JUST ALIKE!