Any tips on how to broach thorny subject of paedophiles?(16 Posts)
Just wondering if anyone has any links to good resources/tips on how to talk to youngish children (7 and 10) about the risks of paedophiles. Don't want to get into graphic gory discussions, but equally think it is frankly negligent of me not to warn them/mention it at all. DS is off on a 5 day camp next month and that has made me really focus. Have done all the 'don't accept sweets from strangers' and 'some adults can steal children and be really unkind to them' stuff, but haven't got into body parts and all that. They are lovely and innocent now - both of them still wander about naked as they day they were born and with zero shame or embarrassment. Heard that the NSPCC had something good, but couldn't' find the relevant bit on their website when I had a look.
Should clarify - I mean they wander about starkers at home with us when it's hot/after baths etc. not that they wander the streets like naturists!!!
You talk about how certain areas of your body (covered by a swimming costume) is private and nobody is allowed to touch you there without your permission. If anybody tries to touch the private parts of your body or wants you to touch their's you say NO and I WILL TELL MY MOM. I hope you've covered the basics of sex with them already, because if you haven't the 10 year old would have heard misinformation from his friends and maybe the 6 year old as well.
Oh yes -they know how babies are made and all that. They asked years ago and seemed perfectly able to cope with the facts (no euphemisms) so fine on that score. Just hadn't got into inappropriate touching. Thanks for the help on wording - will get on it.
I came on to say what lasting said. Only she said it better than I would have anyway.
Also in general talk about 'secrets'. No adult should be asking them to keep things secret from you except for 'surprises' like what they have bought you for your b-day.
Bear in mind that children are often molested by people that they know and who may have authority over them. It's important to specifically tell them that not even someone like a teacher or a grandparent may touch them inappropriately.
yes- it's confusing for children to be warned about strangers and then someone they know tries to hurt them
it's important they know they can always tell you everything- and you won't be cross
(you have to mean that though!)
Sorry, meant to say "may not touch them inappropriately".
Very good point about teachers/relatives. I think that is a particularly risky area as everything is structured around authority and them doing what they are told (by teachers, for instance). So unless spelt out to them may not occur to them that it would also apply in that case. And warning about 'secrets' is an excellent point too. Would have forgotten that - and yet clearly key.
I can't link on my phone, but if you Google "nspcc underwear rule" you should find the page you mentioned in your OP.
My DD is only 6 months so I don't know, but is it worth mentioning that sometimes doctors will need to examine them, but they should always explain why and ask permission?
We have talked to our DDs about people we are friends with v others.
e.g. DD1 could accept a lift if the Mum of DD2's best friend saw her waiting at a bus stop, because we regularly visit each others houses etc. But not the parent of random child in DD2's class who we don't socialise at our home with.
The painter who decorates the inside of our house is not a friend, even though he is friendly and we let him in the house.
Just because you know someone's name, or Mum passes the time of day with them at the school gate, doesn't mean they are not a 'stranger'.
DD2 is encouraged to chat to people and be polite if I am with her. But if she were alone I would want her to be more circumspect (need to check that one as she has just started going out more on her own).
We have recently introduced a safe word for each of our children (aged 11 and 7) to get round the difficulty of strangers v friends v acquaintances. If anyone other than immediate family tries to pick them up from somewhere or take them somewhere, the children are not to go unless the adult tells them our safe word that can only be given by us as parents.
If used, we can reset the safe word. We are hoping that this gets round the issue of the friendly neighbour up the road trying to take them somewhere, or the teacher (who it is OK to go with in school, but not out of school time) offering them a lift etc.
We never insist that our children kiss ANY relatives goodbye, or us if they don't want to, to try to avoid feeling uncomfortable but "doing as you're told" etc. We talk about not keeping secrets, always talking to us, not going with anyone (even family) if you're not comfortable.
If we are on big days out they have our mobile phone number (wrist band / paper) and are told not to go anywhere with anyone. A kind adult would understand that, and help without making them move.
When they asked what someone would do to you, I asked our children what they thought, both said the worst thing they could think of and I agreed that "it's the worst thing they could think of", hoping not to scare them and to protect their innocence.
Then I think it's case of take a deep breath and let them grow up not feeling scared of everyone !!
NSPCC Underwear Rule
Lots of really good resources here
The other thing I would add is for them to learn to trust their instincts. If something doesn't feel right then they can say no, even if they misinterpret the situation. I would rather them say no and be wrong than allow something to happen.
I have had a lot of talks with my sons as it got to the stage where when we are out I cannot take them into the toilets with me.
Also we discussed things like a grown up wouldn't ask a child to help them look for a lost dog etc, or a grown up would always make sure that your Mum or Dad is ok with something. That parents make decisions on behalf of children because we know more and love them so much we want to keep them safe. That it isn't about spoiling their fun (wanting to go off to a park by themselves) but that we are worried and can see more dangers.
My best mate's Mum fostered children and specialised in looking after sexually abused children. The main message that the foster Mum got across to the children was their body is theirs and they are in charge of it. Plus only keeping good secrets like surprises and secrets shouldn't ever make you feel bad or worried or ashamed.
Google 'tricky people' I think it's called
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