All parents are concerned about their children's safety but find it difficult to open up to the subject of abuse and discuss it with their children. Here are some tips.
When children hear reports of child abuse and death through the media, it can be very disturbing. This may lead them to form their own conclusions which may be incorrect. Thus, it is important that you speak about child abuse to your child.
Keep the following aspects in mind:
Give the right amount of information. This depends on your child's age and maturity level.
Don't try to scare your child. The idea is to keep her informed enough so she follows safety precautions, and not to frighten her so she becomes paranoid.
Reports of child abuse appear regularly in the media. Let your child know that there are a few adults who do indeed harm children, but as long as they follow certain safety precautions they should be fine.
Give your child safety tips
Let her know she should not speak with strangers, and should in no case go unaccompanied with any adult, even if she knows the adult, unless she has her mother's permission.
At times there is no obvious reason as to why some adults are cruel to children and try to harm them. Explain to your child that children are never to be blamed for any abuse; it is always the abusers who are at fault. Very often children blame themselves for any untoward incident and so may keep it a secret from you. It is important that you explain to your child that there is no reason for her to be afraid, embarrassed or ashamed to speak about any incident.
Ensuring the safety of your child
As our children grow older we know that we cannot accompany them all the time. They have to learn to be more and more on their own. Therefore it is important to prepare them to face the world. There are a number of ways by which we can ensure our child's safety. The sooner you begin the better.
Build your child's level of confidence. Speak to them as much as possible and raise their self-esteem. This will help them voice their opinions about right and wrong and speak up against injustice to others or to themselves.
Teach them to be independent and assertive. Let them try doing little things by themselves and show them how to assert themselves without harming others. Being less dependent will land them in less trouble.
Give them sex education which is age appropriate and teach them the names of body parts from an early age so they do not pick up any foul usage.
Win their confidence by telling them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. This will make them open up to you. Listen to their concerns and give them due importance. At times your child may just tell you that she dislikes someone. Don't brush it aside. There may be a reason for her dislike. Pay attention to such signs.
Most important spend as much time with them as you can and find opportunities to give them lots of praise.