One of a parent’s roles is to teach their child safety rules. For example: “Don’t touch a hot stove!” or “Look both ways before crossing the street.” Another area of concern is body safety. For that, I’m grateful to Jill Goetz of SavvyParentsSafeKids for writing our guest post:
As school starts again for our big kids, let’s spend a few moments thinking about ways we can educate our younger children this year too! Starting with body safety … even a 2 or 3 year old is ready for these imperative life lessons!
- Make sure we are using correct anatomical names for ALL of our body parts. This is helpful if your child ever has an injury, or if they need to share with you that someone has touched them.
- Tell children that their body is special and JUST for them. Our parents may help us in the bathroom/bathtub/dressing and doctors may check our body to keep us healthy. (If a child is potty training in preschool or has a special caretaker, you can include them as people that may help.) But no one else ever needs to look at our body or touch our body. And we don’t look at their body or touch their body either.
- There are NO games that involve looking at or touching body parts.
- Children don’t have to hug or kiss anyone at any time. If they want to, that is great. But children should never be forced into physical contact with other children or adults. Especially if they are shy or express resistance to touching others.
- Let children know that your family shares “surprises” and has “private information,” but that your family members DO NOT keep secrets from each other. Remove the word SECRET from your family vocabulary.
There are so many great books out there on child safety, body safety and trusting your own instincts. Check out your local library, Amazon or our online bookstore and then add safety books into your regular library of reading material at home. Sharing safety books with your children is the easiest way to start those safety conversations. It also conveys safety information without scaring children. And after all … safety shouldn’t be scary!
About the Author: Jill Goetz is the Early Education Specialist at SavvyParentsSafeKids. She is certified MERIT trainer and holds a Masters Degree in Education. Prior to joining Savvy Parents Safe Kids, she had extensive experience working as a preschool teacher, center director and school administrator. As a parent, she knows the importance of keeping children safe and is excited about her role in sharing the prevention piece and educating families to raise kids who will be safer within our community.