Parents: need some help teaching body safety to your young kids? Well, one body safety and sexual abuse prevention book has quickly shot to the top of my preferred list.
“Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept” is a children’s book that addresses, head-on, the issue of child sexual abuse. This story of a little boy named Alfred is set in a castle with fabulous illustrations that take readers back in time. Alfred’s mother worked long hours cleaning the castle of Lord Henry. She’s a single mom doing her best to raise her son and make ends meet.
Author JAYNEEN SANDERS brilliantly depicts, in a child-friendly manner, how Lord Henry befriends and grooms Alfred whom he later molests. This book follows Body Safety Training 101 and outlines how easy it is for children to fall prey to predators. It also serves as a fabulous teaching tool for parents searching for a way to engage in this conversation with their children. Jayneen also offers discussion points for parents, care givers and educators about questions to ask children.
Why Some Parents Don’t Talk About It
Jayneen was inspired to write “Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept” out of a deep desire to help protect children… and to help caring adults structure a safety conversation around this issue. Understanding it’s an uncomfortable topic and one no parent ever wishes to face, she shares 6 reasons many parents avoid having this crucial conversation with their kids.
1) My child will lose her innocence. Just the opposite is true. Children are empowered when they understand their bodies belong to them and no one has the right to touch them for no good reason or just to play a game. Education is critical to empowerment. With an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys being sexually abused by the time they turn 18 years old, we adults are simply irresponsible if we fail to educate our children about this issue. Jayneen’s book helps make those conversations much easier.
2) Sex and the act of sexual abuse will be discussed. Not at all. By focusing on keeping a child’s body safe and emphasizing that “private parts” are just for them and no one else, the act of sex never has to be mentioned. I am a volunteer instructor for “Smart Steps”, a body safety program offered by Chaucie’s Place Child Advocacy Center. We talk with children in pre-school through 5th grade about this very topic. Nothing of a “graphic” nature is ever discussed. It is, though, important that children know the proper names of all their body parts and which ones are private. Classes like this and Jayneen’s book emphasize this in an age-appropriate, child-friendly way.
3) My child is way too young to be educated in body safety. Not so. It’s never too early to start teaching children about body part names and which ones are private. Bath time offers a perfect opportunity for this lesson. In this conversation, the words “sexual abuse” are never mentioned, but you create a foundation for safety and begin empowering your child. Children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 13. At least 20% of child sexual abuse cases involve children under the age of 8. It’s never too early to begin empowering your little ones.
4) “Stranger Danger” education is all my child needs. Did you know that over 90% of children who are sexually abused know, love or trust their molesters? Truly, 9 times out of 10, a child’s perpetrator is someone in that child’s ‘circle’ — a family member, a family friend or acquaintance, a coach, a pastor or someone who has earned the trust of the child or the parents. Odds are stacked, so doesn’t it make sense to arm your child with information to empower and protect him?
5) Why raise this issue when my child will never be sexually abused? Wow. I hope no parent ever utters those words. While some children are more at risk than others, all children face some degree of risk. Again, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18 years old. ‘Nuff said.
6) My child doesn’t need body safety education – he tells me everything. Sexual predators are master manipulators and do all sorts of things to make sure children remain silent about abuse. In fact, 73% of children don’t disclose they are being abused for at least a year; 45% don’t tell anyone for at least 5 years, while others never disclose. Don’t ever make the mistake that your child tells you 100% of the things happening in his life. Children don’t disclose abuse for a variety of reasons and more often than not choose to keep this “secret” to themselves.
Jayneen’s book offers a terrific opportunity for parents, educators and other caring adults to help their children learn to protect themselves. Three little words hold the key… Empowerment. Empowerment. Empowerment.
Jayneen is a native Australian with a passion for educating children. An elementary school teacher for several years, Jay taught in Australia and also in Japan. Her career path led her to educational editing and publishing. She adds “author” to her esteemed list of titles after publishing her remarkable body safety book for children, “Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept” and is currently working on a new literary series for which she has written over 50 titles. Most important to Jayneen, she is a mother of three teenage girls and has served as a school counselor for over seven years. Connect with Jayneen and follow her blog at somesecrets.info.
Raising awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse has become Ginger’s life mission. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger regularly blogs about child protection issues and has released a report for parents and other caring adults, “10 Scary Apps.” Ginger can be contacted via her website, “Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids” at gingerkadlec.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/gingergkadlec.
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