It’s hard to imagine our children being in unsafe situations but we know child sexual abuse is a silent epidemic. It occurs at every socioeconomic level, across all ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
One of the first steps in combating child sexual abuse is teaching children to tune into their Guiding Voice and when in doubt to, Think, Feel, & Act in any confusing or unsafe situations.
By introducing your child to the concept of a “Guiding Voice”, as the little voice inside them that helps them decide if a situation is safe or unsafe they’ll be better equipped to take on the world around them.
Encourage your child to pay attention to what his or her Guiding Voice says in any situation.
Discuss the safety process of Think, Feel, Act (TFA) as what they would think in any unsafe or confusing situation, how that situation would make them feel, and what action they would take, how they would act.
TFA encourages your child to take steps to tell someone when a situation makes them feel confused, scared, uncomfortable, or icky.
Asking your child what they think about possible situations helps them envision what they might do if a situation like that ever happened to them. By asking them what they think and feel about something before and after the situation, it lets them know that they can talk with you about anything, and you’re there to help them figure out what to do. By regularly engaging your child in such conversations, your child is more likely to come to you with real-life situations that occur, ask more questions, and gain your input.
In various situations that come up, ask your child what they are thinking and feeling-whether at the grocery store, home, or during extracurricular activities. Ask them, based upon their feelings, how they and you- depending on the situation-should act.
Whenever your child asks, “Mom, what about….” ask them what they think and feel about it first, before you give them your answer. Also, ask if their guiding Voice has told them anything lately and ask if they listened to it.
For more information on ways to keep your child safe, visit: https://safersmarterfamilies.org/