Friday, November 18, 2011

My plea to parents

A year and a half ago, I was on the phone with a local trauma momma. I was standing in the back yard when she asked me if I knew the background of the girls. Had there been any abuse? I told her I didn't know but I shared with her some details of what I did know. Then she said something I will never forget, "what has been done to them they will try to do to some one else. Usually the weakest member of your family." Chills ran down my spine. She told me she wasn't trying to scare me but wanted me to be informed. It freaked me out!!!

Within the month it proved to be true. We had a very small incident with the weakest member of our family...Jim:) I thank God for that little incident because it unlocked some memories and allowed for healing and also protection for all of our children.

I'm telling you this because that incident forced us to have a very frank, very serious conversation with all of our children. In light of recent news headlines, I urge all of you to have a similar conversation with your kids! Bathing your kids and telling them no one is supposed to touch their privates is NOT ENOUGH!!! That will not prepare them for the worst! You must teach them what is not OK and what to do if it happens to them.

This is what I did. I called each of them (even the 3 year olds) in a room by themselves and told them I wanted to talk to them about something very serious. I told them this was not something that they were to talk about with their siblings or in the middle of Sunday School class. That if they ever had a question they can ask me or Daddy anything anytime. Then I gave them some scenarios, "If someone wants to give you a hug is that OK?" "What if they want to kiss you?" "What if they want to show you their private parts (I used the actual name for this)" I was pretty explicit in our talk because I felt it was necessary. I also told them what to do if anyone did this to them. "Say 'NO' and run away!" We talked about these things being wrong for an adult or a child to do. "Hurt people, hurt people it's not OK for them to hurt you!"

The interesting thing was that my bio kids knew what was appropriate and not appropriate before I told them. While my curly girls didn't. I was appalled at what they felt was OK for people to do to them! I also made sure to tell them that no matter what, they would never ever be in trouble for telling us about any of this. They could always come to us to talk.

Please please please talk to your kids about this. This is not to scare you. This is to educate you. Knowledge is power and in this case safety. Empower your kids. Talk about this tough stuff. Let them know that you are comfortable enough that they can ask you their questions. Parents of hurt kids are doing their part to try to keep your kids safe, you do your part too!

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