Though innocence is a virtue, children can be exploited on this note. We hear several occasions or news that relate to sexual abuse among children. The most shocking thing is that it is reported after the damage is done. This is basically because children are gullible and resist to complain out of fear or purely because of innocence. Being overly cautious is also not desirable but it is better to make the child aware of stranger safety tips and what is right and the wrong.
I feel that it is best to accompany children to their activity classes and in case the class insist on close doors it is better to check with other parents and older kids with a casual tone about the lessons. An occasional interaction with the coach also gives us inkling about things. Where parents have full time careers, it is best to do a mild check on the helpers to just to have a bit of control. Most acts are done with lot of planning and the care giver should be alert at all times.
Abuse can be done by threatening the child or deceiving the child by luring them with a toy or snack. This is really tricky and it is better to tell kids about what is personal and not. Do not create fear in the child but at the same time tell them to ignore strangers or to maintain a distance in terms of physical contact of any form with a person they are not familiar with.
A simple stroke or pat is not understood by kids. Let them do their own things early in life like changing their underpants or using a towel to dry themselves. Tell them to do it in close doors and this instills in them a sense of awareness along with self discipline. Though we do not like it, older kids have to be supervised. It is better to know their friends and their habits.
The best culture is to sit around and talk especially while having dinners. This is one time to unwind or if you have the privilege go for daily night walks engage them in conversations. This brings about a certain closeness with parents and kids will tell you about what happened with them the entire day. It is true that under the influence of movies, wrong books and friend’s kids get infatuated and would be tempted. The best remedy is to make them feel loved and trust them. Explaining to them about such situations and this will ensure that they come to parents in terms of any emotional trouble.
Your suggestions and feedback on this topic is welcome.