Example: Reviewing Body Safety Rules Before a Playdate

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Did you know that around 1/3 of childhood sexual abuse occurs from one child to another? (It's a result of the impact of adult predators targeting children, and then those children trying to process that trauma and doing so by playing it out with their friends, cousins, and siblings).

One thing you can do as a parent to try to prevent child to child sexual trauma is to be clear about body safety rules. (I start teaching this around age 2)

Just as we teach our kids over and over and over not to hit or push or bite, they need us also to make it clear that we keep genitalia parts to ourselves.

And since we do not know what kids in other households know, I only let my child play at other houses where parents are comfortable with me reviewing body safety rules with our kids. (And I don't leave them there without me until they are capable of reciting these rules back to me and having a plan if someone disrespects them....ages 5-7 for most kids)

This video is my body safety rules list, but in real life I am far more slow in how I teach it. And I left out that we also have a rule about no secrets. Because that helps our kids go on alert when another child is asking them to keep one, especially one about abuse.

Here are my body safety rules:

1. No hurtful touch (hitting, pushing, biting, pinching, slapping, kicking etc)

2. We keep our private areas private (vulvas, penises, and anuses always stay covered when playing and no touching or looking at pictures or videos of those parts)

3. No kissing on the mouth.

4. We always ask permission for a hug or holding hands and say "no problem" if someone doesn't want to.

5. We always share secrets. All heavy or scary secrets need grown ups to help.


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