Are you sending your child a mixed message in regards to keeping them safe? We tell our kids not to keep secrets from adults in an effort to keep them safe from predators.
You know the speech…
” If so and so asks you to keep a secret remember you need to tell mom or dad…”
“We don’t keep secrets involving our bodies…”
“Secrets don’t make friends…”
“Secrets can be harmful…”
But yet fast forward to a time when you are shopping for someone with the kiddos! You turn and say to them…
“Now, remember we need to keep this a secret from Dad…”
“Be sure not to tell Grandma what we got her…it’s a secret…”
“This will be the best secret ever…they will be so surprised…”
I have a simple solution that works in our house that I want to share with you. Replace the work SECRET with SURPRISE. In our house, we don’t keep secrets but we do keep surprises. It is as simple as retraining your brain to use the word surprise. In a child’s mind, a surprise is a good thing. It is ok to keep a surprise from “Dad” until his birthday. It is ok to surprise “Grandma” on her birthday. A surprise is only kept for a short period of time and it involves joy and happiness. Whereas a secret is something that can be as simple as knowing a friend still wets the bed and she does not want her friends to find out or it could be a bigger thing where a neighbor will ask to put hands where they do not belong. A simple change in vocabulary can go a long way in keeping children safe from predators.
If you are lost as to how to start a conversation about good touches and bad touches below is a link to some great information.
Feel free to pass this information along!