Bringing up the topic of sexual abuse with your children is something that most parent struggle to know how to approach, and due to the fear of getting it wrong or not knowing how much to say - many parents end up not discussing the issue with their children at all.
But this can be dangerous. We all like to think that it will never happen to our children, but the truth is that we can never be 100% certain and arming your child with knowledge is the best way to protect them.
But of course, it's a difficult subject - particularly with younger children. You don't want to go into too much detail, you don't know want to frighten them - it's hard to know how to handle it all.
This is something that I have recently been thinking about myself.
My eldest son is 3 years old and up until now he has only ever been left alone with myself & his dad, or my own parents - but come September he will be starting nursery school and will be in the care of people that I do not know - and whilst I of course trust in the nursery that I have chosen for him, I'm aware that there are always dangers and that it's important that he understands what is and is not acceptable when it comes to his body and other people.
If a child doesn't understand what kind of behaviour is inappropriate, then they most likely won't know to tell you when something unwanted is happening to them.
But how do I bring up this subject with a 3 year old? Quite honestly, I would not even know where to start.
Thankfully, the NSPCC have launched the PANTS campaign.
I know from personal experience that watching fun but informative videos is the perfect way to get messages across to young children like my son - he is a big fan of YouTube Kids and although the videos may seem like silly little songs to me, he really does learn from them and quotes their messages back to me weeks after watching - recently he's learned all about how long to brush his teeth for, The Green Cross Code, and that he should always sit a little while longer on the potty "just incase" all from various YouTube videos and the knowledge has stuck with him.
So showing the Pantosaurus video below is the ideal way to introduce this sensitive topic to him, and start a conversation with him about it - all I need to do is watch the video with him, reinforce the message afterwards and keep doing that every so often.
The PANTS campaign teaches children the following principles:
P - Privates Are Private.
A - Always remember that your body belongs to you.
N - No means no.
T - Talk about secrets that upset you.
S - Speak up.
The NSPCC has much more information on this subject as well as informative guides for parents and children, and tips on how to discuss this topic with your kids - click here to take a look.
You can find the Pantosaurus video on the NSPCC website, or watch below:
*In collaboration with www.NSPCC.org.uk
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