Holiday Gathering and Consent Safety Tips
For many families, the holidays are a time of large gatherings with lots of food and friends. And as we come out on the other side of the pandemic, children will be surrounded by plenty of relatives this year that they might not have seen in some time.
While we know there will be lots of excitement around being reunited with loved ones and friends, it is also a crucial time to remind children that they are the boss of their bodies. Sadly, more than 90% of sexual abuse happens within a family’s circle of trust.
Please consider these important topics as we enter holiday season, and make time for a little conversation!
3 Holiday Gathering & Consent Safety Tips
COLOR YOUR WAY TO BODY BOUNDARIES
Speak to children about body boundaries in an age-appropriate manner, including a color page and guide for even the youngest of children. For example, having important conversations with your little ones while doing activities side-by-side is a great way to get them comfortable and talking. It isn’t as intimidating as sitting them down to have a face-to-face talk and allows them to think creatively about the questions you are asking them.
You can download our FREE coloring pages here.
What is consent and why we need to empower our children to use it? By giving children choices in expressing consent in how they would like to be touched, we teach them how to express it when we’re not around. For example, if Uncle Tom wants to go in for a kiss, it is ok for your child to express that they prefer a high five or fist bump. It’s important that we respect their answer so that they understand they can say NO in other situations.
WHAT IS YOUR SAFE WORD?
Consider a family safe word for uncomfortable situations. Come up with a family safe word that only you and your child know so that even when surrounded by extended family they feel comfortable using it when feeling that something isn’t right. At that point, you can talk about their concerns privately and decide the best way to handle it. Above all, it is most important to make children feel heard- no matter what!
These tips are important all year round but especially during the holiday season. If you’re unsure where to start, or how to approach these conversations, Child Rescue Coalition has a great free resource for parents. We’ve developed an ebook that covers everything you need to know to keep kids safe from sexual exploitation and abuse online. If your situation is challenging, use this resource to discuss safety tips and boundaries – it may be better received if the tips are coming from experts.
With C.R.A.M., you’ll learn practical tips to keep your kids safe online, how to talk to kids about predators by age group, how to recognize the signs of grooming, what to do if a predator contacts your child, and you’ll get device settings and safety tips for popular online games. Download your free copy today!