When we were kids, we were taught about good touch and bad touch. Today, it is one of the most important things a child should be aware of.
And more than that let your child have a voice. If your child says something and even if that’s a little weird or alarming or demands attention, do not hesitate or ignore. Life always gives a little warning bell before it disrupts everything you care for.
Your child feels uncomfortable in the presence of certain people – never ignore it.
Your child suddenly becomes quiet or a recluse – never ignore it.
Your child refuses to be left alone or with certain people – never ignore it.
Inform your children that nobody can touch them without their consent. Certain parts of the body are a big no-no. Find a suitable way to explain the same to them.
Let them know that their body is only theirs’.
If you notice any change in their behavior, always address the issue immediately.
Also, teach your children to not accept gifts or any eatable from strangers – ever! And never accept any goodies from even known people in your absence.
Child abuse cases that come in the limelight are mostly cases of a known person exploiting the children.
It is essential that you inform your kids that they cannot be given physical punishments. Nobody can hit them with a ruler or slap them or make them do hard labor if they have not performed well at school.
Performance as a student always varies. That does not call for a physical punishment.
Disinterest in sports or an extra-curricular activity also does not entail corporal punishment.
A lot of children go into a shell, and refuse to come out of it for a very long time. Sometimes, it is too late. Do not let someone ruin your child’s childhood by scarring them emotionally or physically.
Coming to safety and well-being of your children; let me share something with you.
My sister had taught her children a “password”. It was a safe word that was only between the three of them and it was to be used by the kids in case someone said that their parents have sent them to take the children back home.
My mother had made it very clear as well. If I was not meant to board the school bus on a particular day, it will only happen if she or my father comes to the school personally to pick me up. Since I was 4 years old, I used to have 2 coins of 1 rupee each in my school bag and she helped me memorize phone numbers so that if I am in trouble or get lost, I can always call someone and let them know.
I remember my parents telling me; even if someone says that your parents have been in a major accident, do not leave the school bus. Come home the way you are supposed to.
My brother was taught the same.
These are few personal instances that I have shared. I am sure you all must have experienced a lot many in life and have much more to share with children as well as grown-ups around you.
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Safety of your kids is in your hands. Keeping in mind the recent times and the appalling articles we come across on a daily basis, it is more than necessary to ensure that our kids know that they shall be safe and well taken care of. Children should always know that their parents are that protective shield which is tougher than the toughest thing on the planet.
Another important thing that we need to discuss with our children is about growing up and the changes in their body. Curiosity can lead to disasters easily. When your child asks you a question, do not avoid it. I can understand that it may be difficult or uncomfortable at times to answer certain questions, but getting the correct information and knowledge from people they trust the most is extremely necessary.
Now, teaching kids the difference between what is good and bad is of utmost importance but at the same time, we should not forget that grown-up men and women also feel alone and helpless at times.
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If you are an adult – male or female and are facing anything that makes you uncomfortable or uneasy, do not be afraid to raise your voice at the right time and bring an end to your misery.
However important your job is, or relationships are; however influential that person is, nobody has the right to demean you or make you feel worthless.
A colleague or your boss stands too close for comfort – speak up.
A relative makes you comfortable or touches you inappropriately – speak up.
A cab driver or any stranger makes lewd gestures – speak up.
Nothing is bigger or more important than your dignity and self respect. Never forget this in life and without giving it a second thought, make sure that your children know & believe the same.
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