How to Teach Preschoolers to Say “No” to Unsafe Touch

How do we teach preschool children the difference between good touch and unsafe or uncomfortable touch?

Little children trust easily, too easily. They learn to hug their grandparents when they leave and how to shake hands with their parents friends when they meet them. We try to teach children good manners at an early age. It’s part of parenting, but so is teaching them how to protect their bodies against unsafe touch, whether it be from a babysitter, a cousin, or a pedophile who lives down the street.

Teach them about their bodies.  

You can do this in the tub or when they see someone change a baby’s diaper.                        

“Let’s talk about how everyone’s body is different. God made Susan’s body different from your body or David’s body is not like your body. Each person’s body belongs to him or her and each person has the right to protect his or her body from unwanted touch. If you are a Christian,  you can add,  “God made each body a little bit different for a reason.”

This is a good time to teach modesty.

Draw a child in a swimsuit or put one on the child. “Do you see the parts of your body that are covered when you wear a swimsuit? When someone tries to touch you in the area of the swimsuit, they are not giving safe touch. The only time someone should need to touch your body in the area where a swimsuit touches is when a doctor or your parent needs to help you. I think you are old enough to know when someone needs to help you in that way.

Senses are the way we learn about the world around us.

“Do you know what the five senses are?  We call it the five senses that help us know about our world. Can you tell me what they are?”                        

1. Seeing – “Tell me something you like to see with your eyes.” Wait for answer.                  

2. Hearing  – “Tell me something you like to hear with your ears.” Wait for answer.            

3. Smelling – “Tell me something you like to smell with your nose.” Wait for answer.            

4. Tasting – “Tell me something you like to taste with your tongue.” Wait for answer.          

5. Touching – “Tell me something you like to touch with your skin.” Wait for answer.

Discuss as needed.

“I like hugs from people I love. Which sense do I use when I give a hug?  (Touch)                

Do you like hugs? Who do you like to hug?” Wait for answers.                                                  

A hug is a loving touch. A loving touch makes us feel warm and comfortable. Sometimes there are touches that don’t make us feel comfortable. They might make us feel scared or hurt or confused. If someone touches you in a way you don’t like, you can tell them to stop. If they don’t, tell an adult you trust.

“Who does your body belong to? (the child) Do you have to let anyone touch you if you don’t feel comfortable? (no)

“Are there times when a grown-up might need to touch you so they can help?” (yes)          

“Tell me some of those times.” (skinned knee, something in the eye)

“Are there times when an adult might need to touch your private parts?” (Yes, only when a parent or doctor needs to help you for a good reason.)

“If a person wants to touch your private parts without a good reason, do you have to let them?” (No) You are getting big now and you can think for yourself, can’t you?
If a person wants to touch your private parts or touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, what are some things you can do?”

1. Say “No”
2. Run away from them and scream if you need to.
3. Tell someone you trust. If they don’t believe you, tell someone else.
4. Remember, it is not your fault and you didn’t do anything wrong if that happens.

Children need to learn to think for themselves in an unsafe situation. Keep this conversational and let children answer.

“Do you remember yesterday I reminded you that you are getting big enough to think for yourself? I am going to ask you some questions that you will really have to think about.”

“We taught you to obey grown-ups, right?”

“What if your aunt told you to jump into the river, what would you do?”

“What would you do if your teacher told you to dive off the school building?”

“What if you are at the store and the store owner told you to steal a bag of potatoes? What would you do?”

“Most of the time when a grown-up tells you to do something, it is for your own good. But, you have to think. If it doesn’t seem right or makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, you don’t have to do it. It is your own body. If that happens, you go to a person you trust and ask them if you have to do it.

What kind of person might ask you to do something that is not for your own good? (Child describes what he or she thinks.)

Answer:                                                                                                                                                     1. They could look and act nice.
2. The may try to trick you into thinking you can trust them.
3. They may be young or old.
4. They can be someone you know and care about or they could be a stranger, someone you don’t know.
5. They could be someone in your family. It could be anyone. You can’t tell by looking, only by feeling.

“Remember, your body belongs to you and no one has the right to touch it without your permission, unless it is your parent or doctor trying to help you. If someone does, what do you do?” (Say “no” and tell someone.)

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Emotionally Neglected Children May Feel Like They Are Ghosts

“Emotional Neglect is the white space in the family picture; the background rather than the foreground. It is insidious and overlooked while it does its silent damage to people’s lives.” (Dr. Jonic…

Source: Emotionally Neglected Children May Feel Like They Are Ghosts

How Do We Judge Our Neighbors?

Last night for the second time, I watched the movie, “Life is Beautiful.” This powerful, tragic, and funny movie came out in 1998. Based in pre-war Italy, it heralds the beginning of the rise of Nazism and follows a man and his family to the end of the war. After seeing the movie last night and watching the morning news this morning, my thoughts turned to the idea of prejudice. The word means what it says, to pre-judge or make a decision without all the facts. The Random House College Dictionary defines it as “An unfavorable opinion or feeling made beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” I asked myself, How Do You Judge Your Neighbors? By neighbors, I mean other people in the world.

How do I and others judge people? Starbuck’s idea of “Race Together” and talking about racial prejudice during your morning coffee isn’t popular with many people, including me. That doesn’t keep me from looking deeper. My first thought, God made all of us, so we are each valuable people – a surface thought, but I believe it. What does it boil down to? In the movie, a rich woman talked about how much it costs to take care of the sick and elderly. To her, those people were just a nuisance. Theoretically, she forgot she may someday be elderly and possibly sick. Another scene showed a group of school children being told they are a superior race. The movie showed severe prejudice toward Jewish people. That prejudice seems to be raising it’s head again. Different areas of the world have different prejudices. In my opinion, all are wrong.

Let’s look at the reasons different races or even different people behave differently. First, we have to consider genetics. Some are born with the ability to learn quickly. Others have talent in sports or art or music. That is true of all races. Others, like the woman in the movie, look at socio-economic status. What people see as poor in America may seem rich in some parts of the world. I could bore you will all the variables, but I won’t. I believe there are two variables that are often over-looked in judging others, love and opportunity. Those who have grown up in a loving family, whether in a home or tent or even on the street, seem to handle life better. Also, those who have opportunity to follow their dreams seem to become more productive citizens. Maybe it isn’t race at all. Maybe we do need to look at each person as an individual.

In the Bible, 1 Samuel 16:6-7, Samuel sought God’s directions in anointing the chosen man as king, He saw David’s older brother, Eliab, and said, “‘Surely the Lord’s anointing is before him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

Let’s start the conversation – with or without coffee. What are your thoughts about prejudice and judging our neighbors, near and far? What are your ideas of ways we can all live together in peace?

If My People . . .

This blog reminds us. We are a Christian nation.

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As we look at today’s America, sometimes it’s almost impossible to recognize the country we once knew so well. Contrary to what many would have us believe, we were founded on Christian principles. Today some would call those of us living by those principles terrorists. Instead of living by God’s standards of right and wrong, people are encouraged to do their own thing. Decide for themselves what’s right for them. Our Constitution is considered outdated. Courts are ruling against Christians who make a stand for their within their own businesses. Marriage has been redefined. And on and on . . .

So what can we as Christians do? It’s easy to point fingers. At the politicians. At the ones condemning us for our faith. But God tells us to look inward first.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…

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Jumping through Fires

What an amazing testimony of God’s love and grace. It’s worth the 5 minutes.

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Religion can lead to you being disillusioned with what you may think is faith. Finding Jesus is about finding life and becoming spiritually free and alive. Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life and that no one can know God except through Him. If you have been searching for spiritual freedom and haven’t found it in being religious, don’t pass up the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ and make Him a part of your life.

Jumping through Fires (new)

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). – John 10:10

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How Much Time Do You Really Have?

Can the end of time be near? I am not a scientist or a prophet, but I read the Bible and books on prophesy. I heard that during both World Wars people expected Jesus to return at any moment. I would have thought so, too, if I knew the Nazis murdered eleven million Jews. Do you understand how significant that event became? Many times through-out history, Jewish people have been the target of hate and murder, but they still exist. What does that tell you? It tells me God loves them, and even though most didn’t accept His Son, He still loves them and has a plan for them. That’s the kind of God He is. He is a God of love.

Why do I believe the end is coming soon? If global warming is true, then why has Boston had record-breaking snowfalls? Is that global warming? Maybe it is. Maybe the weather changes are part of the birth pangs recorded in the Bible. Why have there been many more storms through-out the world lately. What about the increase in earthquakes and floods? Why have mountains blown their tops, so to speak. Birth pangs? A thought worth considering. A century ago people rarely traveled more that about fifty miles from their homes. Now a trip across the world takes less time than it might have taken our ancestors to travel fifty miles. Birth pangs of the end of time as we know it? It could be. At least think about it. Consider the present times and then consider what the Bible says:

Jesus said in Matthew 24, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of birth pangs.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn against the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to the nations, and then the end will come…For then there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened….

“At that time the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the earth to the other.”

I believe Jesus Christ came to earth in the body of a man and the spirit of God. As promised throughout the Old Testament, Jesus signified the perfect Lamb, the only one who could sacrifice for the sins of believers. If a friend gave you a gift card for your favorite restaurant, wouldn’t you spend it? The death of Jesus became your gift card for eternal life. You can accept that truth, ask his forgiveness, and join his spiritual family or you can choose not to. For your sake, I ask that you read the Gospel of John so you will understand the truth. You can’t work your way to heaven. If you could, Jesus would not have been sacrificed on the cross. Your faith in his gift saves you, not works.

Is this true? Will you be ready? Are you willing to take the risk? What stops you?

If this blog has brought you closer to a decision to become a member of God’s family or if you have any questions, please comment.