As parents and grandparents, we are all too familiar with guarding our children. The most likely cause for vigilance is the STRANGER, but more likely, the person you trust will be the one who will abuse your child, whether he or she is a neighbor, a friend, or a relative.
Guarding our children requires us to be vigilant but not overly protective, so how can we know if we can trust the people in whose hands we place our children?
The short answer is to PAY ATTENTION to our children. Even babies will give clues as to whether or not they feel safe. If baby cries EVERY time we hand over our infant, consider that a big red flag. BUT baby's cries may be because you are leaving him and NOT that you are leaving him with somebody else.
A baby reaching for his mother or father is common. A baby who looks terrorized after having been placed in the arms of a trusted friend or family member is cause for suspicion.
Children whose behavior patterns change abruptly should cause sirens of alarm to go off in your head. The child who is told to keep secrets will be less likely to say anything for fear of revenge, but she will show changes in her behavior. As parents we must pay attention to those changes and, more importantly, ACT upon those changes.
We need to empower our children, to let them know the difference between keeping a secret that will happily surprise someone and one that causes fear.
YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOUR BODY is a free downloadable book for parents of children between the ages of 2 and 8. This interactive book allows you to question your children as you read it and to pay attention to your children's answers. It was endorsed by the (now defunct) Child Abuse Prevention Speaker's Bureau. You can find out how to get it by clicking the link above (the book cover). You can also read about it HERE.