To: Parents everywhere
From: A Mom who knows it’s time to face the fact that this needs to be talked about.
This past week, we learned about someone in our church who has been accused of sexual abuse.
This just makes me feel yucky.
Everytime I think about it, I feel like throwing up.
My first thought was, “Oh, I hope this is only allegedly and not actually proven.” But the more I talked about it with my pastor, the more I realized that hopeful thoughts don’t make things go away.
Whether he is convicted of these charges or not doesn’t take away the fact that these people are out there.
And my kids are vulnerable (as are yours!). It’s time to talk about this.
How do I talk to a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 16 month old about this?
Thankfully, Wordgirl had just suggested that we start reading the Bible more (which looking back, we hadn’t been–I’m so glad she suggested this), so we started in Genesis and took a little bit each day.
One night, we read about the day God made the birds of the air and the fish of the sea (Day 5–in case you were wondering…Day 4 was the sun, moon, and stars, Day 3 was something I don’t remember–the sky maybe?, Day 2 was the something else, Day 1 was the light and there you have it in reverse order! Sorta!).
The next night, we read about the day God made the animals on land and man. We discussed what it meant to be made in God’s image: How we reflect him like a mirror reflects our image.
The following day at lunch, we sat under a tree in the front yard eating our lunch at the picnic table when a stroke of genius hit–or the prompting of the Holy Spirit whichever you prefer.
Now was the time. We were all in a great mood. We were enjoying each other’s company, and we could have a good discussion.
These were the points of conversation we had.
- God made us and it was good.
- We were made to be like Him–not to be God but to look like Him as a mirror image looks like us.
- God finds value in us and we are worth a lot to Him.
- How much are we worth? We are priceless.
- We are worth so much that God was us to protect ourselves. That’s why we were seatbelts in the car and bike helmets. That’s why we wear shoes on our feet.
- Sometimes people want to hurt us or touch us in a way that makes us feel yucky and God wants us to protect ourselves from that. That’s why we don’t talk to strangers, or let them into our circle of safety yelling that we don’t them if they get too close.
- If anyone we know hurts you or touches you in a way that makes you feel yucky, you can tell us and we will believe you and love you.
And from there we proceeded to practice things to shout when people come too close.
“YOU ARE NOT MY MOM! YOU ARE NOT MY DAD! I DON’T KNOW YOU!” (We didn’t actually yell these things! That would not have been a good idea in the front yard of our house!)
Wordgirl wanted to yell, “I don’t like you!” But I told her that wouldn’t be as a effective being that kids yell that all the time.
The rest of the day was filled with, “Dash! You are in my circle of safety!”
“Wordgirl, give me space!”
“Princess Pea, don’t forget about the circle of safety. You can’t hit!”
So on and so forth.
I know that this discussion is far from over, but it’s started.
How do you talk to your kids about this?
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