Resources For You
There is only so much we can cover in our short class, so I’ve put together a few resources that might help as you continue this discussion at home!
Learning to describe a person accurately takes practice. It is especially important to remember things about people that are not easy to change: tall or short, heavy or thin, tattoos or birthmarks, etc.
- Have your child practice describing the physical characteristics of family members or friends. Focus on those characteristics that are not easy to change.
- When you and your child are out together you can play a simple game: look at someone, then look away and see who can remember the most things about the way that person looks. Remember to focus on the things that can’t be changed, though clothing can be important too.
- Practice memorizing descriptions of cars and license plate numbers.
Have a family code word in place. If someone unexpected tells your son or daughter they are there to pick him/her up from school or an activity, train your child to ask for the code word. If you have a code word, review it and practice it. If not, choose a word. Ours was the name of our first puppy. Keep it easy to remember but slightly obscure.
Trust Your Gut!
- Make a list of the body signals your child has when s/he gets “icky” feelings. For example: my hands get shaky, my heart beats fast, my stomach feels tight…
- Make a list of the things your child tells you give him/her good feelings like peaceful times, contentment. For example: when I read a story with my dad, when I’m playing with friends, drawing with my pens…
- Make a list of the things your child tells you gives him/her those “icky” feelings. For example: when someone I don’t feel comfortable with gives me a hug, when someone stands too close…
Dealing with bullies
Not fun! The staff and administration at some schools are just not well trained in the bully department. Both my children had to deal with fairly significant scenarios. One involved a pair of scissors and the other a knife! In one case, the principal stepped in and handled it quickly and admirably, in the other instance, it was bungled all over the place. Both times, my husband and I chose to step right on in and make sure WE felt comfortable with the results and that our children felt absolutely safe.
Ask your child about bullies at school:
- Has s/he ever been bullied or seen another child be bullied?
- How did it feel to be bullied or to witness bullying?
Adults as Advocates
We definitely want to teach and encourage our children to stand up for themselves, but if it’s not working, speak up! You can teach by example! Don’t stop until the situation is completely handled and your child – and all the other children – feel absolutely safe. Let them know you’ve got their back!
Kids who are bullied find it incredibly stressful. Talk with your child about healthy ways to manage stress and share some of the hard parts of your day and how YOU handle stress.
Warriors of Peace:
Talk with your child about ways they could help another child at school who is being bullied. Encourage your child to seek out the school mates being dissed and harassed. Ask them to play sometimes, sit with them at lunch. Show them they have an ally. It’s lonely to be the one on the outside.
Create an environment at home in which your child knows that they can tell you anything, any time. Make sure they know you are strong and loving enough to handle anything they have to say. ANYTHING!
Practice this simple rule with your child. Every so often, ask: “if someone says “don’t tell”, what do you do?”
The answer is always, “TELL!”
I (Silvia) am always here for you if you need to debrief, run some ideas by someone or if you want an advocate. Being a parent is hard! We need to support one another!
For The Adults
- This is a book I recommend. It’s a tough read, but has lots of important information. Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders, by Anne Salter
- Another good (though somewhat disturbing) book: The Sociopath at the Breakfast Table, by Jane and Tim McGregor
- Also, there are some articles I’ve written here that you might find helpful. You’ll also find some videos on this page.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with the FBI. They have great resources, are a top notch organization full of incredible agents and staff. I blogged about the experience and link to some of the pages I think are super helpful for you to know.
Last but not least, here are some links to articles you might find helpful or interesting:
- A piece about the patterns of behavior of pedophiles: Check it out
- 15 apps parents should keep their eyes peeled for on their kids’ phones: Check it out.
- The FBI’s newest initiative, Sextortion – keeping our kids safe online: Check it out
- Keeping our kids safe: Check it out.
Other blogs about safety, martial arts and self-defense: Click Here
All the best! ~Silvia