Keeping children safe is a fundamental human responsibility for us all. Alertness, common sense and a lifetime’s experience are our best tools for fulfilling that trust. Children are not so skilled yet. The following “rules for children” have been developed and taught to empower children to deal with challenging situations:
- I am the boss of my body!
- I always check first and get permission before I go anywhere, change my plans or take something, even if it’s from someone I know. If I can’t check first, the answer is NO!
- I know my name, address, phone number, and my parents’ cell phone number, too!
- Safe grownups don’t ask kids for help. They go to other adults for assistance.
- I don’t have to be polite if someone makes me feel scared or uncomfortable. It’s okay to say NO! Even to a grownup or bigger kid if I have to.
- Everyone’s “bathing suit areas” are private. No bathing suit area games are allowed.
- If I ever get lost in a public place, I can freeze and yell or go to a mom with kids and ask for help.
- I never go anywhere or take anything from someone I don’t know, no matter what they say.
- I always listen to my own inner voice, especially if I get an “uh-oh” feeling.
- I don’t keep secrets from my parents. No one should tell a child to keep a secret from their parents, especially one that involves their bodies
(Adapted, with permission, Abilgail’s Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center, Gainesville, TX 76240)