The link between holidays and child sexual abuse prevention

Children on BeachWe often encourage parents to use holidays like July 4th to spend quality time with kids. This is pretty common advice given by everyone from youth organizations to parenting organizations. But what is the link to child sexual abuse prevention?

As parents, you spend a good amount of time making sure your children are protected – from holding their hands when you cross the street to buckling them up into the appropriate car seat as they grow. If you’ve taken D2L’s Stewards of Children training, you probably even use teachable moments to talk to your kids about things like secrets and physical boundaries.

However, many parents want to have prevention talks with their children but are unsure how or where to begin. It can be awkward especially as children get older, when discussion becomes more in-depth and it’s no longer simply the parents who can find it embarrassing, but also the kids. Believe it or not, holidays can help with this!

We encourage parents to talk to kids early and often about prevention topics. That alone helps smooth the way for later discussions. But family activities and quality time help parents protect kids even further, by:

  1. Generating natural conversation and teachable moments that can ease the way into later prevention talks.
  2. Strengthening family bonds and creating an open, trusting relationship between kids and their parents.
  3. Providing safe environments for kids and their friends to develop healthy role models and have positive interactions with adults.

All of these things create an environment of protection, and make it easier for kids to talk to parents if and when something does happen. So, this Independence Day weekend, put away the cell phones and tablets, schedule a few fun family activities, and take time to talk – really talk – to your kids. What you say today could protect them tomorrow.

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