Martin News

5/29/15

Body Safety Training Week 2

Dear STEAM 2nd Grade Parents and Caregivers,


This second letter is to tell you about what we have been learning as part of the Body Safety Program during our second week at STEAM. This week we’ve learned lots of important things about how to keep our bodies safe and I would like to share some of those with you so that you can practice them at home with your children. Talking to young children about the prevention of sexual abuse is never easy and not something that anyone likes to do. However, at this age they are especially vulnerable and may not understand if sexual abuse happened to them that it is not a normal occurrence. I would like to stress how important it is to continue this dialogue with your children. Having good communication with your child about this subject will give them the message that it is okay for them to talk to you, not only about this, but about other things that may come up in their lives as they get older. Keeping the lines of communication open with your child will help make your job of parenting easier.


Summary of The Body Safety Training – Week 2


I. Private Parts. We learned that we have special parts of our bodies known as private parts and that they are the areas that are covered up by our bathing suits or underwear. We learned that these parts had names: breasts, vagina, penis, buttocks (also butt, behind, or bottom). (Please be aware that when we begin our discussion of private parts we show the children a picture of children without clothing. Like all of the other pictures we show during the course of the program, this is a drawing, not a photo. We use this picture to show exactly what areas we are referring to as private parts so there is no misunderstanding. Once we feel the children have a good grasp of this information we show a picture of the same children in bathing suits.)


Note to Parents – while it is tempting to use “cute” names for these parts, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents teach the actual names for these parts starting as early as 18 months of age. We at WACC also feel it is important that children learn the proper names starting at a very early age. Study has shown that if a child does happen to be vicitimized by sexual abuse that he/she will need to be able to tell exactly what has happened so that the perpetrator can be brought to justice. Also, some studies have shown that perpetrators may be less likely to approach a child who seems knowledgeable about personal safety and proper names for their body parts.


We also learned the difference between parts of our body that were private and those that are not. We reinforced that we are the bosses of our bodies. We learned that there were times when it would be okay for others to look at or touch our private parts such as when we are babies and need our diapers changed, when we need help cleaning ourselves, if we are hurt or sick, or if we touch our own private parts (as long as we keep this private).


II. Body Safety Rule. We learned the Body Safety Rule, that it is “Not okay for anyone to touch or look at my private parts” unless we need help cleaning ourselves or are sick or hurt. We also learned that it was not okay to touch someone else’s private parts. We talked about different ways that the Body Safety Rule could be broken – what was inappropriate and what was appropriate touching.


III. What to do if someone breaks our Body Safety Rule. We learned that if someone tries to break our Body Safety Rule, such as tries to touch or look at our private parts or asks us to look at or touch their private parts that we are to say, “NO!” or “Leave Me Alone” and to get away and tell a grown-up what happened. We talked about who we could tell, such as a parent or a teacher or some other adult that we know and trust. We also learned that “keeping a secret” about this is not okay, that we must tell a grown-up what happened so that they can help us.


IV. No, Go, Tell. We reviewed our No, Go, Tell skills and learned that it is never our fault if someone touches or looks at our private parts, or asks us to touch or look at their private parts, even if it happens. We learned that when we tell an adult what happens that we must tell WHO did it and WHAT they did. We reinforced who they could tell (parents, relatives, teachers, etc.) and that it is not okay to keep this information secret.


V. Review. We spent our last day reviewing all that we learned this week and practicing our new skills using different stories about different situations. We reinforced the Body Safety Rule and who is the boss of our body.

Thank you so much for allowing us to teach your children these very important lessons. We hope that you will continue to practice them with your child so they will remember them.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact me at the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, (734) 434-4215 or by e-mail, marcia@washtenawchildren.org Thank you for helping us in our effort to keep the children of our community safe.

Sincerely,


Marcia Dykstra

Program Director

Washtenaw Area Council for Children