Talking with your kids about sexual abuse is tough. I know, I’ve been there. Despite knowing what I want to say to my kids, sometimes when I’m in the moment talking about this difficult topic even I am at a loss for words! But I know if I want to prevent child sexual abuse, I need to actively educate my children on how to stay safe. Although I firmly believe that protecting children is the responsibility of adults, kids still need to know how to respond if someone does touch them inappropriately.
Earlier this year I wrote a post about how to talk to your kids about sexual abuse, and I forgot to include one very helpful conversation starter. Books! As a child psychologist and a mom, I use books all the time to get kids talking. It’s amazing how much easier it is for children (and adults) to open up with the help of an engaging story. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few of my favorite books for kids on the topic of child sexual abuse. I hope these will be as helpful to your family as they have been to mine:
- U Touch I Tell. This new release is a precious story that is fun and empowering. That’s right, FUN! It’s true. Even books on child sexual abuse can be entertaining for kids. In the story a teacher is talking to her class about the importance of telling an adult if anyone touches them inappropriately. It’s simply described as the part of the body that’s covered by a bathing suit. The class is then rewarded for learning about ‘U Touch I Tell’ and goes to a theme park where the concept is reinforced. When this book arrived at my house earlier this week, my 8 year old daughter read it immediately. She loved it and we were able to have a very easy teaching moment with NO AWKWARDNESS! True story! My 4 year old will also be able to follow this book, and will probably be walking around the house repetitively chanting ‘U Touch I Tell’ by the end of the weekend! I’m honored to have written the forward to this book and hope you’ll find the ‘U Touch I Tell’ message as helpful as I have.
- I Said No. This ‘kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private’ is full of useful information for parents and kids. It uses ‘red flags’ and ‘green flags’ to get the message across that some touches and situations are dangerous (‘red flags’) and others are a sign of smooth sailing (‘green flag’). There are lots of examples that teach kids to trust themselves and know that when something doesn’t feel right that it probably isn’t. Tell a trusted adult if someone touches you inappropriately is repeatedly reinforced, and children are even instructed on how to call 911 in the event of serious danger. Also included are helpful instructions about how to handle inappropriate touches from other children. At the end of the book there’s a spot for kids to draw ‘green or red flag people’ and ‘what if’ scenarios. A definite go to book for talking with your kids about sexual abuse.
- Fred the Fox Shouts “NO!” Another easy to follow story about a fox named Fred and his family. What I love about this book is that it tackles the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated by someone a child knows and trusts. Since 90% of child sexual crimes are perpetrated by those known to the family, this book opens the door to some important conversations we should all be having with our own children. The repetitive description of shouting no, along with encouragement to say it even LOUDER, really helps kids understand what to do if they are touched inappropriately. A book you’ll really be glad you shared with your kids.
Do you have any books written for kids about child sexual abuse that you’d like to share? Have you ever read a book like this to your children? How did they respond? We’d love to hear from you to keep this important conversation going.Pin It